Friday, October 15, 2010

Going Green in the Kitchen!

I just thought that this Friday I'd offer a few tips on how to "go green" in the kitchen...and I'm not talking about eating your kale or broccoli... I'm talking, of course, about all those little choices you can make each day to make a difference to the environment. Many of these are obvious things... but hey... if we all did them all the time I'm sure that the world would be a cleaner place.

1. Use reusable shopping bags... a couple of years ago I didn't know anyone who used reusable shopping bags... most of us just felt superior at the store when asked "Paper or plastic?" and we opted for the paper (much to the annoyance of the clerk)... but the truth is the best choice is cloth or canvas. The production of paper bags is not green... it produces air pollution. Sure recycling is great... but reducing and reusing is a whole lot better!

2. Pack lunches using reusable bags and containers. Instead of buying all those prepackaged snacks or putting your kid's sandwich in a plastic bag... invest in a few containers that you can reuse time and time again. While you're at it leave out that bottled water or juice box and get a thermos or reusable water bottle.

3. Pay attention to packaging. Look for products that are packaged wisely. Sometimes it pays to buy in bulk... but only if your family will really use it. Buying things in bulk is usually a good idea due to the decrease in wasteful packaging... but if buying the super pack of paper towels encourages you to use more paper then go with the smaller package.

4. Recycle... I know... it is a no brainer... but it pays to take a look at what your curbside recycle bin can take... and look for other options to recycle what it won't. Our curbside service just expanded and will now take plastics and paper that they wouldn't in the past. In the past we had to take our colored plastics and some of our paper to a local service... now the city takes it all.

5. Compost kitchen waste if you have a garden. It's good for your garden... and while your out there plant some herbs and veggies... the more you grow the less you have to buy at the store. But once again garden wisely... if you live in Arizona think long and hard before planting something that requires a lot of resourses.

6. Buy organic and local... but use your brain about it. Sometimes a green label doesn't mean that it is really green. A six pack of organic milk in little plastic bottles may seem like a good idea for you kids lunch... but what about those 6 little plastic bottles? Buy a gallon of organic milk instead and put it in a reusable container.

OK... enough self righteous preachiness... it's time to go to my kitchen and wrap the entire contents of my fridge in plastic wrap while cleaning all my counter tops with toxic chemicals.

What do you do to make your kitchen more green?


  1. We try to implement green practices as much as we can at our home, recycling being the obvious. The kids have PVC-free lunch bags, reusuable beverage bottles and food containers and we use cloth napkins. I mostly buy clothing and home decor at thrift stores, reusing existing items. We compost and grow many vegetables, strawberries and raspberries. I use a lot of vinegar and baking soda for cleaning and buy environmentally safe cleaning products. We buy organic when possible and limit processed foods. We also use personal products without harsh chemicals. I choose local and buying in bulk when possible. I also keep reusable bags in the car and try to remember to bring them. The paper bags I do get, I use for wrapping packages.

    I teach my kids about protecting the environment and conserving resources so they will become good stewards for the earth.

    There is always more we can do, change and habits take time! Thanks for the good post!

  2. some great ideas for a greener kitchen - wish i had a garden to compost :)

  3. These are great tips. Even the ones we already know are good to be reminded of every once in a while.

    We use reusable shopping bags and keep some in the trunk of both cars. Our local grocery store just painted 'reminders' each parking spot so you'll see it as you're walking in and not forget your bag!



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