Being environmentally friendly is something that can be done in every room of the home. Other than the recycling bins, how can we all have a more eco-friendly kitchen? Here are ten quick tips! Try adopting one or two at a time and embrace new habits so they really become part of your life – they will add up to a big difference!

1. Refrigerators are more efficient when they are full. If yours is running low, fill up some containers with water so the shelves aren’t bare.

2. Use bamboo! This fast-growing wood makes great cutting boards, dish towels, and even flooring and back-splashes if there is a remodeling project in your future.

3. Use a water filter rather than buying bottled water. Options range from a pitcher in the fridge to an under-sink filter on the tap to fridges with chilled water dispensers.

4. Consider buying food items in bulk and storing in re-usable containers, to cut down on packaging waste in groceries.

5. Replace plastic containers with glass, as the old ones get cracked and lose their lids. Glass is healthier to store and reheat food in, and using less plastic is good for the planet.

6. Use natural cleaning products. Most cleaning can be done using simple vinegar, lemons, and baking soda – no need for the stash of toxic chemicals!

7. Keep a stash of cloth dish towels or rags from old towels to clean up spills instead of paper towels. Throw them in the wash and you’ll be amazed at how much emptier your trash bin is.

8. Reduce food waste. This could mean starting a compost bin, dedicating a day as “Leftover Day” to clean out the fridge, using smaller sized dishes to promote appropriate serving sizes, or planning a shopping list before going to the store so perishables all have a plan to be used. Veggie scraps can be saved in the freezer to make homemade soup stock (super delicious).

9. Support re-using by picking up dishes at a local thrift store. Often these can be found in sets or with coordinating colors, but who says dishes have to match?

10. Last but not least, cook more food at home and avoid preservative-stuffed prepared food as much as possible. This significantly reduces trash from packaging materials plus is far healthier for you and your family. Healthy people can spend more time snowboarding!

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