What Can I Do?
**** Creating a Green Kitchen **** Green Links ****
It's actually much easier than you think to help protect our environment. You will save money, too! Download the FREE Green Anthem KIT and SIGN on the materials page. Links to helpful sites are listed below.
Turn down the heat while you’re sleeping at night or away during the day, and keep temperatures moderate at all times. Setting your thermostat just 2 degrees lower in winter and higher in summer could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.
If every U.S. family replaced one regular light bulb with a CFL, we could eliminate 90 billion pounds of greenhouse gases, the same as taking 7.5 million cars off the road.
4. Drive Less and Drive Smart
When you do drive, make sure your car is running efficiently. For example, keeping your tires properly inflated can improve your gas mileage by more than 3 percent. Every gallon of gas you save not only helps your budget, it also keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
Avoid products that come with excess packaging, especially molded plastic and other packaging that can't be recycled. If you reduce your household garbage by 10 percent, you can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.
It's also a good idea to turn off the water when you're not using it. While brushing your teeth, shampooing the dog or washing your car, turn off the water until you actually need it for rinsing. You'll reduce your water bill and help to conserve a vital resource.
These 10 steps will take you a long way toward reducing your energy use and your monthly budget. And less energy use means less dependence on the fossil fuels that create greenhouse gases and contribute to global warming.
There are a number of steps you can take to create a kitchen that will be healthy for you, for your family, and for the environment. This brief overview can set you in the right direction. Use your browser to search for key words like "green kitchen" for more information and use the links below.
1. Energy Efficiency
Look for appliances that save energy. Baking something small? Use a toaster oven instead of a large oven. Microwave reduces the use of electricity and time spent cooking, but The Green Anthem site does not endorse the use of microwave. We are not convinced as to the safety of all units in relationship to exposure to radiation; there is also a great deal of controversy re: the effect of microwave on the molecular structure of the food it cooks.
1. Natural Cleaning Supplies
We now have access to a number of non-toxic, biodegradable, plant-based detergents and general cleaning supplies. Why expose your family and the environment to toxic chemicals adjacent to food? Or anywhere in the home, for that matter?! The American obsession with germs has been fueled by advertising. We actually need to be exposed to a certain number of microbes to help boost our immunity system naturally. Natural cleaning supplies are better for your health and for the health of the environment.
1. Glass versus Plastic
More and more evidence is surfacing regarding how the chemicals used to produce plastic can seep into food and water. Plastic containers do not come with warnings about how to determine when to dispose of them. Many households place hot and cold substances into them long beyond their shelf life. A new plastic container may say that it's safe for use in the microwave, but what about a month later? A year later? Two years later? And when you dispose of it, even if you recycle it, the toxic footprint it contributed when it was manufactured or when it's recycled isn't really worth the risk.
We create more garbage in our kitchen then any other room in our house. Try to avoid buying foods wrapped or encased in plastic. Encourage your local stores to carry companies that use glass, or bring your own glass containers with you for take-out food or when buying bulk at the store. They can weigh the container before you fill it to subtract its weight from the price.
1. Replace your teflon cookery
Miniscule flakes of teflon can now be found throughout the world in our water, earth and forests. It does not biodegrade. Do you stir your food with hard objects in your teflon pots? If you aren't willing to part with teflon cookery, at least follow the instructions re: safe utensils that protect the teflon surface.
Dupont says that teflon is safe, even though it has caused health problems to workers in the teflon industry. Many households continue to use their teflon pots after they've been scratched and dinged, exposing themselves and the environment to flakes of teflon in the food. Dupont says this is not a health risk. Hmmm.
If you want to live on the safe side and protect the environment, switch to cast iron, stainless steel (high quality), and ceramic cookware.
Let us know about sites and organizations that you would like to see listed here!
Stonyfield Yogurt "Climate Counts" Tracks Green Companies
After Skool Kids contributed the following link:
This link was sent by students from local schools in Jericho, VT, to prepare for 2012 Earth Day: