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Go Green in the Kitchen

When it comes to kitchen work, doing your part for the environment—and your utility bill—might not be as hard as you think.

By Harrison Keegan

Sep 2014

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Jay Baird of Metro Appliances & More (3252 N. Glenstone Ave., Springfield,417-833-1113, metroappliancesandmore.com), has noticed a trend toward energy-saving products for customers hoping to save on utility bills and do their part for the environment. 

Baird says going green in the kitchen has been especially popular, and it might be easier to do than you think. To get some tips on reducing your carbon footprint in the kitchen, we met up with Baird and Laura Allen at Everything Kitchens (2750 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield,417-719-4243, everythingkitchens.com).

Keep the freezer full. Baird says a freezer that is filled to capacity will cycle less often and use less energy.

Buy for life. Allen says high-quality cookware and cutlery might come with a higher initial price tag, but the purchases will pay off in the long run and keep pots and pans from ending up in landfills. 

Don’t pre-rinse dishes. Baird says that with new dishwashers, pre-rinsing your dishes can actually cause the appliance to use as much as 20 extra gallons of water. Many dishwashers use sensors to detect if dishes are clean, and food grime can help prevent a false-clean reading. 

Heat only what you need. Allen says for smaller meals or heating leftovers, microwaves and toaster ovens use much less energy than stoves and ovens. 

Use a convection oven. Baird says convection ovens allow you to cook meals in less time and at a lower temperature than conventional ovens due to the constant air movement.

Plan ahead. Allen says if you have to use the oven, get the most out of it by preparing several days’ meals at once, then re-heat the meals in a microwave or toaster oven throughout the week.

Don’t waste free heat. When using your oven during the winter, Baird says leave it open after you are finished cooking so the hot air can help warm your house.

Recycle. Instead of trashing all those plastic grocery bags each week, you can recycle them at most grocery stores.