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TIPS & ADVICE

6 Simple Steps to a Greener Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and going greener has many benefits for you and your family. Also get more green kitchen tips.

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By TDG Community

It has been said many times: "The kitchen is the heart of the home"; however, the kitchens of this planet will become the heart of the planet, so might as well make it a healthy heart, and start keeping a green kitchen.

In fact, a greater number of families are becoming more conscientious about the need to care for the planet and its resources, and perhaps the best place to start is in the kitchen. Start with the basics -- the cleaning products. Start replacing conventional products with environmentally friendly and biodegradable cleaning supplies.

These days, as more companies put out environmentally safe products, the prices are going down. Some oldies that our mothers and grandmothers used have been green products for a long time. Other families might want to take the approach of using everyday staples to clean their home, such as vinegar, baking soda, orange peel as an atomizer and room freshener, or lavender.

Another way to keep a green kitchen is by paying attention to the four R's: reduce, reuse, re-purpose, and recycle -- in that order. Before something goes into the recycling bin, it is important to ask ourselves if it can be reused first. An old pot and a piece of rubber mat can become a planter. And since a brand new pot is going to replace it, it is better to buy one that is made out of recycled materials. Every kitchen tool can be replaced like that, eventually.

Large appliances should be disposed of according to your town's regulations, after they have served out their life in the kitchen. Replacements should be energy-efficient models.

Often, one of the hardest areas for families to go green is the shopping. This is because most people have favorite brands, and sometimes those are not made by green companies. Paper towels are a good example -- some are not made from sustainable sources and waste trees. A solution to that is to change to a green brand, which now is easily available, or to use cloth rags instead, which can be washed many times and reused, and they are readily available at home. Old clothes can be cut for that purpose (if not, they can be donated to charity).

Some food items do not come in environmentally friendly packaging. Buying products that do is a better choice for starting a green kitchen. Buying fruits and vegetables directly from farmers means food tends to be fresher and healthier, and this helps the local economy as well. Planting and growing your own vegetables is another way of going green.

Meat has been a contentious issue, since many farms and big corporations have been exposed by PETA and other activists for cruelty to animals. If you cannot go vegan or vegetarian, buying your meats from local, organic sources is better. Free-range farms can offer a good choice to supermarket meats and eggs that contain hormones and chemicals. Some organic items and free-range items can be found at supermarkets.

Last, installing a water filtration system instead of buying bottled water is one of the most important things people can do to help the planet. Even a Brita pitcher will do.

These are some ideas to get you started toward keeping a green kitchen.

-Corey Palmer


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