Maryland was recently named one of the top five most “green” states in the country, and Frederick County is doing its part to keep it that way. The county offers the Green Home Challenge and public sustainability commission meetings every third Wednesday of the month. To help out Frederick (and ultimately the world), here’s Warner Service’s tips on how to get the most eco-friendly kitchen in the county:
Use a water filtration system. Not only will you save your family from more than 300 chemicals and pollutants in tap water, you’ll save money on purchasing plastic water bottles that end up in landfills. Water filtration systems also use little to no energy to operate, so there’s no need to worry about spending the extra dollar on your energy bill.
Invest in eco-friendly drainage products. Many drainage products use an active ingredient called sodium hydroxide, also known as caustic soda or lye. This man-made chemical causes environmental problems because it’s toxic. Instead, drain your kitchen pipes with one of these green products.
Get a kitchen appliance with an energy performance rating. The most common energy performance rating is the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star, which identifies appliances, lighting and home electronics that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some home kitchen appliances include dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators, ventilation fans, and light bulbs. Thankfully, there are a lot of businesses in and around Frederick that sell appliances with this label, so invest in one as soon as possible.
Keep your refrigerator at a certain temperature. Keep your refrigerator between 37 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and never leave uncovered liquids in the fridge. The heat from hot food and the uncovered liquids give off vapors that add to the compressor's workload, making your fridge work harder. Another tip is to close the refrigerator and freezer doors while looking for other food items . Leaving the doors open wastes energy.
Utilize the microwave. It uses half the energy and time that a conventional oven does.
Fully load your dishwasher before running it. By filling up your dishwasher completely, you use less energy per year than doing more loads with fewer dishes. Scrape off all of the hard foods in the trashcan, and put softer foods and liquids down the kitchen disposal, so your dishwasher has less work to do. You can also purchase a front-loading dishwasher to save the Earth and more money.
Use a stove with induction elements. If your budget allows it, get a stove that uses induction elements. It transfers electromagnetic energy directly to a stainless steel or cast iron pan, which uses less than half of the energy of gas and electric stoves. If you want something that won’t break the bank, go for a ceramic-glass top stove. It uses halogen elements, which are an organic heat source.
Create a compost pile. The idea of leaving food scraps on your kitchen counter doesn’t sound appealing, but it’s a great practice for the environment. The “stale” food makes great soil for your backyard garden, or you can use it when helping Frederick’s Habitat for Humanity garden.
Buy sustainable interior décor. Purchase energy efficient windows, use organic cotton drapes, refurbish an old table or chairs, buy 100 percent bleach-free paper napkins, and try not to use disposable silverware or plastic plates.
You should reduce, reuse and recycle as a rule of thumb, but these tips will take your “green” game to the next level. With the money you’re saving on energy and water bills, you can donate to the Combined Charities Campaign of Frederick.
If you’d like our help in creating an eco-friendly kitchen, give Warner Service a call today.