Green Habits in Wash Rooms (Energy Management)
Water heating is the third largest energy consumer. It accounts for about 14%-25% of total consumption.
- Install solar water heater or use some other energy-efficient water heating strategies.
- Always make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for optimum usage of hot water
- If more temperature is required, wait for the cut off light and then open the out let valve, switch off the power and close outlet only after all the hot water is drained out.
The kitchen is the heart of the home. It is where the food for human survival is created, which fuels the bodies, minds and souls. It also generates majority of household wastes.
A green kitchen begins with:
- Eating green
- Preparing energy and water efficient food
- Cleaning habits,
- Using energy efficient equipment
- Using equipment made from sustainable materials
- Avoiding toxic chemicals
Here are some easy tips to ‘greenovate’ your kitchen as well as to get some economic benefits out of this.
Green Cooking and Eating Habits
- The most energy efficient cooking and healthy diets include dishes which don’t use much heat for cooking, like salads, chilled soups, and other dishes that require little preparation and can be eaten raw. ( not traditional Indian cuisine)
- Include more raw vegetables or half cooked vegetables in the diet
- Using pressure cookers reduces cooking time by 70 percent.
- Use a properly sized pot for each of the stove burners
- Make best use of the microwave as possible – cooking more than one thing at once, is also wise
- Avoid using water to defrost frozen foods, instead move it from freezer to refrigerator much before cooking
- Avoid re heating pre-prepared, frozen foods, cook it fresh at home. It is good for your health as you know the actual ingredients. Reheating frozen foods use more energy and will increase your carbon footprint.
- Growing own fruits, vegetables as much possible is will reduce your carbon foot print because you may be able to reuse your kitchen waste my making compost out of it and using it in the home garden. This will also make you healthy in two ways: one by avoiding pesticide contaminated fruits and vegetable and other by providing good exercise to your body.
- The so called organic fruits and vegetables in supermarkets are mostly transported from distant places. Bear in mind that the organic foods can spoil more quickly and if you find fresh looking vegetables in super markets coming from distant places it means they are rich in preservatives, biocides etc. and it will have some health impact
- Instead of going for bottled drinking water, use water purifiers or tap filter.
Designing a new Kitchen
- While making a new kitchen, there are plenty of other green options for new materials. Countertops made of recycled paper, bamboo flooring and panelling etc. are some example. Try to do some homework about the options available and their environmental impact before building a new kitchen or remodelling the existing one.
Green Buying Habits
- When you buy kitchen appliances including stoves, refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers etc look for the Energy Star rating.
- In India, electricity is more carbon emitting than cooking gas so try to avoid using electricity for cooking purposes, even if it is an induction cooker
- A chimney with the gas stoves is the most unwanted equipment in kitchen because products available in the market now tend to be a badly designed and ineffective.
- Most of us keep the fridge always full by putting many unwanted things in it. For example most fruits go rotten much faster in the fridge than keeping outside because the ethylene gas it lets off as it ripens gets trapped in the fridge. You can save a lot of energy by buying small fridges and keeping fewer foods in it.
- Use pots and pans with close-fitting lids which help reduce cooking time and reduce energy consumption too.
- Instead of buying low quality fragile pots, pans, knifes etc try sturdy, long lasting ones, which will have long life span.
- A good cast iron cooking pot/pan will last for generations but the Teflon coated has only a limited life span.
- Good quality knives can be easily sharpened by hand and use for longer time.
- Long lasting cloth towels are recommended instead of tissue paper.
- Good quality branded stoves with ISI marks are more energy efficient.