From remodeling to everyday usage adjustments, there are many avenues one can take to build a more sustainable kitchen. And going green — besides being environmentally friendly — can significantly lower the energy costs of your home.
As we’ve explained before, investing in energy efficient appliances can make a large impact on the $130 billion of wasted energy every year. Along with energy efficiency there are other habits one can adopt to increase sustainability, like composting or setting up an herb garden. Efforts that you take to promote a sustainable lifestyle, such as the ones described below, will greatly improve not only the quality of your life, but the quality of the earth.
Indoor Herb Garden
Investing in a simple herb garden is a win for the environment, your budget, and your cooking. Herbs are an easy way to introduce more vegetation and flavor into your diet and are a gateway into gardening. Growing your own produce and supporting local famers lessens the energy expended from grocery stores shipping fruits and vegetables around the world.
To start a basic herb garden, find a place near a kitchen window that gets at least six hours of daily sunlight. You can use small starter plants from a gardening center or germinate seeds yourself by wrapping seeds in wet paper towel and storing in a clear plastic bag in direct sunlight. Get creative by using decorative planters and start your herb collection with frequently used ingredients like cilantro, parsley, and basil. Be sure to water your herbs regularly, at least an inch of water a week. Another option for growing herbs indoors is to invest in an Urban Cultivator, an indoor herb refrigerator that allows herbs, microgreens, and vegetables to flourish right in your kitchen.
As you get more comfortable growing herbs and incorporating them into your daily cooking, you can expand into growing different types of herbs and maybe even start to build a garden in the backyard to grow all your favorite fruits and vegetables.
Composting is another easy way to cut down on waste and support your budding herb garden. The average American family throws away 14% of food purchases every year, which translates to $600 of wasted food. One simple method of composting is to dig a small hole in the dirt of your garden and cover food scraps. Similarly, food waste can be combated by conventional composting in a simple heap or garbage can in your backyard.
Keep the compost bin on soil so microorganisms can help break down the waste. Similarly balance kitchen waste with dry materials like cardboard and leaves. As matter begins to decompose, check the base, dig out rotted material, and add water or more dry bulky material if your compost pile seems too wet or dry.
Cutting down on water usage in the kitchen can help abate water shortage problems and contribute to a more sustainable kitchen. Even changes to your daily lifestyle can help save water. For instance, wash vegetables and fruits in a large bowl and scrub them with a vegetable brush instead of using your faucet as a power washer. Likewise install a low-flow faucet on your sink. While conventional faucets flow at around 5 gallons a minute, low-flow faucets flow at 1.5 gallons per minute, saving significant water.
Similarly, you can save water and conserve energy by investing in appliances such as the Energy Star-qualified Classic Plus Dishwasher by Miele. Energy Star dishwashers are quieter and 15% more efficient than standard models. The Classic Plus Dishwasher has a variety of wash presets to make your dishes sparkle and has an express setting to get the job done fast, all without sacrificing a drop of water.
Want to learn more about creating a sustainable kitchen? Contact H&H Appliance Center today at (609) 426-1111 to learn more, or visit our showroom.