[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”3329″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Our theme this month is how to be more ‘Green’ and how a few simple changes in different areas or your life can help you tred more lightly on this planet. So who best to go to than the very talented blogger on all things green – Mizz Winkens of Green Jam Jar. Have a read of her wise and witting guest blog below of some simple ways to reduce energy consumption in the kitchen.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Sometimes we get distracted by large-scale, expensive solutions to saving energy in the home when, in fact, there may be several smaller lifestyle changes that can make a difference. True, the installation of photovoltaic solar panels on your south-facing roof will save you electricity but the initial capital investment is often prohibitive. But don’t despair! A few small adjustments in your household may reduce your environmental impact and even save you some money. Here are a few easy tips to immediately “green” up your kitchen:
Look after your fridge:
1. Check the seal around the door regularly to ensure that the door is shutting fully. To test close the door with a thin sheet of paper sticking out. If the paper falls to the floor the seal needs cleaning or maybe replacing. To get maximum efficiency from your fridge, defrost periodically to avoid a build-up of ice and don’t overfill it- ideally, it should be 75% full.
2. When you are defrosting something overnight, place it in the fridge so that the cool energy it emits will help keep the temperature down and cuts electricity consumption. And vice versa, ensure cooked leftovers are totally cool before you place them in the fridge as the heat will increase electricity consumption to regulate the overall temperature. It is best to cover liquids stored in the fridge.
3. Incidently, it is helpful to check the temperature of your fridge with a stand-alone thermometer. It needs to maintain a max. of 5c and too far below that is a waste of energy so you can regulate it accordingly.
Be mindful when cooking:
1. When you have the oven switched on try fill as much as you can with items to roast or bake. For instance, you might want to include a few homemade loaves of bread with your Sunday roast. Don’t waste your oven’s energy on just one dish.
2. When you are boiling or frying on the hob, keep a lid on the pan. This means you can reduce the heat of the hob ring, the trapped steam will increase the temperature inside your pan. It is helpful to have a glass lid so that you can keep an eye on proceedings and avoid over-boil spillage.
3. Cook in bulk. This is particularly useful for items such as dried beans or pulses where you cook the whole bag and freeze what you are not immediately using. Not only are you saving energy but packaging is less than bought, ready-cooked, tinned equivalents. Plus, it makes economic sense.
1. Do you really need that super-sonic, electric turnip peeler? (I don’t think these are actually available but you get my drift…) Sometimes a great knife, a pestle and morter and a pinch of physical exertion are all that are required to see us through. A good knife sharpener is a wise investment. It’s not the indispensable, frequently-used, multi-tasking machines that I’m referring to. It’s those plasticy, specific use, impossible to clean “must-haves” that we sometimes get lured into buying. Resist the temptation!
2. If you need to replace any of your kitchen appliances it goes without saying to choose A-rated goods and to make sure the model is not larger than is sensible to accommodate your household’s needs.
3. The most common energy waster in the kitchen has to be our old favourite…the electric kettle. Refer to the “green” kettle tips infogram for a few easy steps to making your water boiling as energy-efficient as possible. That next cup of tea will taste so much more virtuous!
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