Kitchen

Kitchen appliances can be used more efficiently or more efficient models can be purchased.

Appliances

  • Energy-efficient dishwashers, refrigerators and freezers can cut the energy consumption by at least 15%. Some models can reduce energy use by nearly 50%. 
  • Use the dishwasher only when there is a full load and do not pre-rinse dishes; most modern dishwashers do not require this step. Scrape dishes before loading them into the dishwasher so you won't have to rinse them. And let dishes air dry instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
  • Look for a natural gas oven or range with automatic, electric ignition system, which saves gas since a pilot light is not burning continuously.
  • Keep range-top burners and reflectors clean; they will reflect the heat better, and you will save energy, and ensure your range operates at its peak efficiency.
  • Use a covered pan or electric kettle to boil water; it’s faster and uses less energy.
  • Match the size of the pan to the heating element.
  • When using an oven or an electric burner, turn it off a little while before the cooking is done. The oven or element will stay hot after you turn it off.
  • When you have a choice, use the range top instead of the oven.
  • Use a toaster oven, or convection oven for small meals rather than your large oven. A toaster or convection oven uses one-third to one-half as much energy as a full-sized oven.

Market demand is such that as more people demand healthier and more ecologically responsible building materials, the cost comes down considerably. Eco-products are mainstream now, so they are consistently becoming more affordable and easier to find.

Cabinets

  • Low-toxicity sealers can be used to seal the exposed surfaces of cabinets made with manufactures wood products.
  • Use low-pollutant-emission board materials and finishes for cabinet construction.

Cleaners

  • Choose natural biodegradable products for cleaning (for example baking soda, vinegar).

Faucets

  • A simple and inexpensive aerator tap can reduce water use by more than 60%.
  • Place the faucet level on the kitchen sink in the cold position when using small amounts of water; placing the level in the hot position draws hot water even though it may never each the faucet.

Skylights

  • A properly designed skylight or light tube reduces the need for artificial light and saves on lighting costs.

Storage

  • Store materials whose odours can reduce air quality - cleaners, toiletries, compost and garbage - in sealed containers.

Waste Reduction and Recycling

  • Use a covered compost bin to store organic waste for composting outside.
  • Recycle and compost to reduce the volume of household garbage sent to landfills.

Other tips:

  • When washing by hand, use a basin to rinse dishes instead of using running water. 
  • Pour yourself a drink of cold water from a pitcher from the refrigerator instead of running the tap. 
  • Wash fruits and vegetables in a partially-filled sink instead of rinsing them under running water.
  • Use cold water rather than hot when running the garbage disposal.