Eating green helps reduce your footprint on the environment, but having a green kitchen and incorporating energy-saving preparation habits are part of the equation, too. Whether you want to take small steps like reducing paper and plastic waste, or large ones, like composting your food scraps, there are ways for everyone to go green. Here are some tips:
- Buy foods in bulk instead of in small pre-wrapped packages. Instead of buying seasoned asparagus wrapped in a package, buy a whole bunch and season it yourself. If you usually buy grains (oatmeal, rice, dry beans) in a small package, buy them from the bulk shelves and store in reusable glass containers. They are prettier in your pantry too.
- Plan your meals so you only shop once each week. Think about how much time you’ll save by grocery shopping only one day a week. You’ll probably save money, too, by not falling to temptation every time you go to the store.
- Keep a reusable shopping bag in your trunk.You will never forget it if it stays in the car. If you still need extra bags, recycle them after you get home.
- Cook once and make it last. Being energy efficient is part of being green, so use your stove or oven less. Roast a baking sheet full of vegetables and eat them for lunch and dinner early in the week. Boil eggs for breakfast, salads or snacks. Make a soup that will last for more than one meal. Bake chicken that you can shred and use in a second and third dish.
- Grow your own green. Plant an herb garden. Did you know you don’t need dirt to grow herbs? AeroGrow has inside herb gardens that last about four months (they really work). With lots of fresh water and fluorescent lights, herbs like basil, thyme, dill and parsley will be ready for use two weeks after planting. Keeping your own herbs saves money from having to buy a package of tarragon when you only need two sprigs. And it will avoid the plastic container it comes in.
- Carry a Brita water bottle. You have seen Brita filters in refrigerators or hooked onto faucets, but now Brita has a water bottle with a filter inside. Reuse and refill all day knowing your water is clean and pure.
- Buy some sturdy dish towels and napkins. Relying less on paper towels and paper napkins will reduce a lot of paper trash. Keep a good supply of cotton dish towels and napkins on hand, so you won't be running the washing machine every other day to replenish a low supply. Because that’s not very green either!