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How to Keep your Kitchen Eco-Friendly

If sustainability and eco-friendliness are important values to you, then it’s best to start with your own home. And there’s no better place to start than your kitchen. As one of the most frequented rooms, the kitchen can play a major role in the overall sustainability of your home. The following are some tips and advice to help homeowners keep their kitchen as eco-friendly as possible:

1. Use Recyclable Materials
One common eco-friendly tip is to avoid synthetic materials in favor for more natural alternatives. This is especially true for the kitchen, where there are numerous opportunities to switch to recyclable, sustainable materials. For example, instead of purchasing plastic or ceramic dinnerware, alternatives made with wood or recycled glass are viable, eco-friendly options. Wooden cooking utensils and clay pots are options that can add a natural look to the kitchen. The use of recyclable materials can also extend towards linens and aprons – by choosing organic cotton or fibers, you can create a more sustainable kitchen environment.

2. Go for Energy Efficiency
An easy, quick way to make a kitchen eco-friendly is to check whether the use of electricity is energy efficient. Lighting is one major concern - instead of using incandescent bulbs, switching to florescent light bulbs are a great way to use less energy in the kitchen. Not only do these bulbs save energy, they also last longer, saving money in the long run. When choosing new appliances, another sustainable tip is to look for choices that are energy efficient. Many appliances are marked with a symbol or sticker that informs the consumer of whether the model is energy efficient or not.

3. Buy Local
One of the best ways to keep your kitchen eco-friendly is to purchase locally grown food. Produce and meats from major grocery stores require a great deal of energy and materials in order to keep them fresh in transit. However, farmers markets tend to rely on more sustainable methods in order to supply their local community. Not only will this help you reduce your ecological footprint, you’ll also be able to help small farmers and your local economy.

4. Switch to Natural Cleaning Products
If you check the list of ingredients used for everyday household cleaning products, they all contain a list of chemicals that are unknown and hard to pronounce. If you want to avoid the use of chemical based products, then consider switching to a sustainable option. Natural cleaning solutions such as vinegar and baking soda are a fraction of the cost of cleaning products, yet are just as effective. These alternatives are generally safer for children, animals, and the environment as well.

5. Make Use of the Space
As time goes on, a kitchen can have the tendency to move towards clutter and inefficient use of space. However, unfamiliarity with the kitchen floor plans can lend to a waste in space. Instead, try to keep your kitchen as organized as possible, as this will allow you to save money on misplaced items and goods. For example, assigning shelves and drawers with specific categories and keeping track of expired items can help homeowners make good use of their space. Organization practices such as these will help you know exactly where each item is located and promote healthy habits, creating a more sustainable kitchen in the long run.

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Christine Cooney loves learning about architecture, gardening, and unique house plans. Her goal is to devise family home plans for her own dream house.