Australia releases more greenhouse gas emissions per capita than any other developed country in the world, according to the Sustainable Australia Report 2013. One way to improve the way we approach sustainability is to monitor how much energy we consume, especially in our homes.
The kitchen, although a space for deliciousness, is one of the key sources of energy usage and thus the costs of cooking eat up a large part of your electricity bill. These five simple steps can help reduce electricity prices and minimise energy wastage.
1. Install energy-friendly exhaust hoods
Choose an exhaust with a back-shelf hood as they need the least exhaust air. The next best options are the wall-mounted canopy hood and single-island canopy hood. However, to improve the efficiency of any hood, install end panels and add a lip around the leading edge to better inhale the fumes from cooking.
2. Upgrade any older appliances to newer Energy Star Rating models
This investment will save you much more money in the long run. Choosing energy efficient appliances can be costly, so gradually replace current ones to avoid drastic debts. Start with bigger whiteware as it consumes the most energy.
3. Ensure seals around appliances are intact
The protective seals on ovens and refrigerators keep them hot or cold, so double check that they are in good shape and working correctly. Debris on the bottom of an oven can stop it sealing properly, so be sure to clean it and all other appliances to optimise their efficiency.
4. Use the entire oven
You’re better off cooking as much as possible in the oven when it’s on and then freezing the cooked food to heat up later, rather than wasting the heat by only using a small area of the oven tray for your meals.
5. Help food cook faster
Defrost food in the fridge overnight as this dramatically reduces the cooking time. Similarly, cut food into smaller sizes so it sizzles quicker.
Food, glorious food
Have these energy saving tips put you in a green mood? Well, you can extend your sustainable behaviour further by managing all food waste from your kitchen.
According to Food Wise, a whopping 4,000,000 tonnes of food is wasted every year in Australia and the average family throws away $1,036 worth of food annually. Not only is this economically damaging, it’s a poor use of resources such as fruits and vegetables.
Make a meal plan per week and only add ingredients to your grocery list accordingly so you can be sure to consume all that you purchase.
Posted by Nikki Wilson-Everett