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Going Green: Penny Pinchin’ in the Kitchen

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A majority of my early childhood memories consist of sitting on the kitchen counter watching my parents cook exquisite meals together.   As I grew older, I slowly became more involved in their food adventures—something that served me well throughout college—and I developed my own love of food and cooking.  I have now graduated from school and relocated to Dallas, but my favorite room in my apartment is still the kitchen.

Did you know that 22 percent of your household’s energy consumption comes from your use of kitchen appliances?  Check out these tips to save money and help our Planet when using these tools:

Refrigerator & Freezer
If you’re like me, you don’t have children in your home, and your fridge might look a little bare at times.  Unfortunately, a near-empty fridge will run its cooling cycle more frequently, sucking up energy—and costing you more money.  Refrigerators run most efficiently when fairly full, so fill ‘er up! If you live alone and often have bare shelves, you can fill the extra space with water-filled containers (plus you’ll have water on hand in case of an emergency!).

Dishwasher

Only run a cycle when it’s full or YOU WILL  waste water, energy, and cash.  Do you have a time delay button?   Set the dishwasher to begin its cycle at midnight during off-peak energy hours.  You’ll save money on your energy bill since off-peak electricity tends to cost less, and you won’t have to worry about turning UP your TV to compete with the sound of the dishwasher!      

Ovens, Toasters & Toaster Ovens

Your oven uses more energy than most of your kitchen appliances, especially if it’s conventional.  Want a piece of toast?  Your toaster uses less energy than your toaster oven or oven, so reach for that first to conserve energy.  When using your oven, if two dishes only have a 20 to 30 degree difference in oven temperature, go ahead and cook at the lower or middle temperature and it won’t make much of a difference, but it will save a lot of energy.

Whether you love spending time in the kitchen, or just love the deliciousness that comes out of it, cutting down on energy consumption can help both your wallet and the Planet. 

Have any great tips for going Green in the kitchen?  What about fun recipes?  Let us know by commenting below or sending an e-mail to green@wnco.com.  DING! You are now free to be Green!