13 Frugal Eco-Friendly Kitchen Tips And Hacks
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Are you looking for eco-friendly kitchen ideas that also protects your wallet?
Then you’re in the right eco-kitchen guide.
Today, we will share 13 budget-friendly ways to “green” your kitchen.
From the best eco-friendly kitchen products to sustainable cooking practices like how to store food without plastic, we got you covered.
And as we mentioned above, these eco-friendly kitchen tips can also help you save money!
Are you ready?
Let’s get right into it.
1. Practice an Eco-Friendly Shopping Routine
The best place to start your eco-friendly kitchen journey is the next time you shop for supplies.
With an eco-friendly shopping routine, you can reduce your carbon footprint and negative environmental impact even before using your kitchen.
Here are some of the best eco-friendly grocery shopping tips among conscious consumers like you:
- Pick up supplies using your own reusable (nonplastic) grocery bags.
- Avoid buying supplies wrapped in plastic or Styrofoam.
- Skip the individually packaged products to reduce packaging waste.
- Shop supplies in bulk to minimize driving your car or commuting.
- Opt for locally produced products as they have a far less carbon footprint.
- Buy organic food products; they are produced without fertilizers, GMOs, and chemicals.
- Wash and refrigerate perishables immediately when you get home.
- Plan ahead and list all your essential kitchen supplies to avoid shopping too much or less for your needs.
And for you reference, we made a list of the top 10 eco-friendly kitchen products for greener kitchens.
2. Minimize Cooking Oil Usage
The ever-growing demand for cooking oil has led to pollution, deforestation, and the destruction of natural habitats worldwide.
To give you a general idea:
The most popular cooking oils are palm oil, soybean oil, sunflower seed oil, and cottonseed oil.
Unfortunately, the rapid expansion of oil palm plantations to meet the demand for palm oil has caused massive deforestation in Indonesia, Malaysia, and other Asian countries.
Meanwhile, other sources of cooking oil such as non-organic cotton, canola, and soy are sprayed with pesticides that can contaminate soil and water.
So by reducing your daily use of cooking oil, you are effectively helping ease the negative environmental impacts of cooking oil.
3. Don’t Cook Too Much Food
According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), an estimated ⅓ of the total food produced worldwide goes to waste.
That’s about 1.3 billion tons of meat, seafood, fruits, vegetables, and other food thrown away from restaurants, fast food chains, hotels, grocery stores, schools, and yes, home kitchens.
This number is heartbreaking, considering approximately 815 million people worldwide are starving daily.
The amount of wasted food would have been enough to feed every undernourished person on the planet.
Not to mention the wasted energy, money, water, and resources used to produce the food.
But it doesn’t end there!
Rotting food produces methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.
The WWF also states that in the US alone, the production of wasted food generates greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 32.6 million cars.
So please, don’t cook more than you can chew.
4. Consider Getting an Air Fryer
Air fryers are eco-friendly kitchen products that have been trending lately, and we can understand why.
For starters, air fryers can fry food much faster than most convection ovens of the same wattage.
This can help reduce your electric bills and help save time cooking food, which is excellent, especially for busy people.
And unlike deep fryers, air fryers don’t require a vat of cooking oil to make a crispy fried chicken or French fries.
Hence, you’re not only reducing your electricity consumption but also your cooking oil usage.
So if you can, get an air fryer and use it for cooking crispy fried treats for you and your family.
And we bet you would love to know that besides frying, you can also use an air fryer to braise, grill, and even bake!
5. Use Kitchen Appliances “More Efficiently”
We’re sure you already know most of these tips, but as a friendly reminder:
- Only open your fridge when you know exactly what you need.
- Don’t leave your refrigerator door open for an extended period.
- Make sure to turn off your stove, oven, and other kitchen appliances when not used.
- Unplug electric appliances like toasters or coffeemakers when you’re not using them.
- If you’re living with kids, tell them not to play with the refrigerator door or other appliances.
These are only some of our favorite hacks to be more energy-efficient with kitchen appliances.
Feel free to share some of yours too!
6. Invest in Energy Efficient Kitchen Appliances
Old appliance models are known to be less energy-efficient.
But we’re not telling you to toss your old coffeemaker and run to IKEA to pick up a newer model.
What we’re suggesting is this:
The next time you shop for a new kitchen appliance, buy energy-efficient models.
The thing to look out for is the ENERGY STAR rating of the electric kitchen product.
ENERGY STAR is a trusted authority in energy-efficient products and practices.
In general, kitchen appliances with higher ENERGY STAR ratings are more energy-efficient.
7. Find Creative Uses for Food Leftovers
I guess we can all agree that no matter how much you try not to cook too much food, there will always be leftovers from time to time.
This is especially true during the holiday season and special celebrations.
So to save leftover food from going to waste, learn how to create delicious meals out of them.
There’s plenty of options you can consider for leftover pasta, chicken, bread, and rice.
These lists of leftover meal recipes by Greatist and Love Food Hate Waste can give you some brilliant ideas.
8. Switch to Eco-Friendly Cookware and Dinnerware
Avoid buying plastic cookware and dinnerware and make the switch to eco-friendly utensil alternatives.
For instance, many kitchen utensils today are made of bamboo, wood, silicone, stainless steel, and other sustainable materials.
If you often buy stuff online, try searching any of these terms:
- eco-friendly utensils
- eco-friendly cookware
- nonplastic dinnerware
- eco-friendly dinnerware
We bet you’ll find plenty of choices.
If you shop locally, ask the store attendant if they have any eco-friendly cookware and utensil options.
And similar to tip #6 of this list, we are not telling you to throw away all your plastic cooking utensils immediately.
But the next time you need to replace your spatula or tongs, choose to buy one that isn’t made of plastic.
Alternatively, you can also buy cooking tools made with recycled materials.
9. Use Eco-Friendly Food Containers
We don’t need to tell you why plastic food containers are a no-no in your eco-friendly kitchen.
Besides the fact that plastic food containers will eventually become nonbiodegradable waste in landfills…
Plastic can release BPA in food which is a health hazard.
And while companies and businesses tout that their plastic food containers are recyclable, only a very small portion of plastic waste is recycled.
The majority of plastic trash is still dumped in landfills, taking up to 1000 years to degrade.
Other plastic trash is burned using incinerators contributing to the daily global carbon emissions.
So for a greener kitchen, store your spices, ingredients, produce, and leftover food in containers made with glass, stainless steel, silicone, bamboo, wood, or cloth.
Beeswax food wrappers are also a more eco-friendly food wrapper alternative to single-use plastic food wraps.
10. Use Eco-Friendly Kitchen Cleaning Products
The kitchen is where we prepare food, so it is only necessary that we keep it clean.
But is your kitchen cleaning routine eco-friendly?
You can get started today:
- For clogs in sinks, use environment-friendly drain cleaners.
- Switch to eco-friendly and plastic free dish soaps.
- Avoid using bleach; use vinegar, essential oil, or castile soap as a disinfectant.
- Use nonplastic dish sponges.
- Get rid of disposable wipes and switch to reusable cleaning cloths.
11. Start an Eco-friendly Dishwashing Routine
Washing the dishes and cooking tools is one of the most wasteful activities in the kitchen.
You might have been wasting water, electricity, soap, and other resources unintentionally.
So here are some eco-friendly dishwashing tips for a greener kitchen.
- Soak the dishes before washing them.
- Use eco-friendly and plastic free dish soaps.
- Use dishwashers with a full load to save electricity, water, and soap.
- When handwashing dishes, use a dishpan.
- Use cold water when possible.
For more budget-friendly and zero waste dishwashing tips, click here.
12. Veggies Over Meat
Okay, this is a sensitive matter so let us make ourselves clear first.
We are not telling you (or anyone) to go full vegan; that decision is up to you.
However, minimizing your and your family’s consumption of meat will positively impact the environment.
Studies showed that commercial production of meat is one of the top causes of greenhouse gases worldwide.
An article by The Guardian even suggests that avoiding meat is one of the best ways to reduce your negative environmental impact.
What do you think about that?
And besides meat production, the commercial production of fish also has a horrifying impact on the ocean.
So the less meat and fish you cook and consume, the better for the planet.
Here’s a pro tip to get started:
Use meat and fish as an accent rather than the main attraction of your dish.
13. Dispose Kitchen Trash Wisely
There is a more eco-friendly thing you can do before you toss those eggshells and fruit peels into the trash bin.
Starting a compost by having an indoor compost bin is an excellent way to make use of organic kitchen waste.
Instead of sending compostable trash to landfills where they will rot and produce methane, you can use them to create a natural fertilizer.
For noncompostable kitchen waste, make sure to segregate them properly.
Plastics, steel, cans, recyclables, nonrecyclables, biodegradables, nonbiodegradables – you know the drill.
Practicing proper disposal of your kitchen trash is not only eco-friendly, but you also make the job of garbage collectors and recycling facilities easier.
And did you know that you can also earn a few bucks from your kitchen trash?
Scan your garbage and keep an eye for stuff that you can sell in junk shops.
We hope this article has given you plenty of ideas on how to be more eco-friendly in the kitchen.
If you know other eco-kitchen tips that protects the planet and saves money, feel free to share them below.
And if you think this is useful, kindly share it with other eco-warriors like you.
Anyways, which of the 13 eco-friendly kitchen tips above is your favorite?
Which ones have you been doing already?
- Environmental Impact of Cooking Oils
- 2018 WORLD HUNGER AND POVERTY FACTS AND STATISTICS
- Fight climate change by preventing food waste
- How does eating meat harm the environment?
- How Much Plastic Waste Is Recycled, Where Do The Rest Go?
- 12 Ways To Protect The Ocean And Marine Life
- Top Five Reasons to Compost