So you’ve decided to start cooking more, maybe even opting for local ingredients or testing vegetarian recipes. Now that you’re in the kitchen, there are a number of ways you can work on being more energy-efficient and resourceful that will save you lots on your energy bill.
Residential usage accounts for over 20% of US energy consumption. Of this, refrigeration and cooking account for over 10%. While buying more efficient appliances, such as those carrying the Energy Star label, is the best way to cut down on your kitchen energy usage, many simple techniques can help you cut costs no matter what appliances you use. Getting the most out of your refrigerator, for instance, can be extremely easy. Important strategies include checking seals and gaskets and keeping the temperature in the proper range (35˚-38˚F). By dusting off your fridge coils you can cut almost 30% of energy usage; by simply keeping it full, you can help retain the cold much better.
Around the oven, there are similarly logical ways to save big on energy. By warming food first (either on the counter or in the microwave—it uses less energy than an oven) you can cut down on the amount of time your oven is on. Use glass or ceramic baking dishes instead of disposable foil ones; just make sure to get them back from your friends if you aren’t cooking for yourself. Try to open the oven door as little as possible, which can lose massive amounts of heat.
All of these suggestions can help you save energy in the kitchen. But remember, there are many ways to cut back on wasting materials, as well. Try reusable plastic containers instead of foil or plastic wrap. Think about your food waste (check out our tip
), which costs you money and creates greenhouse gases. Have plenty of food staples on hand to help extend your leftovers into meals, as well as storage containers. Consider a labeling system in your refrigerator, which will allow you both to use food before it gets old and to spend less time with the door open. There are numerous other ways to shore up unnecessary kitchen energy usage—stay aware while you cook and you can minimize it.