Here in the USA, April is Earth Month.
Yesterday, we gave you some realistic ways of making your kitchen greener that don't add extra chores to your already busy day.
Today, we add some more tips you can implement right now that will help you and your family do your bit for our wonderful planet. And, if that's not motivation enough, you'll save a bundle of cash too!
• Keep your fridge coils clean – Once a year, unplug your fridge, move it away from the wall, and use a vacuum cleaner to suck up dust and dirt from the coils located at the back.
This is such a simple task, and yet, this little tip will make the fan in your fridge work much more efficiently, and you'll save money in electricity.
• Keep an eye on your fridge temperature – Of course you want your fridge to be cold, but many households have their fridge temperature set far too low in the hope that perishable foods will last longer.
They may last longer, but temperatures that are too cold can damage foods as they become frozen.
The optimal fridge temperature is between 36°- 38°F. Keep in mind, for every degree below 38°F, your fridge is using up 5% more energy!
Do you really need your fridge to be this cold?
• Keep your fridge reasonably full – ~Your fridge has to work harder to keep foods cool when it's empty than when it is full, so make sure you keep a well stocked fridge.
Now, we're not advocating filling up your fridge with foods for the sake of it! Any money you save on energy will be more than eliminated in wasted food (and that's an even bigger cost to the environment).
But be honest about how big your fridge needs to be. Many families buy fridges that are actually far too big for their needs.
If you find your fridge starts to get empty before you need to actually buy more food, it might be the sign you need to sell your fridge and buy a smaller, economical one.
• Your fridge is not an air conditioner – Do this simple test. Take out a dollar bill and see if you can slide it through the rubber seal on your fridge door.
If you can, it means the seal is no longer doing it's job of keeping the cold inside. That means your fridge is wasting energy trying to keep your foods cold.
Fridge door seals are available easily through manufacturers' websites and cost just a few dollars – you'll make more than that back in just a month!
Food and storage:
• Store foods in Tupperware – Using foil or saran wrap is so wasteful as they are single use items. Reusable Tupperware can last for years.
Also glass Tupperware insulates better than plastic, which means they are much more efficient at keeping the foods cold in the fridge.
• Use grill / oven mats – Using foil to line your grill or grates is, again, very wasteful.
Use grill mats which are designed to conduct heat, but can then be thrown into a dishwasher to clean and reuse again and again for many years.
• Store your foods in a row– Ever started hunting in your pantry and found foods there from months or even years ago?
This happens in most households where items get pushed to the back and forgotten!
You may even have bought the same item again assuming you had none in stock, which is just wasteful.
Store items in a single row so nothing is forgotten.
• Use Y-peelers: Y peelers have been proven to cut more thinly, which means less of the vegetable or fruit flesh is wasted
Straight peelers dig further into the flesh when try to peel, which wastes food. Only use straight peelers when you need to peel slippery or waxy fruit and vegetables which require the blade to dig in more deeply.
Our peeler set consists of a Y peeler that peels most vegetables without taking a load of flesh with the peel. We also include a serrated straight peeler to help you peel more difficult items, and a julienne peeler to create beautiful garnishes.
There you go. A more greener and wealthier you without a a tie-dye skirt in sight!