Looking to live a more sustainable life? Your kitchen is a great place to start if you’re looking to make eco improvements.
We all love a well-functioning kitchen – whether it’s for the delicious food you can create in there or for social gatherings when your friends are round.
Your kitchen is often the hub of the home. As it’s one of the busiest areas of your home, it’s also one of the most energy demanding and waste generating.
A few simple swaps, tactical switches and informed purchases can help reduce your negative impact on the environment.
Nothing is going to be an overnight success on your journey towards a more environmentally friendly. It’s going to take time and gradual change.
Luckily, your kitchen is one of the places where you can have the biggest, most positive impacts.
This page will point you to different areas to help create a more sustainable and eco kitchen. You can then read up, learn and hopefully make a positive change when the time is right.
We’ll cover eco kitchen areas including:
- Energy efficient electrical appliances
- Eco kitchen product swaps
- Sustainable product reviews (from products I’ve actually tried)
- Recycling and composting
- Kitchen cleaning
Energy Efficient Kitchen Appliances
The electrical appliances in your kitchen account for a large share of the total energy used in your household.
When you factor all of the appliances that you usually find in a kitchen into the scenario – including washing machine and dryer – you’re accounting to almost 30% of the total energy usage of your home.
This is why opting for eco friendly and energy efficient kitchen appliances is a must!
Electrical appliances are expected to last many years, even into the decades. By choosing energy efficient models, you could be saving £1000s over the years.
So what electrical items do you need to learn about?
A good place to start is with one of the busiest appliances in most homes – the kettle. Here I went over the most energy efficient kettles plus how much energy they actually use.
Traditionally, fridge freezers guzzled the energy up. But now not so more if you buy an energy efficient fridge freezer which you can run for less than £100 a year!
If you have an instant hot water tap, you might want to read this blog that asks are boiling water taps more efficient than a kettle?
Did you know that microwaves are more efficient than electric ovens? It’s true! Using your microwave for the right scenarios could save you a lot of energy.
However, you’re always going to use your oven at some point. See here whether electric or gas ovens are cheaper to run.
One of the best ways to save energy when cooking is by using an extremely energy efficient slow cooker. In 8 hours then will use way less energy than your oven uses in just one hour.
When you’re finished cooking, you’ll need to wash up. You can hand wash your dishes in the sink or use an energy efficient dishwasher which can cost as little as 18p per cycle.
And then we move on to the heavy hitters in terms of energy usage…
Tumble dryers use a lot of energy, costing you well over £1.50 every time you run a full cycle.
Fridge freezers are also one of the most demanding appliances in the kitchen, no less because they are on all the time.
Eco Friendly Kitchen Product Swaps
With the big kitchen appliances aside, there are loads of small swaps you can make to more eco friendly kitchen products.
I’ve switched many items and products for myself and haven’t looked back!
Having learned about dishwashers potentially being more efficient than hand washing several sinks full, I’ve started to use this appliance more often with some eco friendly dishwasher tablets and rinse aid.
A favourite of my eco switches has been the move away from plastic tupperware to stainless steel food boxes. Although plastic food boxes are reusable, they begin to smell quickly and don’t last long.
I’ve been using my stainless steel containers, alongside my stainless steel water bottle, on a daily basis for a good while now and the quality is tremendous. Not only is stainless steel easy to clean, it’s incredibly durable, 100% recyclable and doesn’t leach out micro-materials.
Do you like to drink good quality coffee at home? I’m guilty as charged.
However, I do this in the most environmentally friendly way I can. I buy ethical coffee from brands I trust, such as Cafedirect and Balance Coffee. If I’m on the move, I’ll put my coffee into my bamboo made E-coffee cup.
I also use reusable coffee making facilities, such as my Moka pot or cafetiere with reusable filter. Sometimes I use compostable brown paper coffee filters.
Sustainable Product Reviews (products I’ve actually tried)
Linking into some of my sustainable swaps, I’ve also written up a few product reviews.
These have all been genuine reviews from products that I’ve more often than not bought myself and tried out.
Starting off in the drinks department, I’ve covered a few products that have helped me reduce my single use items. I’ve written about my favourite reusable Ecoffee cup, stainless steel water bottle and the activated charcoal filter that I use in my bottle.
I reviewed Spruce’s eco and refillable multi-purpose cleaning spray which I thought was really good. So much so, that I’ve gone on to buy more refills for the aluminium bottles.
Many eco swaps consist of bamboo filling in as a replacement for plastic. This is a better choice but I covered here if bamboo really is as eco friendly as it’s labelled.
Recycling and Composting
Recycling and composting is the bread and butter (pardon the kitchen pun) of sustainable living. It’s all part of living a more circular lifestyle with limited waste.
However, it’s not always clear cut what can be recycled, if you can put it in your curbside collection, whether it can be composted or sent to an industrial composting facility.
To make it easier, I’ve covered a number of common questions on whether certain items can be recycled or composted.
Have you ever thought of what compostable kitchen bags are made from? Learn all here.
Eco Kitchen Cleaning
Cleaning in the kitchen is a daily task.
You might not be giving the oven an eco clean, but the worktops will always need a wipe and you might tackle the cooker hob on a daily or weekly basis, depending on how keen you are!
A great one for giving surfaces an environmentally friendly clean is the Spruce multipurpose refillable spray, as mentioned above but worth mentioning again.
As I use my water bottle every single day without fail, I’ve written up this blog on the best ways to clean a stainless steel bottle.
Eco friendly cooking is a growing area on this website. The aim here is to help you (and me) make better decisions for the environment when making food.
I love extra virgin olive oil and use this all the time. But how environmentally friendly is it? See the verdict and what’s the most sustainable cooking oil here.
I try and buy organic produce wherever possible. From organic oats, veg and coffee to milk and eggs (trying to cut down). Many supermarkets, although they aren’t the most ethical places, now stock their own organic ranges – Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s spring to mind. Have a read up on one of the main organic accreditors in Soil Association Organic.
If you like a BBQ in the summer, check out this post which is better for the environment: charcoal or gas BBQs?
Beyond An Eco Friendly Kitchen
As you can see there are tonnes of ways you can start to live a more sustainable life in the kitchen alone!
Of course, there are plenty of other areas in and around your home where you can make improvements. It can be overwhelming so I’d recommend doing this one step at a time and make gradual, sustainable progress rather than flipping everything on its head all at once.
I’ve got lots more blogs to write up on how to create a more eco friendly kitchen. I’ll keep this page updated with the latest info as it gets published, so it might be an idea to bookmark this page and come back soon!
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