Often, when we think of making our kitchens more eco-friendly, we think of replacing older appliances with newer, energy-efficient ones. If you're in the market for new appliances, look for ones that have an Energy Star rating. Appliances with the Energy Star rating are designed to be more energy efficient without trading off functionality.
You can find out which appliances and brands have an Energy Star rating here.
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If you have a newer oven, then preheating is virtually unnecessary. For certain dishes that are very sensitive, obviously, you'll need to preheat, because those are the dishes where even thirty seconds means the difference between perfect, and complete disaster. For dishes that aren't this sensitive, though, you can usually put them in the oven after only a minute or so, and they'll cook just as well.
Treehugger recommends also cooking more than one dish at a time. This is especially good for things that cook at the same temperature, but for different amounts of time. You can also experiment with dishes that are supposed to cook at temperatures within 50 degrees of each other, to see how to cook them together.
Using toaster ovens and microwaves for smaller dishes, or reheating, will also save a lot of energy.
Keep fruits and veggies separate
Certain fruits and vegetables go bad more quickly when they're stored together. For instance, potatoes spoil more quickly when they're stored with onions. Same thing happens when you store green bananas and ripe bananas together. Storing apples or apricots with spinach will likewise make the spinach spoil faster, because fruit emits ethylene gas as it ripens, which is bad for vegetables.
There are a lot of combinations, so check out this guide for how best to store a wide variety of common produce, to make your produce last longer and reduce waste.
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Compost eggshells, spoiled food, and other food scraps
It goes without saying that composting is one of the best ways to recycle food. If you have your own vegetable, herb, and/or flower garden, composting becomes an important part of keeping those healthy, too.
You can also use compost on your lawn and in your house plants. Composting is becoming extremely popular as we become more environmentally conscious, aware of food waste, and aware of the damage landfills and garbage incinerators cause. Food scraps are the number one material sent to landfills, according to an article in The Huffington Post, and accounts for one-third of all residential trash.
Not only are you saving the world and recycling food waste to either grow more food, or give your house more curb appeal, but composting is ridiculously easy. Go here to learn how to make a compost bin, and how to start composting.