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Making Kitchens More Energy Efficient for Earth Month

April 24, 2012

I knew that Earth Day was  on April 22nd, but I just recently learned that all of April has been dedicated to “Earth Month” as well! Good thing, because that means I am not too late to get this post up. I recently stumbled upon an older (1990) book from the New Mexico Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources Department titled “30 Simple Energy Things You Can Do to Save the Earth” . There was information scattered throughout the book related to improving the energy efficiency of the kitchen and saving energy while cooking (among various topics). Therefore, I thought it would be fun to synthesize some of the key points and pass along my 6 favorites to all of you!

  1.  Clean self-cleaning ovens immediately after use in order to take advantage of residual heat.
  2. Limit opening of the oven during cooking. Each time the door is opened 25-50 degrees is typically lost.
  3. Pressure cookers are more energy efficient than regular ovens. Microwaves are most efficient for small portions and defrosting. For larger items – stove-top cooking is more efficient, particularly with gas.
  4. A load of dishes cleaned in the dishwasher requires ~37% less water than washing by hand does…when water is left running that is. If you fill wash and rinse basins instead of letting the water run, you’ll use half as much water as a dishwasher does.
  5. Install your dishwasher away from the refrigerator. The dishwasher’s heat and moisture make the fridge work harder. If they must be next to each other, use a sheet of foam insulation to minimize the damage.
  6. Moving frozen food in to the refrigerator is a great energy saver. 1) It gives the refrigerator motor a break in cooling the fridge and 2) Decreases energy spent in cooking since food is no longer frozen.

Note: Because this book is a bit older it may not be up to date as more energy efficient appliances have been created!

Have you thought of ways to make your kitchen and food preparation as energy efficient as possible? How do you celebrate Earth Day?

-Tanya

P.S. – Giveaway happening later this week…stay tuned!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 24, 2012 9:36 pm

    Well, I am kind of in a run down rental, so no. But I do think about my dream kitchen with energy efficient appliances, lots of natural light and double paned windows. I have never much thought about the environmental impact of food preparation however. That is an interesting thought. I eat pretty simply so I don’t know that a lot of electrical energy goes into a lot of what I do but definitely when I am on a baking/cooking kick there is more electricity involved.

  2. April 25, 2012 3:45 pm

    Wow, I’ve never thought of this stuff! Well, except for the losing heat when you open the oven thing. I have heard that. But other than that one, I hadn’t heard these. Thanks for sharing!

  3. April 25, 2012 5:20 pm

    Crap. That reminds me…I need to clean my oven. No dishwasher…I’m still doing them by hand. sniff. But I still love the earth…big earth hug!!!

  4. April 26, 2012 10:13 am

    I don’t need any more reasons to use the dishwasher, but I’ll take ‘em anyway :D

  5. April 27, 2012 10:43 am

    Great tips! I never thought about dishwasher being more efficient. For some reason, I assumed they used more water. Thanks for these!

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