Go Green in the Kitchen

The phrase “Going Green” is a fancy way of encouraging us to become more environmentally aware and everyone is doing it. The local university where I work is “Going Green,” making recycling cans more available on campus, my woman’s magazine has an article on going green, going green is on the television during television programming and commercials and we hear about it on the radio.

Going green is a good thing because in some cases it helps you save money and most of the time going green helps you save the environment. Not only should we be going green in our workplace and places of education, but in our homes as well. There are many things small things we can do in the name of going green that won’t take much time and will really help out if we all do it.

Going green in our kitchens is a good place to become environmentally conscious in our homes. First starters, find out exactly what your township recycles. Don’t just go on what you think because there may be more things than you realize. Than set up a recycling station, preferably next to the trash can, to make it simple for family members to go green and recycle. Place a trash can for cans and bottles out along with a brown paper bag to recycle all paper and mail.

If you have room, set up another can for compost. You can put all cut up foods and leftover scraps like the tops of Romaine Lettuce, the skin of cucumbers and plenty of other things. This saves space in our local landfills and helps the fertilize the soil on our property, producing rich grass and beautiful flowers.

When it comes to water, going green is really important. Not all countries have water in access the way we do in the United States and we really should be more mindful of saving it, not to mention trying to keep our water bills down. It’s as simple as running the dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand and running it only when it is absolutely full. If you need to hand wash dishes, wet the item and then turn off the water while you wash it instead of letting precious water run down the drain for no reason.

Keep electricity to a minimum. Sure you need to see what you are doing, but if you are working on the counter, the lights under the cabinets is sufficient. You don’t need every light in the room on. And if you are going to turn on the lights, use General Electrics new Smart light bulbs. They use 70 to 75 percent less energy than regular bulbs and last 10 times longer. You’ll save money on your electricity bill and will be closer to living a green life.

Forget the paper napkins. Often times when I sit down to have a dessert I’ll put out paper napkins and only wipe my mouth once then they get thrown away. What a waste and it’s filling up our dumps. Get pretty cloth napkins instead than can be washed and reused.

Reduce the amount of mail that you bring into the kitchen to be recycled by visiting the Greendimes website. Once you sign up, it reduces the amount of junk mail that you receive.

To clean the counters and the floors, use a natural all purpose cleaner by one of many new popular cleansing products that were created in the name of going green. Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyers Cleaning Supplies, and Method Home, are just a few of the new product lines that offer environmentally safe cleaning products. They are non-toxic, biodegradable, do not create fumes, and are safe around pets and kids, for a greener home.

And stop buying all those disposable water bottles! We really don’t need an individual water bottle every time we want water. If you feel you need to take water with you, stick with a green mentality and buy a durable water bottle that can be reused.

Now this is going to sound a little cheap, but if you use a piece of foil in the oven and it doesn’t get dirty, save it and reuse it. If you use plastic bags to bring your snacks for lunch to the office every day, save them and reuse them too, particularly if you having the same dry cereal or crackers tomorrow. The bags will be in fine shape to reuse.

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