Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Keeping it cheap and Green: Kitchen Edition

There are LOTS of things you can do in your kitchen that are green, but also cheap (which we're all looking for in this economy). Let's get right to it:

1) Unplug all small appliances not in use. They are phantom energy users. I unplug my toaster and coffee maker unless I am using them.

2) Install sink faucet aerators on your sink to save on water usage.

3) Run your dishes on the "light" setting (as opposed to heavy duty) and let them air dry instead of heat dry.

4) Cook using your microwave or a crockpot. Both use much less energy than your stove...and the bonus is the crockpot adds some heat to the house in the winter.

5) Keep small recycling bins in your kitchen. We have one for paper, one for plastics/glass and a small compost container. Our large containers are in the garage. When we use the small containers and wait for them to be full before taking them to the garage, we'll be saving heat from opening the door once instead of multiple times.

6) Use homemade, cheap and green kitchen cleaners...some great "recipes" can be found here. You can make your own healthy, green cleaners for pennies.

7) Use stainless steel cookware. Teflon pans are easier, but if the teflon gets scratched or there is a break in the treflon surface, those chemicals are released into your food. Stainless steel is more expensive, but a better buy in the long run instead of replacing the cheap teflon pans that'll end up in a landfill.

8) Switch to an extra absorbent kitchen towel. I have two from Trader Joe's. Great for wiping up small spills, washable and reusable. They've saved me a ton of money by using them instead of paper towels, not to mention eliminating the waste. And speaking of paper towels, we use a regular kitchen towel that hangs on the oven to dry hands after washing- not paper towels.

9) If you can afford the investment, get a small, energy star freezer. This is great for leftovers, cooking ahead and freezing and stocking up good deals from the grocery store.

And the groceries...well, that's another post altogether!

What other kinds of things do you do in your kitchen that are cheap and green?

2 comments:

Nancy said...

In addition to stainless steel, cast iron is great too and so CHEAP to find at garage sales, flea markets, etc. If you keep them seasoned, then they are no stick! I have a bunch from both of our grandmothers. Not only are they earth friendly & work well, they are sentimental.

Cheap Like Me said...

We do just about all of these, too, and I was going to add the cast-iron comment as well. I put a timer on my coffee maker because it has a built-in hot water heating tank -- this way it only works enough to heat up our water for one pot of coffee, instead of keeping it hot all day. I estimated it will save us $80 or so a year!