5 Things You Need for a Sustainable Kitchen
Almost every element of our lives has an ecological footprint, and our kitchens are no exception. While making a commitment to lessen your waste or incorporate green habits are important steps towards a more sustainable kitchen, there are a few little things that can have a big impact.
1. Eco-friendly appliances
From dishwashers to fridges, our appliances are a major contributor to household energy and water usage – as much as 30%.
Making the switch to a more sustainable appliance will not only help save the environment, but save you money on energy bills, too.
The Government’s Energy Rating Labels reflect an appliance’s performance on a 6-star scale, or up to 10 stars for super-efficient appliances.
If you’ve already given your appliances the green treatment, regularly check its condition – things like a broken seal on a fridge door can consume excessive energy if not replaced.
2. Appliance timers
Taking your sustainable approach to energy usage a step further, invest in some appliance timers to stop and start the supply of energy to your kitchen appliances.
While your fridge and freezer won’t qualify for interrupted power, consider installing a timer to turn off your dishwasher, benchtop appliances and anything else that uses electricity when they’re not in use.
Newer models of these energy-saving timers even link up to a smartphone app, to control your energy from wherever you are.
3. LED lighting
Not just for the kitchen, making the switch to LED lights throughout your home is another energy-saving and sustainable tactic to introduce.
LED lights reduce your lighting bill by up to 80%, significantly minimising your contributions to greenhouse gases in the process.
The NSW Government may even subsidise your switch from halogen downlights as an added incentive to upgrade to LED.
4. A sustainable benchtop
Picking a benchtop material involves consideration of your aesthetic and maintenance preferences, but should also take the environment into account.
Stainless steel, while easy to clean, usually involves a high energy input to produce. Laminate cannot be recycled and will likely end up in landfill.
More sustainable options include recycled timber (with natural finishing oils rather than a chemical sealant) or stone (which can be recycled, though source locally to avoid import implications).
Weigh up the maintenance of your preferred material with its environmental implications to find the benchtop that’s best for you.
5. Glass containers
Thinking on a more micro scale, minimising the use of plastic in your kitchen will set you up for years of more sustainable living.
Recycling glass jars and containers to hold staple dry goods or homemade sauces is cost-effective, while also reducing the amount of plastic entering your home.
For bonus points, pick up a reusable drink bottle – over a million plastic drink bottles have been purchased in the time it’s taken to read this article.