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How-To: Go Green in the Kitchen Without Spending Money

So, you've learned how to go green in the bathroom without spending any money. But you shouldn't stop there! There's still more eco-friendly business to be done around the house. The kitchen is a hog when it comes to energy use and water consumption, so you should be particularly careful there. To learn some tips for going green in the kitchen without spending a penny,


  • First of all, I shouldn't have to tell you this, but recycle! Learn what not to recycle and which plastics are recyclable.
  • Don't use anything disposable if you have a reusable alternative. That means, use microfiber towels instead of paper towels; porcelain or china dishware and utensils instead of paper or plastic; cloth napkins instead of paper napkins, etc.
  • Use your city's curbside compost.
  • Use your microwave instead of your stove top or oven whenever possible. It's more energy efficient. But, don't use plastics in your microwave, which can potentially leach chemicals into your food.
  • Do some Spring cleaning and organize your kitchen storage containers so that you're more likely to use it for leftovers. Cooking at home cuts down on wasteful packaging.
  • Use household supplies to make homemade and eco-friendly cleaning solutions.
  • Prevent phantom energy loads by plugging your kitchen appliances into a power strip.
  • Run your dishwasher on a full load, but not overloaded.
  • Use a tote bag you already own for grocery shopping instead of plastic bags.
  • Arrange grocery runs with neighbors or friends. It will make your errands more fun while cutting down on gas expenses. You may also be able to split bulk items with a friend, which will help you to save money. But obviously, don't shop unless you have to!


Join The Conversation
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
I guess it's convenient that my anally frugal habits (re-using ziploc bags) just happen to be eco-conscience as well. I just think that this is a fad and everyone is jumping on the band wagon because it's "bad" if you don't. I've been using a brita pitcher for as long as I can remember (def can't afford to be buying stupid bottled water all the time). Running your dishwasher on only a half load is stupid! Why would anyone do this? And I disagree with the stovetop. I'm assuming that the article is referring to an electric stove, but I would think that with a gas stove it'd be better to use that (and maybe cheaper). I've been wanting to do this as a test actually, to see which is cheaper - microwave, gas oven or toaster oven and which uses the least amount of energy. Because to cook a baked potato in 9 minutes, of which should take over 30, definitely means the microwave is using a ton of energy. As far as the grocery tote bags.... those are also extra things you need to wash out too. I re-use my plastic bags a lot and incorporate them into diy projects so I can justify that. And again, frugality has caused me to not buy paper plates or plastic utensils in a very very long time. I couldn't imagine using that stuff daily.
mademoiselle2009 mademoiselle2009 8 years
tidalwave-- if it's the fad you don't want to buy into, then i personally think you're just being stubborn. it's about caring for the planet so that years from now, the earth is a better place. respect your mother (earth)'s not even hard to change a few little habits, and did i mention switching over from something like plastic water bottles to a reusable bottle can save you literally HUNDREDS a year? sorry if i sound obsessive, but i care. i've gone green and will continue to be greener!
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 8 years
Oh! I never thought about the energy from the microwave vs. the stove.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
Am i the only person who really doesn't care about "going green"?
maleea maleea 8 years
These are pretty good tips, however I think I'm using most of them. The one, I don't think I can commit to is using the microwave instead of the stove or oven. There's just something about the microwave that weirds me out and I try to use it as little as possible. Also, I bike or walk to the grocery store so no need to worry about gas usage.
vunder vunder 8 years
I'd consider food and water waste in the kitchen too. People don't realize how much energy and water they are wasting when they allow food to spoil or they toss out usable stuff. And consider your water useage when washing, cooking, etc.
gothamgal gothamgal 8 years
Like these tips very much and aspire to do more.
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