8 Ways to Go 'Green' in Your Kitchen
How can you create a more environmentally friendly kitchen?
5. Buy Products With Less Packaging continued...
It's difficult to avoid food packaging completely, so when you find yourself
with boxes and plastic trays, be sure to recycle them (if your recycler accepts
them). Just fold up the boxes so they lie flat in your recycling bin.
The two worst packages in the grocery store, in my opinion, are the cans
that cannot be recycled or reused: pressurized whipped cream cans, and
cooking-spray cans. Instead, whip up cream fresh with your mixer, or use a
product like Cool Whip Light that comes in a recyclable container. And instead
of cans of cooking spray, get some refillable metal or plastic oil sprayers
from companies like Misto or Pampered Chef.
6. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
Find out how to recycle in your area -- what the recycler accepts, whether
it needs to be sorted, and where you can go to recycle. In many cities, the
garbage company picks up your recycle bin on your curb, just like it does your
You can make it easy to recycle in your kitchen by finding a convenient spot
(perhaps under or next to the sink) where you keep a small garbage can to
collect recyclables. Every day or two, a family member can bring the recycling
from the kitchen to the larger bin or can outside.
7. Plan Ahead to Minimize Trips to the Market
Keep your kitchen well stocked so you don't have those make those
last-minute grocery runs that waste both gas and time.
And be open to using ingredient substitutions in your recipes when possible. For
example, use the shrimp you have in your freezer instead of chicken, or the
reduced-fat cheddar in your dairy drawer instead of the jack cheese called for
in the recipe. Dried cranberries work instead of raisins in most recipes. If
you're out of baking power, mix 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon
cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar to substitute for each teaspoon of
baking powder. If you're baking a cake and are short of eggs, substitute 3
tablespoons light or low-fat mayonnaise for each egg.
8. Eat Red Meat Less Often
When you're sitting down to a burger or barbequed steak, you probably aren't
thinking about the fact that cattle belch. And when they belch, out comes
methane gas, which is 23 times more potent at trapping heat in our atmosphere
than carbon dioxide, says Michael Jacobson, PhD, executive director for the
advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Further, livestock manure is the source of two-thirds of man-made nitrous
oxide, a greenhouse gas that's 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide, says
Jacobson, author of Six Arguments for a Greener Diet. According to
Jacobson, the raising and eating of livestock not only pollutes water, air, and
soil, it's responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions -- a higher
share than transportation emissions.
So even if you're not ready to cut out red meat completely, cut down on the
number of meals that feature meat. Try using meat as an accent instead of the
main attraction of your meal. That might mean serving a stir fry, salad, or
casserole instead of a steak or chop. And go meatless for one meal a day.