Hi everyone! My name is Kelly Dyer; I’m a college student, environment lover and the author of “Kelly Green,” a blog about eco friendly living. One of the themes of my blog, “Kelly Green,” is creating change through simple, everyday swaps. Alexandra’s “Go Green Cuisine” also advocates for making changes in your daily routine, but focuses her efforts on the kitchen. While I absolutely love food, I can’t say I’m the best cook… I’ve been known to burn a thing or two (or twenty), and I’m not the best at following recipes. My philosophy when it comes to following directions is often, “eh who needs ‘em?” So I’ve decided to leave the cooking part to the expert at “Go Green Cuisine,” and instead I’m tackling some fun new tips for greening your kitchen experience!
So check out these easy ways to green up your kitchen routine:
Skip hand washing your dishes, use the Dishwasher instead – While it might seem counter-intuitive to recommend using kitchen appliances, the dishwasher is far more efficient than hand washing, and saves many gallons of water per wash. According to the Huffington Post, washing a 12 place setting load of dishes uses an average of 27 gallons of water, and 2.5 kilowatt-hours of energy to heat the water, which is equivalent to running a hair dryer for two and a half hours! Using an energy efficient dishwasher only uses about four gallons of water and 1.5 kilowatt-hours of energy.
Clean up your garbage disposal – A great way to re-purpose already squeezed lemons is to toss them into your garbage disposal. My mom always does this at home, and you would be amazed at how well it gets rid of weird kitchen smells. Added bonus, it’s a great way to reduce waste, and it’s completely all natural, no harsh cleaning chemicals needed!
Keep your pantry and refrigerator organized – A simple, but often forgotten tip is to put things that expire first in the front of your cabinets. Just yesterday, I grabbed a handful of almonds out of the back of my cabinet, took a not so yummy bite, and realized that they had expired in November…By keeping your cabinets organized, you can ensure that food isn’t being wasted, which is good for the planet, and for your wallet.
Shop with a plan – As a college student, I don’t often have the extra time to cook actual meals. There is nothing worse than spending the time and money grocery shopping, only to have the food go bad before you can use it. So it’s important to know what meals you will be preparing that week, and exactly what you will need to prepare them. When I head to the store without a plan, I usually end up with too many things I don’t need (Nutella) and too few things I do need (veggies). By creating lists of necessary ingredients for your weekly meals, you can ensure that you come home with the right things, and can quickly and easily prepare your recipes without excess waste.
Reuse leftovers – Leftovers can often be a little unappealing, but thinking of creative ways to dress them up is key. At home, we often cook vegetables in bulk, and re-purpose the veggies for many different meals that week. One of my favorite ways to reuse veggies is to toss cooked broccoli into a simple couscous or quinoa salad, so much tastier than a bowl of soggy veggies right? I also love turning extra mashed potatoes into potato pancakes, and you can even turn extra brown rice or other grains into veggie burgers.
So there you have it. Being green in the kitchen has never been so easy! By making these simple swaps, you can save lots of time, money and energy, and can feel good about your new eco-friendly kitchen habits.
Thank you to Alexandra of Go Green Cuisine for letting me guest post, and if you want to hear more eco-friendly tips like these, check out my blog, Kelly Green!