How we eat, cook and store food contributes greatly to
the kitchen-carbon-footprint we make daily.
Energy is wasted by way of the appliances we have and how we
use them. We throw away food that should be composted and
so many products end up in the landfills.
Alot of this is fairly innocent. We all do things everyday
without even thinking.
We need to be made aware of our wasteful habits, and become
more educated about how things work. There are so many good
tips that we can apply to begin to ensure that we decrease
our kitchen-carbon-footprint as much as humanly possible.
Refrigerators use more energy than any other appliance.
Refrigerators use up to 11% of household energy, and the
older models can use up to 14% of your total household
electricity use. It’s one of the biggest contributors
to the depth of your kitchen-carbon-footprint.
Check the door seal. Use the paper test. Stick
a piece in the door and close it. If you can’t pull the
paper out, the seals are good. If you can, you are losing
Do not over-fill. You will not have circulation
and maximum efficiency.
Clean the coils at the back at least once per year,
and make sure there is good air circulation between the
back of your fridge and the wall.
Keep away from heat. Keep away from vents, rads
and other appliances like the stove and dishwasher.
Don’t leave fridge doors open. Be brief. It takes
energy to cool warm air that gets in.
Cold items only. Put cold items back in quickly,
and don’t put hot foods inside. Cool them first. Cover
the food with plastic. Moisture released from uncovered
food makes the compressor work harder.
Clean it out regularly. Keep it organized and
provide good air circulation.
Optimum temperature should be 35-38F (1.7-3.3C)
This ensures food safety and maximum efficiency.
Check the temperature with a glass of water and a
thermometer set up on the middle shelves.
Defrost in the refrigerator. Frozen foods in the
frig help to maintain coolness.
Get rid of old models.Buy better energy performers
because they meet governmental standards and regulations.
They are better insulated, have more efficient compressors, &
better door seals which all contributes to the improvement
of energy efficiency.
Note – As of April 2009, Energy Star Refrigerators are
required to be 20% more efficient than any other products.
Defrost your freezer regularly, at least once per year.
If there is more than a 1/4 inch of frost, the motor is now
starting to strain itself.
Keep it at 0 degrees. Do not place hot foods inside.
Let it cool down first.
Dishwashers have a high-powered heat element.
Air-dry your dishes by opening the door on the
Turn down the temperature of the water a bit, and wash
dishes when machine is full for efficiency. Check to
see if you have this option.
Remember to empty the filter or food trap regularly.
Don’t use the “temperature boost” feature.
Don’t pre-wash; scrape dishes or rinse in the sink first.
When shopping around, remember that Energy-Star-labels
indicate water and energy savings.
When using your stovetop use lids on pots to trap
the heat, and lower the temperature to save. Make sure
the lid properly fits the pot. You can save up to 20%
less energy and the food cooks quickly and evenly. This
contributes greatly to reducing your kitchen-carbon-footprint.
Once boiling, turn down just enough to maintain it.
Turn off 3 minutes before it’s time. Your food will
still cook at the same temperature and save energy.
Keep elements and reflectors clean to reflect the
heat more efficiently.
Preheating an oven is reserved for baking breads and
pastries. Otherwise, it’s not necessary.
Turn off the oven just before done. For 10 minutes
the food will still cook in the same heat.
Electric ignitions on gas ovens and ranges save on
gas rather than having a continuous pilot light on.
Toaster ovens use much less energy than a regular
oven. They are perfect for reheating small quantities.
Don’t overfill them, and make sure air can circulate.
Electric kettles use more energy than using the
top of the stove or even a microwave.
Be sure to use one with an automatic shut-off, and heat
Keep it clean. It takes energy to heat a dirty kettle
so combine water and vinegar to remove mineral deposits.
Don’t overfill. Heat only what you need.
Use a microwave over a stove-top.
Convection Ovens draw less power than an oven.
A small fan circulates heat better. They reduce temps
by 50 degrees, and baking time.
Coffee machines have high energy heating units.
Blenders and processors have motors and they can
actually make a big kitchen-carbon-footprint. These
items are only used briefly though, which is the offset
to being equipped with the motors.
Basic Kitchen Do’s And Dont’s To Reduce Your Kitchen-Carbon-Footprint
Use cloth bags when shopping to avoid plastic
Try to avoid products with excessive packaging
Keep plastics, paper, napkins etc. to a bare minimum
Buy produce only for one week ahead
Use dishes that refrigerate, freeze and reheat well for
leftovers instead of tossing them into the garbage
Don’t store bread in the fridge – it goes stale faster
Freeze leftover meats and bones for soup stocks
Freeze vegetable peelings for cooking and baking, or
send them to the compost pile. Before you do, you
may get some more use out of them yet reducing your
kitchen-carbon-footprint even more.
Egg shells and coffee grounds are great in the garden
to deter pests away from Hosta
Potato and avocado peelings reduces eye puffiness
Orange and lemon peels are good for deodorizing your
counter-tops and cutting-boards
Lemon and orange strips make great decorations in drinks
Puree leftover salad, add tomato juice and make a
great vegetable drink
Schedule your baking and try to put more than one item
in the oven at once to save on energy
Recycle faithfully, Compost faithfully
Use water in the kitchen sparingly and use cold to start
Turn off lights and appliances when not in use