I am one of the many people who can attest to the fact that the green lifestyle is neither difficult nor expensive. When I first began making some changes to go green, I tried to focus on the easy steps to be eco-friendly. As a mother, I usually spend more hours in the kitchen than the rest of my family, so I thought, why not start going green from there?
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Yes, I have discovered a lot of green alternatives in my own kitchen and I didn’t even need to look far. Surprisingly, these green alternatives are not just eco-friendly but economical at the same time. Now, for me those two reasons are enough to convince me that green living is the way to go.
Consider these practical steps that you can also incorporate in your own home. You might be aware of some of these ideas or you might be already doing some of these habits. If you’ve found a step that you’ve never tried before, I suggest that you give a try too and you might find it a practical and helpful solution in your kitchen.
Use non-toxic household cleaners: Most of what I need to clean my home is right there in the cupboard or in my refrigerator. These natural cleaners such as vinegar, baking soda, and lemon or lime are not just effective, eco-friendly cleaning agents, they are also safer for my family’s health.
Wipe surfaces with cloth towels instead of paper towels. We must conserve the use of paper as much as we can. To clean surfaces, it’s best to use cloth towels instead of paper towels. Rags can be made out of old towels or shirts and once they get dirty, you can just wash them and re-use them.
Reuse glass jars and containers: Recycle or repurpose empty jars and containers. These jars can be sterilized and re-used to make homemade spreads and preserves. Bottles can be used as flower vases. Jars and plastic containers can be made into storage for small knick-knacks such as buttons, pens, pins, rubber bands, and other supplies.
Use CFL lamps to light up the kitchen and your home: We have replaced all out incandescent lamps with compact fluorescent lamps which are efficient energy-savers because these lamps only use one-fifth to one-third of energy. They are also budget-friendly because they last up to fifteen times longer than regular lamps.
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Use an energy-saver refrigerator: We have replaced our old refrigerator last year and we decided to purchase the Energy Saver appliance even though it is a bit more expensive than regular brands. If your freezer or refrigerator is worn out, it consumes more energy so you end up paying much on your monthly electricity bill. We feel that it was worth the money and we were right.
Fix the leaks: See to it that there are no leaks in the faucets and sink to avoid wasting water. Spending a few dollars on plumbing repair is definitely a smart investment because you get to save more on your water bill in the long run. And of course, it is an environmentally-friendly gesture.
Buy in bulk: We need to minimize the heap of plastic wastes thrown in the landfill. One practical way to do that is to buy in bulk. Instead of purchasing products in foil packs, it’s best to buy products contained in a larger container.
Use reusable shopping bags: When it’s my schedule to go to the supermarket, I bring with me several reusable bags so I won’t have to use non-biodegrable plastic bags. If each household would do the same thing, the pile of non-biodegrable plastic bags that end up the land fill can be dramatically reduced.
Buy organic ingredients: Support your local farmers and purchase organic ingredients as much as you can. Not only will you be doing a good deed for the environment but you will also be doing a lot good for your family. Organic food is of course cleaner, safer and healthier because no toxic chemicals have been used to produce them.
Start an herb garden in your kitchen: Most herbs can be grown in small pots and do not need a lot of attention. As long as you can spray them with water at least once a day and they receive sufficient sunlight from the kitchen window, your herbs should be fine.
I personally grow a couple herbs in my kitchen, the ones that I often use when I’m cooking such as Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Mint, Basil, and Parsley. I place the pots near the window sill so they can sunbathe in the morning. Occasionally, I put them outside when I’m not too busy.
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The best thing about growing an herb garden is that you’ll only have to reach out your hand and pick fresh herbs for your meals. You can be sure that it’s organic and you didn’t even have to spend a cent. It’s also a great way to teach your kids about plants because they get to see how they grow and how they’re taken care off.
Start your own organic compost bin: We have a large bin in our backyard for food scraps and for vegetable or fruit peels. Mix the compost with garden soil to speed up decomposition and after a few weeks, you’ll have instant organic fertilizer that you can use for your own garden or that you can even sell.