Category Archives: Going Green In the Kitchen

Apply Reduce, Reuse, Recycle While Going Green In The Kitchen

 

Going green in the kitchen encompasses everything from what you eat to how you cook it  There are tons of things you can do in your kitchen that will help lessen your impact on the environment. From using a water saving faucet, to energy efficient appliances to cleaning with non-toxic cleaners, going green in the kitchen can be great for the environment as well as for your budget.

 

 

REDUCE

One little thing you can do is reduce your use of paper towels.  The average family uses several rolls of paper towels a week but you can reduce your usage by keeping some cloth towels handy in the kitchen and use those for wiping your hands,  spills and other uses that would normally call for a paper towel. I like micro fiber cloths  You’ll save money on paper towels and there will be less of them in the landfill which, in turn, helps the environment  Also, the less paper towels that are manufactured, the less pollution in the air from those manufacturing plants.

Use microfiber cloths to clean up spills. They are also great to clean glass, stainless steel, and stove tops, microwaves etc. By doing this you reserve the use of paper towels for draining bacon and other fried foods. Use cloth napkins, avoid paper, Styrofoam and other convenience items Reduce by Using rags for items like scratch cover polish and just throw them away. Also use rags for other chores like cleaning cabinets, walls , woodwork and floors. These can be washed and reused as long as there is any use left in them.

REUSE

Any Item can be reused including clothes, rags, furniture, Glass jars,  Just think a minute and you will add a lot to the list.  I save paper from the printer like that last page they just have to add on at the end with one sentence on it. I cut them in half 5 1/2 x 8 and clip a stack with one of those big black clips to form a pad. why buy steno pads when this work just as well. You reduce the need to make more paper. You reuse  the paper at hand , and when it is no longer needed you recycle the paper you wrote on.

 

Did you realize that some types of cooking are more energy efficient than others?  While many cooks love a gas stove, the fact is that the newer model electric stoves are more energy efficient  Not only that, but if you opt for a toaster oven or microwave instead of using your big oven, you can drastically reduce the energy needed for cooking. Another method of cooking that greatly reduces the amount of energy being used are convection ovens. Many microwaves have convection oven features in them  use it whenever possible as it cooks more evenly and saves a great deal of energy.

Reduce the cost of Energy with LED Bulbs

I save quite a bit by putting dimmer capable Led bulbs in the fan light. You can dim them down to use as a night light. The electric company gives you 5 Led bulbs if you bring incandescent bulbs in to their scheduled day, I t is held approximately once a month. In our town it is held at the senior center.  My favorite place to by bulbs is  Batteries & bulbs and more. I  bought some dimmable bulbs there last week and the electric company  pays them a rebate. On one package of bulbs I saved &7.00.

REFUSE

Another thing you can do in the kitchen to help the environment is buy local whenever you can. While this might seem like a small thing, transporting food is actually a big drag on the environment. Flying bananas into upstate New York from the tropics can be costly in terms of air pollution.  Not to mention that foods from the grocery store can be loaded with pesticides which damage the environment and your health with GMO’s  Your local growers probably don’t put so much junk on their crops.  Plus, it’s nice to support the farmers in your own community. We have a farm market on the town Green every Wednesday & Sunday. Seniors can get a book of coupons at the Sr. Center. Each coupon is worth $3.00. We also have  produce stand at one of the gas stations and another stand at a nursery in a nearby town.  Just google for farm markets in your area.

 

Using reusable cloth grocery bags, reusing jars I use canning jars for leftovers  This also saves because you can see what is in the jar and it doesn’t get forgotten to be lost. Composting organic materials are great ways to reduce waste.  You can compost your kitchen scraps, paper and even cardboard.  This will make great fodder for your garden and does double duty as it acts as an organic fertilizer saving you from buying fertilizer which saves you money and ensures that harmful chemicals don’t leach into the environment from commercial fertilizers you might have had to purchase.

Note: Some paper is needed to have a proper mix.

RECYCLE

Possibly the most important thing you can do to be greener in the kitchen is to recycle. Make sure you get a good handle on all the plastic and glass materials you use that can be recycled.  Check the rules at your landfill as to what has to be separated out and buy yourself some bins to help you keep things separate. My goal is to get enough people recycling so much that they pick u[ recycling every week and trash twice a month.

 

Lastly, you want to keep the environment in mind when you clean. Cleaners full of chemicals can be bad for the environment and the fumes from these can be harmful to the health of yourself and your family.  There are plenty of natural things you can use for cleaning like vinegar, baking soda and tea tree oil that will help keep your kitchen sparkling without harming you or the environment.

I recommend Melaleuca products. I have used them exclusively since 2005

http://www.melaleuca.com/susankelly

Salt of the Earth: What You Need to Know about Natural Sea Salt

Unprocessed salts from around the world are a treat for your palate—and your well being.
By Sophia V. Schweitzer
May/June 2002

Salts courtesy The Spice House, Milwaukee, Wisconsin / Photos by Joe Coca

“In it, we taste infinitude,” Chilean poet Pablo Neruda wrote of salt in Elementary Odes (Odas Elementales, 1954). Salt has been called the dust of the ocean and the essence of life. Salt is sacred. Entire civilizations have risen around it. It’s part of wedding ceremonies and religious offerings around the world. In Hawaiian tradition, the elders use salt as a purifier in all medicine and ritual. Our word “salary” is a daily reminder that salt served as legal tender in ancient Roman times.
Salt is vital to our health and well-being. There is nothing more elementally of this planet, and of who we are, than its shimmering crystals and its unmistakable taste.
But not all salts are the same. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, published in China in 2700 bc, discusses more than forty different kinds. And in recent years, expensive, glittering sea salts are replacing regular, cheap table salts in the kitchens of natural homes and celebrity chefs. So what’s going on?
The salt crop
Whether mined inland from ancient deposits or evaporated along coastal shores, all salts originate in the sea. In its natural form, salt consists of eighty-plus different minerals, including calcium, magnesium, sulfur, copper, potassium and yes, even gold. The stuff that gives salt its characteristic saltiness, sodium chloride, makes up about 78 percent of this highly variable mix.
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Natural sea salt is harvested from coves, exposed rocks, or tidal basins. Artisan salt farmers often channel and rake the salty watersheds, then gather the exposed crystals by hand. Unrefined, this salt is ready for use just as it is.
Commercial sea salts are harvested mechanically, then treated with chemicals and additives until they measure a minimum of 98 percent sodium chloride. All the other minerals are removed. Far removed in manufacturing and taste from their natural source, these refined salts are like cheap wines—hard on body, mind, and soul, and better left alone.
Chef’s secret
In a recent survey conducted by Relais & Châteaux, 68 percent of chefs felt that salt is the one ingredient that can always make a food taste better. To many of them, nothing compares to unrefined, organic sea salt, dried in the sun.
“You use salt not to give food a salt flavor,” explains chef George Mavrothalassitis, owner of Chef Mavro Restaurant in Honolulu, “but to enhance and intensify the natural flavors that already exist. Regular salt is aggressive and takes away from the food. Natural salt is soft and sweet.” A Marseilles native, Mavrothalassitis relies on fine French sel de mer from Camargue, and for his signature snapper in a salt crust, he favors Hawaiian salt from the islands’ lava cliffs. He also prefers alaea salt, Hawaiian salt enriched with baked red clay. Chefs love alaea as much for its earthiness as for its rusty color. They may sprinkle it on seared white scallops or add a touch to grilled zucchini.

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Recycling What You Consider Waste Now & Save

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Do you throw out the bones in the trash?
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One of the main things we need to do on the road to living green is to reduce the refuse that goes to landfills. Waste reduction can become a growing practice that can make a huge difference. our grandmothers did it generations ago. You will be surprised how simple it is.
Instead make your own broth it is simple and will be free compared to buying broth at the store in boxes that go in the landfills.
Save your chicken bones in the freezer. In the case of a holiday turkey I divide the bones into 2 gallon bags and you get two batches of broth. I remove the sharp bones on the drumsticks for safety.
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Put the bones in a large kettle or stock pot.
Add 3 quarts of water and fill an additional 1quart measuring cup to add at the end.
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Add a large onion diced
1-3 carrots diced
1 to 1.5 cups of celery sliced thin
Add you favorite herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano and parsley.
Add salt & pepper to taste . If your salt is restricted add no more than 1 tablespoon of salt
Bring it to a boiling boil with the cover off and boil for 35 minutes.
You can tell when it is done when the bones float to the top. Let cool and remove the bones and veggies and discard.

imagesYou can put the strained broth in 1 qt wide mouth canning jars but leave some space at the top so the jars won’t break in the freezer. You have the option of using 1 qt plastic containers instead. When you know a recipe will call for broth defrost the broth taking it out the night before.

homemade-chicken-noodle-soup-collage3When you make soup from the broth always start with carrots, onion and celery use any left over veggies in the refrigerator even mashed potatoes with thicken the soup a little. You can always take 1 boneless chicken breast out of the freezer and cut it in desired sizes to add more protein.you can also ad some rice noodles, or barley for variety. Great soup never the same twice. If you are a small family you can always put the soup in a 1 qt. canning jar while it is still quite warm and put on a dome lid. leave it on the counter you will hear a metallic click as it seals It will keep in the refrigerator for weeks until you need it
Also take the vegetable water from steaming vegetables and freeze in ice cube trays. Keep a bag of these in the freezer for when you need a small amount of broth for the wok or frying pan when cooking

Make Your Holiday Feast Zero Waste

 

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Serving soup in a pumpkin is a creative way to help make your meal waste-free! 

Your holiday feast may be a day of indulgence, but it doesn’t have to be a day of waste. By following a few easy steps, you can send less (or nothing!) to landfill this holiday season.

Make a waste-conscious shopping list: Only buy what you need and borrow the rest.

  • When making your shopping list, double check your cupboard so you don’t buy more than you need.
  • For those once-a-year kitchen items, such as a baster, roasting pan, or gravy boat, check to see if you can borrow them from a neighbor who isn’t hosting dinner.
  • When shopping, consider choosing products that come in recyclable packages; look for hard plastic or metal, and avoid soft plastic and tetra packs (the boxes often used for stock).
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  • Before you leave the house, remember your reusable bags, maybe even some reusable produce bags, and, of course, your waste-conscious shopping list.

Set up your blue and green bins so they are easy to access while cooking.

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  • While cooking, you’re bound to have scraps that don’t get used. To make sure they get into the green compost bin, consider using a larger receptacle than usual, or keeping a receptacle on the counter that you can empty easily.
  • If you are feeling ambitious, hang on to your turkey carcass and vegetable scraps and make some stock before putting it all in the green bin for compost. Set
  • Remember to rinse any hard plastic or metal containers and recycle them.
  • Pack cleaned plastic film and plastic bags together and drop them off at your local  supermarket or hardware store. If you are going to recycle the plastic that your turkey is wrapped in, first wash and rinse it and let it dry.

Help your guests understand what goes where.
Did you know that HALF of the material that currently gets put in the black bin (going directly to the landfill) could actually be composted or recycled?

  •  Let your guests know what goes where: Have an empty platter for bones and small pieces of meat   create your own composting, recycling and landfill signs with the Zero
  • Save the liquid from cooked or steamed vegetables. I freeze then in a metal ice cube tray making them easy to use when a recipe calls for a small amount of vegetable broth or to add to soup.  Waste Signmaker.

Holiday feast sorting cheat sheet

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  • Green bin: All food scraps including turkey meat, bones, “tofurky” scraps. Soiled paper such as butcher paper and paper towels. And all those miscellaneous items that you only use at this time of year such as cooking string or twine, cheese cloth, tooth picks, wooden skewers, and anything labeled “compostable.”
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  • Place a platter for Bones and Meat Scraps
  • Latter you can divide the Bones in two containers and Freeze to make two Batches of Soup
  • Small pieces of meat can be put in containers to make Turkey Tetrazzini , tacos or  just to add to the soup mashed potaoes and gravy can be used  in soup to add flavor and thicken the soup
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  • Blue bin: Glass bottles, plastic and metal containers, and rinsed aluminum foil go in the blue bin. Take clean plastic film and plastic bags to a local supermarket for recycling.
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  • Black bin: Hopefully nothing!
  • We will know we’ve gotten the word out when they collect trash every other week and recycling every week  make it a goal

Check out Recycle Where for where to recycle food scraps, used cooking oil, or just about anything!

Check for local Whole foods You can even recycle corks from you holiday wine there . Bins are usually set up near the rest rooms.

View Recology’s comprehensive guidelines for what goes in each bin.

Did you have any tips to make your Holiday Feast zero waste? Share them with us on Facebook or Twitter!

 

Going Green In The Kitchen

 

 

Going green in the kitchen encompasses everything from what you eat to how you cook it.  There’s a ton of things you can do in your kitchen that will help lessen your impact on the environment.  From using a water saving faucet, to energy efficient appliances to cleaning with non-toxic cleaners, going green in the kitchen can be great for the environment as well as for your budget.

 

One little thing you can do is reduce your use of paper towels.  The average family uses several rolls of paper towels a week but you can reduce your usage by keeping some cloth towels handy in the kitchen and use those for wiping your hands, spills and other uses that would normally call for a paper towel.  You’ll save money on paper towels and there will be less of them in the landfill which, in turn, helps the environment.  Also, the less paper towels that are manufactured, the less pollution in the air from those manufacturing plants.

Multi Colored Microfiber Towels Thumb   Microfiber Cloth

 

Did you realize that some types of cooking are more energy efficient than others?  While many cooks love a gas stove, the fact is that the newer model electric stoves are more energy efficient.  Not only that, but if you opt for a toaster oven or microwave instead of using your big oven, you can drastically reduce the energy needed for cooking.

 

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Another thing you can do in the kitchen to help the environment is buy local whenever you can.  While this might seem like a small thing, transporting food is actually a big drag on the environment.  Flying bananas into upstate New York from the tropics can be costly in terms of air pollution.  Not to mention that foods from the grocery store can be loaded with pesticides and your local growers probably don’t put so much junk on their crops.  Plus, it’s nice to support the farmers in your own community.

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Using reusable cloth grocery bags, reusing jars and composting organic materials are great ways to reduce waste.  You can compost your kitchen scraps, paper and even cardboard.  This will make great fodder for your garden and does double duty as it acts as an organic fertilizer saving you from buying fertilizer which saves you money and ensures that harmful chemicals don’t leach into the environment from commercial fertilizers you might have had to purchase.

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This is the time of year to buy canning jars. I use wide mount jars to store left overs homemade soup, broth, and yogurt.  I keep  Qt, 3/4 Qt. pint and 1/2 pt jars on hand. As you use items put them in  a smaller jar. Glass is the best to store anything. It is environmentally the friendliest. You can see what needs to be used at a glance.

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Possibly the most important thing you can do to be “greener” in the kitchen is to recycle.  Make sure you get a good handle on all the plastic and glass materials you use that can be recycled.  Check the rules at your landfill as to what has to be separated out and buy yourself some bins to help you keep things separate.

Whole Foods Markets offer recycling for items such as No 5 plastics, corks and much more. Remember to remove the caps from all jars and bottles especially water bottles. Sorters will thrown them into trash if you don’t

 

Lastly, you want to keep the environment in mind when you clean.  Cleaners full of chemicals can be bad for the environment and the fumes from these can be harmful to the health of yourself and your family.  There are plenty of natural things you can use for cleaning like vinegar, baking soda and tea tree oil that will help keep your kitchen sparkling without harming you or the environment.

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Up until August 20th you can get your first year membership for just $1.00

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Just email me at howtolivegreenwithsuekelly@gmail.com

To avoid ants. Melaleuca pre-wash spray on your counters deters ants and is non toxic. Also if you put out some corn meal ants love it but cannot digest it.