Words and photography by Jordan River, working with JB Cookie Cutters
Everybody needs to do their bit when it comes to the environment, and there are a number of things you could probably already be doing in your kitchen. As time has gone on, More people have realised the responsibility we all have to be environmentally-friendly at home, and there are also many different ways in which you can do so.
What are some of the benefits of making the switch to eco-friendly appliances? Below, we explore some of the reasons you should consider switching your appliances.
Both water and energy are important resources that we don’t have an endless supply of, so it makes sense to reduce your usage whenever possible. This includes preventing the overuse that could be caused by some outdated appliances.
As well as being the right thing to do in terms of preserving materials and resources, it is fair to say that more efficient appliances can also save you money.
Energy costs are higher than ever and if you can use an efficient appliance that doesn’t require quite so much electricity or energy, you can also save on the next bill you might get. Even if you need to invest in the first place to buy a more eco-friendly appliance, it could be that the savings over the long term make it worthwhile.
Your carbon footprint is a way to track how much of an impact you are having on the environment. How much carbon use are you responsible for? Emissions can potentially get out of hand if you aren’t paying attention to your own carbon footprint, and one of the ways to reduce your guilt and work out a way to be kinder on the earth is to use appliances that are less demanding.
Eco-friendly appliances are often designed to be quicker and more simple to use than some of the older alternatives. It’s amazing how far technology has come in recent years, and this definitely includes a lot of kitchen appliances which can work more quickly than the old washer you’ve left in places since the 1990s.
10 Ways to Make Your Kitchen More Eco-Friendly
So, let’s dive into some of the ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint and potentially save yourself some money as well as doing what is right for the environment. If you are already making changes to your kitchen, it does not even need to be a particular upheaval to get some efficient appliances and make your kitchen more eco-friendly (it can also make it more saleable in the future).
Some people don’t even realise that there are many different kitchen products that could be damaging to the environment. A lot of kitchen cleaning products use very harmful chemicals and you might not even realise that you are releasing these into the air whenever you use them.
Fortunately, there is a big industry around eco-friendly kitchen cleaning products now. There are a lot of companies that used to put harmful chemicals in their cleaning products, but are now beginning to substitute these for more responsible options.
Single-use plastic products are a huge problem. It can take decades for plastics to degrade, and in some cases even longer than this. A lot of plastics end up in landfill or even getting dumped into the oceans. Look around your kitchen and you will see that there are a lot of single-use plastics in things like packaging for food and even food storage products. Think about the ways that you can be more sensible with your plastic use, and see if you can cut down or remove single-use plastics altogether.
The items you are using when preparing food can also make a difference, and buying quality products that can last a long time, and that are made out of great materials can make all the difference. Everything from eco-friendly cookie cutters to pots and pans can help you to stick to your responsibilities if you are able to buy products that last a long time (so won’t need replacing) and that are made out of the most responsible materials in the first place.
Coffee machines are all the range, especially pod-style coffee machines that make your life more convenient. You just put the pod in the machine, hit a button, and get a delicious coffee made for you. However, these pods are something that can cause a big problem for the environment.
As more and more people have started to realise that there is a problem with these coffee pods, there is a big movement towards using reusable filters, which can cut down hugely on plastic waste. Reusable filters can even be designed to fit into the slot where a pod would go, and release coffee in the same way.
The pod-style coffee machines are getting better, with reusable or at least recyclable options on the market.
Dishwashers are among the unique kinds of appliances that can have a huge impact due to the fact that they use a lot of water and a lot of electricity. This makes it all the more important that you get a modern dishwasher that is eco-friendly. The good news is that some modern dishwashers may use a lot less water than hand-washing and rinsing.
Always shop around and check the energy ratings on appliances before you make a purchase. There are a lot of dishwashers on the market now that can do an excellent job without causing too much wasted energy or water.
Induction cooktops are another example of technology improving and becoming more eco-friendly. The induction design is much better than many of its predecessors when it comes to environmental impacts. An induction cooktop can use less energy which means lowering the costs, too, and also reduces fewer potentially harmful substances. In this way, it really is a win/win for anyone looking for a new cooktop in their kitchen.
Your refrigerator is on 24/7. This means that it is crucial that you are not using excess energy in order to keep your food and drink cool.
Modern refrigerators are getting better all the time, and this means some even use smart technology in order to let them track how full the fridge is and how much energy they need to use at any given time. Combine this with the fact that modern refrigerators tend to be generally better when it comes to using less electricity, and you may decide it is time for an upgrade. Refrigerators made 10-20 years ago are simply not likely to offer this same level of modern efficiency.
Window coverings should be made out of materials that are responsibly sourced, as well as providing an opportunity for plenty of light and heat to enter the room when required. The coverings should also be a good way to block out the sun on hot days, helping to save on the costs of HVAC services.
Custom window coverings can be made specifically for your kitchen space, giving you the perfect shape and size and allowing you to save energy.
Like anything else in your kitchen, you should ensure that your blinds and curtains come from a responsible source, which means that they are made out of quality and renewable materials.
Your kitchen cabinets should certainly be built-to-last, and made out of excellent materials. When choosing the best cabinetry materials for kitchen spaces, think about how long it is likely to last, as well as where the materials have been sourced. Deforestation is a big problem, and quality, renewable sources of wood are essential when getting your kitchen cabinets made.
A kettle needs to heat very quickly, and sometimes this can put a lot of strain on the electric usage. It may mean that an electric kettle is actually quite a demanding appliance, even though it is small. If you like to use the kettle a lot to prepare coffee and tea then you should think about whether it is eco-friendly. Some are even insulated to allow the water to stay warm longer, meaning you don’t need to re-boil it for hot water quite so often.
Electric dryers can also embrace eco-friendly methods in order to dry your clothing. There are some older models of dryer that are not as well-made, and the modern options tend to be far better at circulating the air and drying in an environmentally-friendly way. Some can even connect to things like air source heat pumps, reducing the need for electricity that has come from fossil fuels, for instance.
About the Author
Jordan River is an experienced baker with a background in event management. She went into a marketing and customer care, working with JB Cookie Cutters to educate and share her experience. She’s had her fair share of kitchen and cooking tools and knows exactly what works best and why.
Before she started writing, Jordan got a degree in marketing and communications. She is a mom of two, so when not writing, she loves cooking and testing new recipes, improvising in the kitchen, and creating unique things that turn into family events.