The average household in the US spends $2060 a year on utility bills including water, electricity and gas. It is not just energy that is consumed unnecessarily but there are other areas of wastage we might not think about or notice so much.
Think of how much food you throw away unnecessarily, water lost through leaking taps and lights on when they could be turned off and food wasted and thrown away.
All across the world people are becoming more aware of the damage we have done to our environment and the planet. There are small and big things we can do to make improvements. They might not seem like much and maybe some are too expensive to be invested in but here are some things that you can consider whether you can do.
How Can You Lower Your Kitchen’s Carbon Footprint and Save Money?
Here are ten great ways to cut your energy bill and help protect the planet. They will make a huge dent in your carbon footprint.
Basic wastage on electricity
This is a very simple improvement that anyone can do and there is no excuse not to but we are all guilty of it at some point. Leaving lights on and appliances turned on when they are not needed is pointlessly using up energy. If no one is watching the TV why is it on? Why are lights left on in empty rooms? Get in the habit of switching off lights every time you leave a room and you are already helping. Even better, switch to energy saving light bulbs every time one stops working. Minor savings on the electricity bill will all start to add up.
These appliances have a bad reputation as a big energy consumer. How bad are they really? Well, all appliances differ but if you did about nine or ten loads of washing a month you would save about $10-11. This is obviously going to be a lot less if you are a single person. However, if you are using dryer sheets you are making further savings and creating less wastage.
TreeHugger wrote a good article on the energy waste of using dishwashers. You may be surprised to find that dishwashers are actually the more efficient way to wash dishes compared to hand washing. A dishwasher only uses the required amount of water and will only heat up what it needs as opposed to human intervention wasting water rinsing and washing under the tap.
Plumbing and faucets
Which brings us to water wastage. Check pipes for leaks. It is not uncommon for pipes and joints to corrode and a leak not only costs money and increases your bills but can also cause damage. If your water bill suddenly increases or a water pump seems to be running more often than normal then you may have a leak and may be necessary to get a professional to look at the plumbing.
Other ways to save money on water is to fit quantitative faucets or nozzles to limit water. The former has to be pre-set with how much water is required for certain activities and when you select one you will get exactly that amount. The second tries to limit how much water surges from your tap and can turn itself off after a certain amount of time has expired.
Instead of throwing all the vegetable waste out find someone who has a compost heap. Think about starting one yourself if you have an interest in gardening or check with family members and neighbors to see if they want to take your peelings on a regular basis. If not then search for a local compost pick up service. All you need is a small compost bin to put in the kitchen and remember not to throw away the vegetable waste.
Use less cooking oil
Try and select other ways to cook which use less cooking oil. This means less plastic packaging, less expense, less waste oil being dumped and you will be eating a healthier diet. Air fryers allow you to cook food that looks and tastes like fried food but with either none or a tiny amount of cooking oil. They are far more safe than deep fat frying and can be used for all manner of meals and snacks. They take up little room and are easy to clean. The negatives are that they can be expensive and the surface area gets very hot during cooking.
A cheaper way might be to start steaming food and invest in a microwave steamer or an inexpensive bamboo steamer for cooking fish and vegetables. Just remember to keep the peelings for the composter.
Keep food fresher for longer
Once you have cut your vegetables they are exposed to the air and start to dry up. You can buy silicone caps that fit on to a range of cut vegetables. They come in different sizes to fit different fruit and veg and can help you keep the food fresher for longer.
Grow your own herbs
Instead of buying little packets of herbs consider growing your own. This can be done in the kitchen on the windowsill and reduces plastic packaging.
Get creative with your food
A lot of food that gets discarded is actually usable. Some people chop off the green ends of spring onions but these can be chopped up to include in soups or on fried rice. Potato peelings can be fried to make a crispy snack and if you have too many herbs then chop them up and make them into ice cubes. Handy for including in meals.
Get an Instant Pot
If you want to invest a little and get some money saving back then an Instant Pot can help. It is similar to a pressure cooker and reduces the energy used by up to 70% by cooking very quickly at high pressure. You not only get money savings but also more time to yourself. There are plenty of YouTube videos for Instant Pots and recipes on websites like Corrie Cooks.
There are many ways to reduce your utility bills and household waste. Start with something simple and small and see how you go. You don’t need to install solar panels immediately but just using reusable shopping bags or a coffee cup is a start.
Make it a Priority to Cut Your Home Energy Use
There are a lot of ways that you can reduce energy consumption at home, which will lower your carbon footprint and save money. The ten tips listed above will go a long way.