Everything we cook, buy and eat affects the environment. The thought of sustainable cooking practices might sound nice, but it can be hard to know where to start.
Creating an eco-friendly kitchen doesn’t have to mean a complete overhaul, because small choices can create meaningful change. Here are seven simple ways you can make your kitchen cleaner, greener, and even more efficient.
- Eat-in more often. Food waste is the largest source of waste in the US annually, and according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 50 to 60% of food waste comes from restaurants. Eating more meals at home is a great way to keep unfinished foods out of the landfills, especially if you enjoy leftovers. Chef Lynn Michelle can prepare restaurant-quality dishes in your very own kitchen, tailored to your tastes, schedule and portion preferences.
- Hang on to heat. Heat is a key component of cooking, but excess amounts can drive up energy consumption. Skip preheating when possible by letting foods partially cook in the oven while it warms up, or use residual heat by turning the oven off a few minutes before the instructed time. You can also invest in an oven with a glass window so you don’t have to open the door to check on your baked goods.
- Ditch the paper products. While paper towels and napkins are convenient, they often contain products that are not so eco-friendly. Try using cloth towels and napkins instead. If you must use paper towels, look for brands that use recycled paper or nontoxic ingredients.
- Switch up your cookware. Trade your traditional toaster for a toaster oven: it uses a fraction of the energy and cooks your food in less time. Using nonstick pans eliminates the need for cooking spray and foil trays. A pressure cooker saves up to 70% of the energy a stovetop uses because of its quick preparation time.
- Source responsibly. Eating in-season produce is tastier, more nutritious, and better for the planet. Chef Lynn Michelle loves sourcing ingredients from local vendors for more sustainable, flavorful meals.
- Be wise with water. Place fruits and vegetables in a large pot of water to scrub them clean rather than rinsing them under the faucet. Water that was used to steam vegetables can later be used for boiling pasta or grains. You can also install faucet aerators which save up to 10 liters of water per minute.
- Clean with natural products. Nontoxic solutions like baking soda and vinegar get the job done just as well as other cleaning products. If you’d rather use something store-bought, look for organic and eco-friendly sprays and soaps.
Going green starts with small, intentional choices. Ready to start eating more meals at home? Chef Lynn Michelle specializes in crafting fresh, gourmet dishes that you can enjoy all week long. Contact her today to learn more about her personal chef services.