Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Environmentally Friendly Kitchen Tips

Earth Image Courtesy of NASA
I am taking a break from menu planning and formal cooking (but not from blogging) for a couple of weeks as I work on cleaning out my recently deceased father’s house. Although my Dad didn’t know much about environmentalism, and likely would have considered it a subversive leftist plot, he was quite an organic gardener. He spent much of his youth living on a farm. As his engineering career soared, we moved from the country to the suburbs, where only a small area could be planted. Still he cultivated tomatoes, lettuce, trees, and flowers, and my Mom shopped for produce at the local farm.

Cloth Napkins Saving Trees
Here’s the beginning of a list of ways that we can be kind to the environment while procuring, preparing, and eating foods. Please add your ideas too!
  • Buy organic produce: lowers pesticide use
  • Plant an organic garden: reduces pesticide and fossil fuel use
  • Compost: reduces landfill dumping, recycles nutrients into garden/landscape
  • Reduce, reuse & recycle paper, plastic & aluminum
  • Recycle veggie wash-water by pouring onto landscaping: conserves water
  • Eat vegetable protein, reduce or stop consumption of meat: conserves land & water resources, reduces greenhouse gases & fossil fuel consumption
  • Eat local fish in season, in moderate amounts: conserves fish & ocean biodiversity
  • Eat fish with sustainable, stable populations: allows fish to live to breeding age, conserves fish
  • Buy locally as much as possible, become 80% locavore: reduces fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas production
  • Conserve energy while cooking:
    • Substitute stovetop, microwave or slowcooker for oven
    • Use small convection oven to bake small items
    • When using oven, bake several dishes at once and/or consecutively
    • Cook large quantities, then reheat portions in microwave
    • Cook whole foods instead of pre-packaged, processed foods
  • Use cloth napkins
  • Use energy-efficient dishwater: conserves water
  • Fill dishwasher to capacity before using
  • Donate unused kitchen tools & appliances to Goodwill or similar
  • Consider buying used kitchen tools from flea markets, estate sales, etc.
  • Walk to the grocery store
  • Grocery shop while using the car for other nearby errands
  • Shop using cloth or recycled bags
 Any other environment-friendly tips from your kitchen?

No comments:

Post a Comment