Going green seems to be the new movement. This could potentially be from an increased awareness in the suffering state of our environment, or perhaps maybe just a conscious effort on the forefront of morality. Regardless, our environment is where we live and if we want to sustain a healthy, comfortable life for future generations, then we need to do what we can now to preserve it. That is where the so-called “green movement” kicks in. Every green effort, no matter the magnitude, is fighting for the greater good and preservation of the world we inhabit.
For some, being green means a never-ending, pocket-emptying struggle to purchase the latest and greatest products and services. However, while dropping a pretty penny on a Prius would be great, it simply is not feasible for most. The good news is that being green does not have to empty your bank account. In fact, you can make small efforts from the comfort of your own home. For example, the kitchen is one of the easiest places to promote a green lifestyle. It is also the room in the house that usually consumes the most energy so starting your greener lifestyle in the kitchen is probably a good idea.
For some reason or another, a lot of people are oblivious to the amount of energy a common appliance, such as a refrigerator, consumes. Not only do your appliances consume a substantial amount of energy, but they also use electricity even when not in use. This consumption of energy has wittingly become known as “phantom” or “vampire” energy loads. To combat against this, one of the cheapest methods is by purchasing a special power strip that controls the amount of electricity being used. Aside from that, basic preventative maintenance is next. Simply do a visual lookover of your major appliances, such as your dishwasher, and look for any obvious signs such as a worn out gaskets, broken seals, or standing water. If a problem is found, it can usually be remedied by a visit here, or locally, at a home improvement store.
Naturally, the best option in transforming your energy-hog of a kitchen into a sustainable, green kitchen is by purchasing newer appliances boasting the famous Energy Star logo. However, as we all know simply by walking through Home Depot, new appliances are not cheap. If you’re lucky enough to not be constrained by a budget though, more power to you; or should I say less power?
##Outside the Kitchen##
A green kitchen does not necessarily stay confined to the kitchen. You would be surprised at how environmentally un-friendly the supermarket you shop at is. Moreover, open up your refrigerator and look at most any food product in there. What do you see? Plastic! Most manufacturers wastefully enclose their products in plastic wrapping and packaging. This plastic may not seem to harmful, but when you think about how much of it ends up clogging our landfills, your perspective may change. To reduce the amount of unnecessary plastic in your kitchen, create a meal plan that incorporates fresher, home-cooked meals. The reasoning behind this is that fresh ingredients usually possess much less plastic because they are intended to be used immediately, not needing to be enclosed within a thick plastic packaging.
There are plenty of ways to promote sustainability in the kitchen, and mentioned above are just a few of the possible methods. Notably, your appliances are the biggest culprits promoting an unhealthy kitchen. If you truly want to make your kitchen green, begin your battle there.
© 2012 Andrew Brusnahan