A green kitchen can be any color. What we mean here by green is environmentally friendly. Here are some useful tips to help you in that task.
It’s almost twenty years since going green became mainstream, but much of this trend was hijacked by commercial concerns, and instead of reducing consumption, people were lured into buying additional products because they were marketed as eco-friendly. Some of these products, where they are available, are fine in themselves, as alternatives to conventional products.
However, being truly green involves reducing consumption and the resulting generation of waste. It’s not just about minimizing our harmful impact on the earth’s environment; it’s also sensible home economics.
The three Rs of environmentalism are: Reduce, Re-use and Recycle
Reduce the use of detergents and other cleaning liquids. They’re harmful to our health as well as the planet. Marketing wizards have come up with the idea that people will buy multiple variations on the same theme if they are packaged accordingly. Do we really need one type of liquid for the floor, one for the kitchen surfaces, one for the bathroom, etc.? There are also many alternatives to the commercial products like baking soda, salt, lemon juice and vinegar, or good old-fashioned elbow grease. Bleach is one liquid that should be used in moderation, if at all. Reduce the use of disposable packaging. When shopping, buy products in the larger sized packaging, and choose products that are packaged in reusable containers.
Re-use as much as possible and resist the trend towards disposables: wet wipes, cleaning cloths, sponges, mops, and paper towels. Packaging is threatening to engulf the planet, and some countries have taken measures to ban or limit the use of items like plastic bags. These include Australia, Bangladesh, Ireland, Italy, South Africa and Taiwan. Urge the packers at the supermarket to use moderation when packing your purchases. Re-use the plastic bags as much as possible, and if you can, use your own shopping bags or cardboard boxes to pack the shopping. Buy food items that come in re-usable containers, and instead of spending more money on plastic containers, you can wash out and re-use glass and plastic jars.
Recycle what you can. Newspapers, cardboard and bottles are in demand, as is scrap metal. Although some recycling programmes have been launched in the Dominican Republic in recent years, they are not available everywhere. Luckily, most neighborhoods have botelleros and cartoneros who go round collecting glass and cardboard. If you leave these items by your refuse bin in separate bags, these informal recyclers will collect them. Food waste can be used as garden compost.
The added bonus to all this is that you will notice the reduction in the amount of household waste you produce. When the refuse collection truck is late, your house will be the only one without stinking, overflowing bins outside!
Always use water and electricity in moderation. You’ll see the difference when the monthly bills arrive.