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Green Habits are Clean Habits: Starting in the Kitchen

What takes a slight adjustment of lifestyle can help save, not only Mother Nature, but your own health and wellness. There are a variety of small steps you can take to improve your carbon footprint. Start in the kitchen—your place for family gathering and socializing. Why we always end up in the kitchen is hard to say. Fact is: If someone is cooking or cleaning, family and friends seem to crowd around the island and pull up counter height stools to join the chef in conversation. What better place to go green first?

Stock Organic Foods

Fill your cabinets and refrigerator with locally grown and organic foods. This means adding fresh food products that have not been fed or dusted pesticides for abnormal growth or preservation. The term ‘local’ can mean a wide variety of things to different people, start by visiting local farmer’s markets and co-ops in your area. Look for organic products in your local grocery store.

Use a Composter

Turn your food scraps, certain garbage and decaying matter into fertilizer that can be deposited back to the earth. Composting is an especially good decision if you, a friend or family member tend to their yard or garden because “compost provides the correct balance of solid matter, moisture and air,” reports organicauthority.com. Where do you start? You can either buy your own composter or save your scraps and take them to a compost waste center in your area.

Clean Green

Put your eco-happy gloves on and clean with green products. Whether you buy environmentally friendly, biodegradable contained cleaning products from the store or make your own cleaning concoctions, keeping your kitchen non-toxic might be the best thing for you and your family’s health. From counter disinfectant to dish soap, scrub your home clean with natural products.

Reduce Plastic

Begin by taking reusable grocery totes to the market (or any store for that matter) and eliminate the clutter of plastic grocery store bags. Not only does plastic break down over time, but it’s more likely to absorb toxic chemicals and food contaminates. Replace plastic cutting boards with wood. Eliminate plastic wrap and containers by using glass containers in replacement. And, most importantly, get rid of the the individual water bottles by using water purifiers and stainless steel or glass bottles.

Check Your Appliances

With a growing awareness of the importance of saving energy comes the abundance of energy-efficient appliances. Energy Star rated products help the environment and save you money, too. If you aren’t ready to replace your appliances just yet, take simpler steps, recommended by epicurious.com, and replace your refrigerator seal; fill your refrigerator and freezer with non-plastic water containers or ice packs because the fuller they are, the less the beast has to work; cool down hot dishes before storing them in the fridge. Also, outdoor grilling is a good alternative to indoor cooking to save on energy costs and emissions.

Turn Off the Faucet

Does it bother you when someone is washing the dishes and they leave the faucet running the entire time? Earth has only so much H2O and, as the climate changes, our water supply is threatened. We can save water so easily by filling a bowl and using that water to wash dishes. Using the dishwasher can actually save on water usage, just remember to hand dry them.

Clean Your Sponges

Think about how often your using a sponge to clean dishes and wipe counters…kind of makes you crinkle your nose, huh? It’s the perfect reaction because the sponge might just be the dirtiest tool used to keep things clean, according to organicauthority.com. They report that when two microbiologists from the University of Arizona Tucson conducted a study and tested sponges and household rags, the scientists found two-thirds of them to be alive with common bacterium such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas. Ew, right? Pop your wet sponges in the microwave or dishwasher, or completely replace them. These are just small steps but they can make a huge impact on your health and your wallet.

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One Response to “Green Habits are Clean Habits: Starting in the Kitchen”

  1. Steve Brandmeier Says:

    A good article raising some important points. I especially think that Supermarkets should take a lot more responsibility for their packaging. If at all possible I now buy as much food stuff in ‘loose’ form and use paper to wrap it in and bring it home.

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