5 Energy Efficiency Tips for a Green Kitchen
Happy Saint Patrick's Day! As the Irish say, "May your heart be warm and happy/ With the lilt of Irish laughter/ Every day in every way/ And forever and ever after."
Even if you aren't Irish, odds are you still celebrate this day, even if it's by simply wearing green so that you don't get pinched, or by enjoying a green beer with your friends after work. You might even check out this list of "17 Feel-Good St. Patrick's Day Films" if you're less into the bar scene and more into staying at home and watching Netflix. It doesn’t get much better than Sean Connery singing in the 1959 Disney movie, Darby O’Gill and the Little People.
Saint Patrick's Day is a day of celebration, so why not celebrate by going green... eco green that is! Because this day is basically synonymous with anything green, we thought we'd put some green back into your pockets and tip our hats to the environment at the same time.
Now you can finally stop saying "somewhere over the rainbow" when the thought of saving greenbacks comes to mind, and actually make it a reality with these five helpful tips for the kitchen. Don't feel that you have to tackle everything at once; it's totally okay to start small. Even if you're on a tight budget and can only make a few changes, you'll still see results! And those small results will lead to bigger ones.
5 Ways to Create a Green Kitchen
1. Reusable Paper Towels
While regular paper towels are the easy go-to for just about everyone, the harsh truth is that they're extremely wasteful. And while we're being honest, how many of you grab only one paper towel at a time? What if we said that you could save money and reduce your environmental footprint by instead using cloth towels or microfiber cloths? You can purchase a pack of 36 cloths for $17.00 or a pack of 16 regular paper towels for nearly $15.00.
It might be hard to imagine your life paper towel-free, but once you get the hang of it, it'll be difficult to imagine otherwise. Here's a breakdown from one paper-free family of how many paper towels a family of four uses on average:
- Use as napkins at meals = 84 sheets per week.
- Use as hand towel in the bathroom - (4 potty breaks a day x 4 people) = 112 sheets a week.
- Washing up before meals and before cooking (3 meals a day) = 105 sheets a week.
- Washing and drying fruits and veggies (assuming you eat them at each meal - which you should) = 63 sheets a week.
- Cleaning two bathrooms once a week = 20 sheets a week.
- Wiping down the kitchen after cooking = 42 sheets a week.
2. Glass Containers
It seems that every few months we're purchasing new plastic storage containers for our food. Like socks, the lids never seem to match the container, the containers crack, or they are accidentally thrown away or don't return to their home from work or school.
Consider transitioning from plastic containers to glass containers. Plastic containers are dangerous to use as they can emit poison into your food. Here are a couple more reasons why glass is better than plastic for storing food:
- Glass looks better.
- Glass preserves food better and enhances flavor.
- Glass reduces your environmental impact and saves energy on plastic’s inefficient recycling process.
- Glass helps change your mindset from throw-away to sustainability.
- Glass lasts much longer, saving you money in the long run.
- Glass cleans easier.
- Glass reduces food waste and eases food prep and serving.
3. Reusable Bags
While plastic bags from the grocery store are just so darn easy and convenient, they pose a threat to the environment in that they can take anywhere from 20 to 1,000 years to decompose! They clog drains, kill marine life, and pose numerous other threats to environment. And, the U.S. has to step up their game on recycling as only one percent of plastic bags is recycled.
To show your support for the environment, consider switching to reusable shopping bags! Your local grocery store should sell them if you don't already have a few tucked away in the attic or closet. Make sure to wash your reusable bags frequently to avoid any spread of bacteria. Leave plenty in the car so you never have to remember to bring them with you to the grocery store.
4. Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances
Trade in your old inefficient appliances with new, energy-efficient ENERGY STAR appliances. When you do this, you'll find that your pot o' gold has increased because of all the money you've saved by reducing your overall energy costs. As an added benefit, you can feel proud of the fact that you've contributed to reducing air pollution and conserving natural resources!
Great news! Energy Star appliances are abundant, which means you could upgrade your freezer, refrigerator, and dishwasher! So, why choose Energy Star? While the initial installation cost requires more upfront, you'll save money overtime because they require less energy and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to Energy Star, "If every appliance purchased in the United States this year were Energy Star certified, we would prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to those from 215,000 cars-and save $360 million in annual energy costs."
5. Fix Plumbing Leaks and Consider a Water Softener System
If you have a faucet that drips about once per second, you are wasting round 3,000 gallons of water a year. Even more surprising, about 10% of American homes waste more than 90 gallons of water a day due to easily fixable plumbing leaks (epa.gov). According to the EPA, the average U.S. home wastes more than 10,000 gallons of water a year due to plumbing leaks! Fixing these leaks will not only create a greener kitchen, but a greener wallet as well. Fixing these common leaks saves an average of 10% off your water bill.
In the case of a plumbing emergency, every homeowner and household member should know how to locate and shut off the main water valve to your home. Since your main water valve also has a leak detection dial, this is also where you can check for plumbing leaks.
Consider investing in a water purification and softener system for your home. This has many energy-efficient benefits, including:
- Reduced need for cleaning products
- Longer-lasting and more energy-efficient appliances
- Reduced need for cleaning water spots, mineral buildup, and stains
- Improved efficiency of entire plumbing system
- No more bottled water!
- Natural skin and hair conditioner
For the full list of tips on how to be mean green in the kitchen, go here!
Gold Medal Service wishes you a happy and “green” St. Patrick’s Day. If you are interested in kitchen remodeling, fixing plumbing leaks, water purification systems, or tankless water heaters, give the experts at Gold Medal Service a call today. Our expert technicians can detect and fix plumbing leaks, perform custom kitchen upgrades and remodeling services, and much more!
- Kitchen fixture and appliance installation
- Kitchen electrical lighting, wiring, and outlet placement
- Tile/Sheetrock work
- Ground fault and arc fault circuit protection
- Move, repair, and install drain and water lines
- Move air ducts and exhaust fans
- 3 years parts and labor warranty on most repairs.
You can reach us at (732) 365-3199 or schedule your appointment online.