By Jennifer Birch
As the effects of climate change continue to show themselves through relentless typhoons, expansive wildfires, harsh winters and intense heat waves, more and more people are starting to lead sustainable lives. Aside from practicing minimalism and supporting eco-friendly brands, one of the ways you can practice sustainability is by monitoring the energy you use at home — starting with your kitchen. Here are some of the ways you can do just that:
Being mindful of the utensils you use
Over the years, kitchen appliances have become more efficient. Most of the time, the best and the newest model brandish technologies that are able to serve the same functions as their predecessors without requiring the same amount of energy. However, an article by Energy Saving Trust emphasized how increases in size can easily cancel out some of the possible energy saving you can get from average-sized kitchen gadgets. This is the reason why it is important to opt for devices whose size is just right for you and your needs. Aside from size, it also pays to be mindful of the kind of cookware you use. For instance, glass, ceramic and cast iron are perfect for oven use since they retain heat more efficiently — thereby eliminating the need to turn the hobs up so high.
Sticking with appliances that serve multiple purposes
Thanks to the ever-evolving nature of technology, we now have smart kitchen appliances for almost every kitchen-related task one could ever think of. This reality makes it tempting to buy the latest one whenever they hit the market. The problem with giving in to this temptation is that most of the time, a large number of kitchen appliances require a great deal of energy. This is where gadgets that serve multiple purposes can come in handy. Instead of having a separate steamer, food warmer, electric slow cooker, sterilizer and electric pressure cooker, why not just buy a rice cooker that can double as all the mentioned appliances? Doing so will not only save you from buying six different devices but also allow you to save up energy. Much of the rice cookers that also function as multi-cookers out there have features that reduce cooking time by 70% and use materials that distribute heat more efficiently.
Buying tools that have an Energy Star rating
With so many kitchen tools marketing themselves as energy-efficient, finding the right ones that will truly cut your energy costs can be hard. Fortunately, there is a government-backed organization that provides unbiased ratings on appliances. Devices that have earned the Energy Star symbol have undergone the strict energy-efficient criteria set by the US Environmental Protection Agency or the US Department of Energy. This ensures that each one of them uses less energy, can save users money on their electricity bill and help protect the environment by reducing emissions from their production. One of the electric products in your kitchen that should have the Energy Star symbol is your refrigerator, since they are at least 15% more efficient than the minimum federal efficiency standard.
Being mindful of your cookware’s size and kind, sticking with appliances that serve multiple functions and buying electric products that have the Energy Star rating are only some of the ways you can save energy costs in your kitchen and lead a more eco-friendly life. For more tips on how to transfer that same enthusiasm to the way you eat, check out our post “Eat Weird Plants To Save The Earth“.