Green Meal Planning and Preparation
There are many ways you can incorporate your commitment to green energy and technologies when you’re preparing food at home. Use the tips below to incorporate green practices into everyday food preparation.
If you don’t have the budget for purchasing convection oven appliances, consider reducing the energy you use cooking your meals by using proper ovenware for the meal you’re preparing or preparing more than one meal in a larger oven. You can conserve energy on your stove top by choosing the smallest cookware required for the job you’re doing and matching the cookware to the appropriately sized burner.
Don’t waste energy by thawing food in the microwave but instead plan out your meals so that you leave enough time for food to thaw in the refrigerator.
Consider substituting a cold meal for at least one of your hot meals during the week. Instead of a hamburger and fries for lunch, consider making a tuna fish or peanut butter sandwich instead.
Consider a one-pan meal instead of using multiple pots and pans and burners. You can accomplish this by cooking one part of a meal and serving the meal with a cold salad, or through more traditional one-pan meals such as casseroles.
Take your ingredients out of your refrigerator at once when you’re preparing a meal to avoid opening and closing the refrigerator door repeatedly.
Check and see whether there are LED bulbs that will fit your current appliances including your oven and refrigerator, as well as lights on your oven hood and in your kitchen lighting.
Don’t extensively wash or rinse your dishes before putting them into the dishwasher in order to conserve water.
In order to reduce waste, don’t use disposable dishware such as paper plates instead of traditional dishware, use reusable containers for food storage rather than disposable bags, and get into the habit of having each person in the household have a single mug or glass for use during the day instead of loading your dishwasher up with glassware. That will require more frequent running of your dishwasher.
If you have a window in your kitchen, open the window after cooking to let excessive cooking smoke or fumes out of your kitchen rather than running your range hood fan for longer periods of time.
If you leave your television on while you’re cooking, consider a smaller television or laptop for background noise or viewing while you cook rather than leaving a larger television playing.
If you’re preparing an elaborate meal that takes significant time, adjust your thermostat to reflect the increased heat you’re efforts will produce. For heating, you’ll want to turn the thermostat down a few degrees and for cooling you’ll want to turn your thermostat up a few degrees.
Substitute handheld for electric appliances where convenient such as using a handheld can opener instead of an electric can opener.
Even without spending thousands of dollars on replacing your current appliances, you can green your cooking practices and conserve energy when you’re preparing meals at home. Use the tips above for incorporating green technology and practices into your everyday food preparation.