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Many people have what it takes to be a great cook — superb cooking skills, a natural inclination to perfect recipes, and an ability to make their way around the kitchen with ease. However, not all know how to be an eco-friendly cook. Now that more and more people are becoming conscious about what they can do to help save the planet, it’s only responsible for home cooks to carry out sustainable kitchen practices.
Other than helping save the environment, saving energy while cooking can also lower your monthly bills. This, then, equates to more money saved. In this post, we’ve rounded up some helpful tips that home cooks can use to save energy while cooking.
Invest in High-Quality Kitchen Tools
It can be tempting to buy low-quality kitchen tools due to their extremely low prices. However, doing so can be detrimental to the environment — and even put your health at risk. For one, cheap and flimsy kitchen tools are more prone to breaking. While it’s easy to replace it since it’s cheap, you might be spending more than what you bargained for if it constantly breaks. Furthermore, repeatedly buying kitchen tools creates unnecessary waste.
One popular and inexpensive kitchen tool material that you should stay away from is Teflon. Other than the risk of exposing yourself to dangerous chemicals and ingesting it, Teflon is incredibly harmful to the environment. When discarded, Teflon releases a carcinogen and reproductive toxin called PFOA. Instead, look to other kitchen tools that are made with durable and conductive materials like stainless steel, cast iron, or ceramic. Look to add other eco-friendly products to your kitchen as well, like sustainable cookware from Green Pan, bamboo kitchen dishcloths, and reusable straws.
Choose Energy-Efficient Appliances
Of course, nothing beats buying energy-efficient appliances when it comes to saving energy. Your choice of kitchen appliances can dramatically affect how much energy you consume, so be sure to only buy those that are truly energy-efficient. In that regard, make sure that you look for kitchen appliances that have the Energy Star label. Products that have this label perform well beyond the minimum federal standards for energy efficiency.
Additionally, this means that even though some appliances might cost more upfront, they can save you money down the line by minimizing energy usage. Case in point: Some rice cookers might be at the more luxurious end of the spectrum as far as these types of appliances go, but instead of price, it might be better to look at their energy-saving functionalities. Plus, most rice cookers are versatile enough to cook different grains as well as pasta and vegetables, which makes them a worthy investment for home cooks looking to save energy, time, and space in their kitchens.
Develop Better Cooking Habits
Simple cooking habits can do so much in saving energy inside the house. For one, try to optimize your cooking process. The less time you spend cooking, the less energy you will use. So before you dive in and start cooking your meal, be sure to plan ahead and even prepare your ingredients ahead of time. Doing this will keep you organized in the kitchen and shave off a few minutes in your total cook time.
Another great cooking habit that’ll save energy is knowing what to get before opening the fridge. Being careless with opening and closing the fridge door can cost you as much as 120kWh per year. Labeling the items in your fridge can help with this since you can then easily identify any random leftovers or ingredients inside your fridge. Also, be sure to routinely clean your burner. The grime and residue build-up can reduce your burner’s efficiency.
The tips we’ve listed above can help you bring sustainability and eco-consciousness to your kitchen. During these times, when we need to do the most that we can to save the earth, we have to practice sustainability and efficiency in all aspects of our lives.
Authored by Robin Joyce
Exclusively written for eco18.com