Do you love to cook?? Do you love being environmentally friendly ??? Well there is a way for you to be environmentally friendly while you are cooking!! We have all heard, BUY LOCAL, BUY LOCAL, BUY LOCAL !! BUT there are more things which you can do in the kitchen and while you are cooking which helps the environment. The environment needs our help and we have to try to do as much as we can to help the environment. In our homes, offices etc, so in this article I will tell you about how you can be environmentally friendly while you are cooking. I will also talk a bit about which kitchen utensils you can buy which helps the environment.
Preheating is something most stoves don’t need anymore. Many newer ovens come to temperature so quickly, they make preheating almost obsolete. If you're roasting or baking something you can be a little flexible when it comes to cooking time. For instance, you can put it in right away, then turn the oven off five or ten minutes early, and let dishes finish cooking in the residual heat.
Also when you are using the oven try to make two or three things at a time. The oven takes alot of energy so make it count by cooking a few things at a time. For small dishes, using a toaster oven, or reheating in a microwave will also save energy. In fact, Energy Star estimates that you can reduce cooking energy by as much as 80 percent when using the microwave instead of the oven. When cooking on the stove, using a properly sized pot for each of the stove burners also makes a difference; on an electric stove, for example, a 6-inch pot used on an 8-inch burner wastes more than 40 percent of the burner's heat. Make sure all of your pots and pans have close-fitting lids, then use them whenever possible including when you're bringing boiled water up to temperature which helps reducing cooking time and keeps heat where it belongs in the pan. Pressure cookers are another great way to save energy, reducing cooking time by up to 70 percent. But the most energy efficient cooking is eating cold food. For instance, salads, chilled soups, and other dishes that require little prep and can be eaten cold (http://www.treehugger.com/htgg/how-to-go-green-in-the-kitchen.html).
If you are making something which needs boiling water, an electric kettle is up to twice as efficient as a pot on the stove, says Kate Heyhoe, author of Cooking Green: Reducing Your Carbon Footprint in the Kitchen. “In addition to making tea, use an electric kettle to jump-start water for pasta, rice or steamed vegetables.” (http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/green-living/14-ways-to-be-an-eco-friendly-cook?slide=2)
A great tip for cooking is to cook with a slow cooker or a toaster oven to reduce electrical use from kitchen appliances. For instance, if a meal that requires one hour to cook on an electric oven it uses 2.7 pounds of C02, whereas a crockpot uses 0.9 pounds of C02 for seven hours, a toaster oven takes 1.3 pounds of C02 for 50 minutes, and a microwave only 0.5 pounds of C02 for 15 minutes of cooking. Therefore when it is possible try to use alternatives to the stove or oven. (http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-simple-and-cheap-green-ideas.html#ixzz3xrSdlcbl)
When cooking use reusable utensils, such as wooden spoons and mixing bowls. But there are more options out there for those of you looking to make your baking more sustainable. On the mixing bowl tip, there are brightly-colored Preserve nested mixing bowls. Preserve products are made with 100% recycled and recyclable plastic which is non-leaching and BPA-free. Another option is using bamboo, bamboo is an organic, fast-growing grass that actually generates more oxygen than trees. Also it naturally contains an anti-bacterial agent so you don’t have to use harsh chemicals when you’re cleaning it. Using reusable utensils helps the environment and you have great kitchen items which you can use numerous times. Definitely worth the money !!
These are some great green cooking tips you can use when you are cooking. Look at your kitchen as another way to help the environment; with these simple tips you can help the environment and learn a new cooking style. Maybe one or two days a week you can cook cold dishes so you do not have to use heat. It helps the environment and you can try something new. The best part of cooking is it allows you to be creative and it is alot of fun. You can use these tips to use the slow cooker more or buy great appliances and utensils which last and helps prevent waste. Try one tip or try them all ! Either way you are helping the environment.
Happy Green Cooking !!
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