Are you looking to be more “green.” It isn’t too difficult to use less (or no) paper towels and to swap out your toxic cleansers for natural ones like baking soda and vinegar. But we all have room for improvement. So if you’re looking to make your kitchen even more ecologically friendly, there are some steps you can take that may require a bit more effort (or money), but will hopefully pay off for humanity in the long-run.
Here are 4 ways to bring your “green” kitchen to the next level.
1. Buy Used Whenever Possible
Whether you’re tired of the print on your plates or if you need new cabinets, buy used. These are things that don’t degrade naturally in landfills, though people are consistently replacing them. For dishes, silverware, and décor, shop estate sales and thrift stores.
For more significant items like cabinets, check the Habitat for Humanity ReStore retail locations for items that came out of remodeled homes. These purchases go right back into the charity’s pockets to help build homes for people for the poor. Purchases from ReStore truly have multiple benefits. Again, you can also look for estate sales and giveaways from others who are remodeling.
2. Buy a Dishwasher
It seems counterintuitive to purchase a high-tech water-using machine to do your dishes when you are completely capable. But as AlterNet reports, dishwashers actually use less water than handwashing. Though admittedly, the production of dishwashers likely costs more than the amount of water saved.
“The average faucet flows at two gallons of water per minute. So, you would have to be able to wash and rinse the equivalent of a full load of dishes, utensils, pots, and pans using two minutes or less running water to make washing in the sink as efficient as a basic Energy Star dishwasher.”
Make sure you seek out an Energy Star model, as they use far less water than conventional dishwashers.
3. Use a Gas Stove
If you have natural gas available in your home, opting for a gas range over an electric one isn’t only more fun for your inner chef, but is better for the environment. Compared with electric ranges, gas is three times more energy efficient. If you are able to find a second-hand gas range, that’s even better.
4. Use Renewable Resources When Replacing Countertops and Flooring
If you’re remodeling, countertops and flooring can be one of the major expenses in a kitchen. But done correctly, they can also be the most beautiful and the biggest sign that you’re committed to the environment. Check out options made with renewable resources like hemp and bamboo. In many cases, their prices are right on par with some of the most affordable options.
There is always room for improvement, no matter how eco-conscious we think we are. And when you have the resources to purchase or use the best-of-the-best, why not opt for “green” options?