Green Tips for the kitchen




Reduce water
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Use your garbage disposal as little as possible; it uses more water than composting.
Rinse dishes with cold water t o reduce hot water use.
Only run a full dishwasher.
After boiling vegetables or pasta, allow the water to cool and then use to water plants.
Fix leaky faucets.
Choose water efficient appliances.
Turn water off while scrubbing dishes.

Reduce energy
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Switch to CFL light bulbs (the swirly ones)
Always turn off lights and appliances when not in use.
Keep the space behind your refrigerator clean- clean coils are more efficient.
If possible, when remodeling do not put the refrigerator and the stove next to each other, the heat from the stove makes the refrigerator work overtime.
When purchasing new appliances select energy efficient, Energy Star rated appliances and select appliances that are appropriate for your needs.
After baking in the winter, open the oven door to allow the heat out into your home.
Reduce the thermostat setting on your hot water heater. Experiment with different setting until yuo find the temperature that is best for you.
Buy local and in season. (If you buy out of season the energy required to heat a greenhouse may be greater than to import a tomato from Chile- for example).

Reduce toxic chemicals
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Cleaning products can contribute to poor indoor air quality. To reduce this risk use natural cleaning products, or those labeled “low VOC” Some key ingredients you probably already have in your house include,
  • Baking soda: A mild, natural abrasive that helps to clean and deodorize. It will act as a scouring agent, polisher, stain remover, fabric softener. Use to clean plastic, vinyl, carpet, silver, stainless steel, drains, and to refresh your fridge.
  • White vinegar: A mild acidic product that won't destroy surfaces; works great on soap scum, mildew and stains. Use to clean windows, grout, floors, and coffee pots.
  • Lemon juice: Nature's bleach and disinfectant; a great natural stain remover and deodorizer.
  • Borax: A natural mineral that cleans and deodorizes. Use it with your detergents to remove stains and boost the cleaning power. Also acts as a barrier against insects.
  • Club soda: Removes stains.
Pots and Pans (stainless steel)/Sinks/Burner Trays
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USE: Bon Ami
For pans with a copper bottom – smear ketchup all over the copper portion, let sit for 30 minutes or until the tarnish can easily be rubbed away. Your copper will look just like new!


Ceramic Floors/ Refrigerator
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USE: Vinegar and water


Wood Cabinets or Floors
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USE: Olive oil and lemon juice


Counters
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USE: Soap and water/vegetable based cleaning products (such as 7th Generation)


Reduce waste
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  • Avoid disposable, one-time use cleaning products
  • Use cotton dish towels instead of disposable paper towels.
  • Use sponges instead of disposable wipes.
  • Extend the life of sponges by washing them in the dishwasher, or microwave in a mixture of lemon juice and white vinegar.
  • Start an outdoor compost pile or a portable kitchen compost to dispose of excess veggie and fruit scraps, skins, etc.
  • Store left-over food in glass containers, not disposable plastic bags. Recent reports demonstrate that plastic can leach hormone disruptors into your food.
  • Bring a canvas bag to the grocery store to reduce plastic bag waste.
  • Buy= 0 Arecycled and recyclable products. Check labels to be sure that packaging is recyclable and made of recycled content.
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At home trick is to use paper grocery store bags instead of trash bags. Save food containers such as cereal boxes, salad containers, etc. to put wet items in and then add to the brown bag. Put non-wet items directly into the brown bag.
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