Learning how to go green in your home can be a challenge unless you break it down and take it one determined step at a time – starting with your kitchen!
With the emphasis on living a green lifestyle, it can be somewhat overwhelming for an active and busy family to figure out how to convert a home into one that is much more eco-friendly.
The key to being more eco-conscious and living the green lifestyle that we all should make an effort to incorporate is to take it slowly: one determined step at a time. Think about each area of your home as a separate entity; by breaking down your home into different sections you will be able to approach each bit of green-improvement in a much more efficient manner.
Getting Started – Going Green In The Kitchen
Your kitchen is one of the areas where it is possible to make large green strides; there may even be several areas that you hadn’t given previous thought to but that can make a large impact on the environment and even on your household budget.
Let’s start with the use of plastic water bottles – while you may also grab a bottle of water on the go you should keep in mind the environmental impact that your twenty-four pack of half liter bottles of water has. Not only can the water bottles have a negative environmental impact but it can prove to be a very pricey option over filling up a reusable sports water bottle with water from your tap.
If you prefer to filter the water that comes out of your tap you should consider looking into a personal filtered pitcher or attachment for your faucets – the Brita water filter products can help the average household save several hundred dollars over the course of a year.
The next area that you can tackle is that collection of plastic grocery store bags; it is the rare house that doesn’t have a massive collection of them! While they can certainly prove to be very useful around the house, the reality is that the majority of households just simply throw them away.
Reusable eco-friendly grocery shopping bags are available, usually for a very low and reasonable price, from just about every major grocery store. If you are looking for something a little bit different in your fabric, canvas or even burlap shopping bags consider doing a search online to find a matching set! Becoming a green-friendly household does not mean that you need to lose your personal sense of style!
Don’t forget that you can also purchase reusable produce bags – the little flimsy produce bags that are available at grocery stores often no other use in and around you home. So, in lieu of simply bringing them home to throw them away, consider purchasing a set of reusable bags that can help you on your mission to go green.
If you currently have a large collection of plastic grocery store bags consider taking them to your nearest grocery store as most of them offer recycling bins specifically for the plastic shopping bags. Another alternative to ridding your home of them is to take them directly to a recycling facility that is equipped to efficiently recycle them.
There is a lot of talk about composting and how it can help to dramatically reduce the amount of actual trash that the average household produces every single year; however, you may be wondering how you – the average household – can actually get started composting and how it can benefit you personally.
Indoor composting is an option that might not have ever crossed your mind; however, it would be worth your time to do a little bit of investigating into it – especially if you have a vegetable or flower garden. All plants can benefit from the rich nutrients that home-made compost offers so give serious consideration to the installation of an indoors system that can be installed beneath your sink for easy access. Unlike the other forms of composters, the indoor systems will not stink or attract an army of creepy crawlies.
Outdoor composting, much like its indoor counterparts is an excellent method of turning items that would otherwise be considered trash into nutrient-rich food for your garden. Outdoor composting allows for the creation of much more compost than you can create indoors and, for those of you with kitchens that are on the smaller side, doing it outdoors frees up space in your kitchen.
There are many household items that can be composted, including:
- Egg shells-Coffee grounds (and the filters)
- Tea bags Stale bread, crackers, and cereals
- Vegetable and fruit peels (potatoes, apples, carrots, etc.)
- Rotten fruit and vegetables
- Houseplant clippings
The list of items that can be composted is nearly endless so be sure to ask yourself before you throw something away “can this be composted!”
Are you a frequent user of paper towels? Consider the occasions that you use paper towels – do you use them to wipe up spills or dry your hands after washing them? If you do a little bit of thinking about it, you are sure to find that you use paper towels a lot more than you thought you did. By using reusable and washable dishtowels in lieu of paper towels, you will be able to not only significantly cut down on your household’s use of this paper product, but you will also be able to see a marked difference in your household budget as you no longer shell out a small fortune every week.
A few other quick tips to help your kitchen be a much more green-friendly part of your home:
- Run the dishwasher only when it is full
- Use eco-friendly dish detergents
- Use eco-friendly cleaning products like vinegar and baking soda
- Grill outdoors during the summer to avoid raising the temperature in your home
Once you have successfully gone Green in your kitchen, you will be well on your path towards a more eco-friendly home!