The kitchen is often the heart of your home, where family and friends congregate. For some reason or other, it becomes a place of sharing wisdom and stories – sometimes over a cuppa or a glass of wine. This is an area where your energy consumption can be high.
Taking steps to reduce consumption, even small ones, and making them everyday habits can contribute overall to not only your budget but the wellbeing of the planet for tomorrow.
Above all, use energy efficient appliances, smaller appliances, and be stove smart.
1. Steam your vegetables
Use a steamer or a pot with enough water to simply steam your vegetables.
This will lock in flavor and goodness, conserve precious water and energy costs.
Make sure to use cookware that heats rapidly and evenly.
Tip: Cool any excess water after cooking the vegetables and keep for use as stock or to water your plants as it holds plenty of nutrients.
2. Invest in quality eco-friendly cookware
Consider ceramic cookware, i.e. PFTE and PFOA free nonstick pans. Ceramic is a natural inert material.
100% ceramic cookware will last you a lifetime with care and is versatile, being able to be taken from stovetop to oven and to the table for serving. Leftovers can then be stored in the refrigerator in the same pot for tomorrow’s reheating.
3. Use lids on saucepans when boiling or steaming
This will prevent heat loss and save you energy costs. Once the contents start boiling turn the heat down to low. With the lid on it will simmer away nicely.
4. Use the right sized pan for the cooking element
Having pots and pans cover the cooking element maximizes energy efficiency.
5. Clean away burnt food
Keep cooktops in good working order also maximizes energy efficiency.
6. Consider one-pot cooking
Stews or pot roasts require only one cooking element.
Tip: Crock pots are ideal.
The fewer pots and pans also mean less cleaning up!!
7. Cool food before freezing
This will reduce the energy requirements of the freezer.
8. Fill kettles and electric jugs just enough for your needs
Boiling water in electric kettles/jugs is more efficient than using the stove top.
9. Refrain from opening your oven door
When baking or roasting set a timer and avoid opening oven door as much as possible to prevent heat and energy loss.
10. Refrain from the unnecessary opening of refrigerators and freezers
This results in energy loss.
11. Keep your refrigerators and freezers in good working order.
Defrost regularly. Frost should not be more than 6 mm.
Repair broken seals to reduce energy leakage.
Extra Tip: If a piece of paper placed between the door and the seal moves in and out easily, the seal isn’t working. Check whether the door might need adjusting or if not, replace seals.
12. Have a drink dispenser on the bench
Fill it with iced water in summer. Add slices of lemon for refreshment.
A large container of cool water saves on energy loss with repeated refrigerator opening.
Everyone loves the easy access to refreshments during hot weather. Great with visitors or children.
Just the thing for entertaining.
Drink dispensers with a spigot for easy access are ideal, like this one.
13. Use smaller appliances
For example, use toasters instead of the stovetop or grill to toast bread and buns. Use manual knives that are sharp and suited to the job rather than an electric knife.
This will save on energy costs.
Toasters are much quicker at toasting as well.
14. Turn off lights on leaving the room
Make turning off lights when not in use your first habit.
15. Wait until the dishwasher is full before running
Keep dishwasher in good working order to save having to redo the load.
Clean the filter of the dishwasher regularly.
16. Use timers on appliances
You will avoid overcooking and save on energy use.
Use timers to save burning your stuff and having to do it again! darn.
17. Use manual knives
Use knives that stay sharp for longer rather than electric knives.
18. Compost organic waste
Have a compost for your kitchen scraps (fruit and vegetable scraps only). A small stainless steel compost bin to collect scraps is perfect for the kitchen bench. A top indoor compost bin includes a charcoal filter to reduce odors, like this one.
If you are wanting to know more, you can measure the impact of our energy use on the environment here. There is also a section on reducing your impact.
- 1. Steam your vegetables
- 2. Invest in quality eco-friendly cookware
- 3. Use lids on saucepans when boiling or steaming
- 4. Use the right sized pan for the cooking element
- 5. Clean away burnt food
- 6. Consider one-pot cooking
- 7. Cool food before freezing
- 8. Fill kettles and electric jugs just enough for your needs
- 9. Refrain from opening your oven door
- 10. Refrain from the unnecessary opening of refrigerators and freezers
- 11. Keep your refrigerators and freezers in good working order.
- 12. Have a drink dispenser on the bench
- 13. Use smaller appliances
- 14. Turn off lights on leaving the room
- 15. Wait until the dishwasher is full before running
- 16. Use timers on appliances
- 17. Use manual knives
- 18. Compost organic waste