Face it folks, green is the new black. Well, not just the color, but also the lifestyle! More and more people are becoming enlightened of their adverse impacts on poor Mother Earth. Yes, factories and industrial plants are culprits who have been rendering her asunder but guess what? We are guilty too. The carbon emissions from our cars, the vast amount of plastic bags and containers alike that we throw out, the trees that we cut down: each one of us has played a part in this dreadful ploy.
It’s only right that we play our part in amending our carbon footprints so what better place to start off from then our own homes? The kitchen is where we utilise the most energy and natural resources hence; it is a worthy goal to achieve a green kitchen.
Start with the food you bring into your kitchen
Buy more local produce than food grown overseas to save on the fuel that was spent bringing it to your market’s shelves. Locally grown food stays fresh for much longer and is generally cheaper.
Buy foods that guarantee a pesticide free environment. Pesticides not only compromise the quality of the food you eat but also harm the earth when it seeps through the soil and into bodies of water.
Bring a reusable bag to the market. Despite BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag) campaigns, many Singaporeans still request for plastic bags at checkout counters. Bringing your own bag helps the environment and your pocket.
Recycle, recycle, recycle
Yes, it’s this ubiquitous dictum again but it really helps. Recycling your raw vegetable food scraps as fertilizer allows you to throw out less garbage at the end of the day. Using old plastic bottles to water your plants or even house your plants stops you from throwing out more plastic. Cartons and boxes from your food products can be used to keep trinkets and other items.
Drink water from your home
Instead of buying bottles of water from stores, invest in a good water filter system at home. A filtration system not only gives you peace of mind in terms of quality and sanitisation, it helps you save lots of money in the long run and eliminates the disposal of hundreds of non-biodegradable plastic bottles.
Your cleaning supplies don’t have to come in a fancy bottle and an even fancier name. Cleaning supplies often contain chemicals like butyl cellosolve; a harmful chemical suspected to cause liver, testicular, kidney damage and even death of embryos. Even with their lids closed, chemicals like these can escape and permeate the air to harm your family. Choose brands that offer natural, green solutions or make your own cleaning solutions with a simple concoction of baking soda, equal parts water and vinegar.
Healthy cabinets are a healthy you
Believe it or not, most cabinets are a source of air contamination. Pressed wood cabinets contain a carcinogen called formaldehyde that has said to cause learning disorders in children, among other adverse health effects. The chemicals in the wood can off-gas over the years and expose you and your family to dangerous fumes. To avoid such hazardous effects, go for cabinets made with no or low-VOC ingredients. These cabinets are friendlier to the environment and your health.
When you buy appliances for your kitchen, look out for ones that are energy-efficient. These eco friendly appliances are endorsed by ENERGY STAR, an initiative dedicated to making sure appliances use as little energy as they can afford. Opt for appliances that have more ‘ticks’ for being environment friendly. Be wise and buy only what you need; there is no need to buy a huge refrigerator if you’re only a family of 4. Smaller appliances require less electricity so you save money monthly too.
It takes time and effort to make the switch to a green kitchen. The fact that you read this article shows that you want to make a conscious effort so, good on you! Green your kitchen up slowly and steadily so that when the day comes, you can proudly proclaim: “My kitchen is a green kitchen!”