Naomi de la Torre is freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom with two delightful boys, ages three and six. Naomi has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona, is a self-proclaimed salsa diva, and can make a killer octopus ...
The kitchen is one of the biggest energy hogs in your home. Try these simple energy-saving tips for conserving in your kitchen.
There are so many easy ways to save water while you work in your kitchen:
Install aerating, low-flow faucets, which instantly reduce overall water consumption.
Fix leaky faucets, which can lose hundreds of gallons of water each week.
Many people believe that washing dishes by hand reduces energy consumption, but running a full dishwasher actually uses less water than hand-washing. For additional energy savings, invest in a high-efficiency model.
Let your dishes air dry or using the no-heat setting on your dishwasher.
Skip the pre-wash. Get sparkling dishes and save 2,600 gallons of water per year based on an average of 12.5 gallons of pre-washing water used and an average of four loads per week.
Invest in a high-efficiency dishwasher and run your dishwasher only when full to save hundreds of gallons of water each month.
Have separate containers available for different types of recyclables (glass, plastic, paper, etc.) so family members don't have trouble sorting.
Make every effort to reuse items that otherwise might be thrown away. Old jelly jars make adorable drinking glasses; cereal boxes and egg cartons are great for arts and crafts; and plastic grocery sacks are perfect for lunches.
Pick products with less packaging and say no to individually wrapped items.
Save money when you use rechargeable batteries. Duracell StayCharged batteries charge hundreds of time and save hundreds of dollars when used in high-drain devices, compared to alkaline batteries.
Splurge on an odor-free indoor compost bin and feel good about reducing your impact on the environment.
Use appliances efficiently
Using your appliances efficiently can save you oodles of money each month in utilities:
Keeping your refrigerator full actually minimizes its energy usage.
Don't keep your fridge or freezer colder than you have to. Ideal temperatures for refrigerators range between 37 and 40 degrees F for the fresh food section and 5 degrees F for the freezer compartment.
A clean oven is cheaper to heat, so make sure to wipe up those spills right away. Self-cleaning ovens are a good investment because they do the job for you.
The flames on your gas range should be burning blue. If they look yellow, they are not burning efficiently and should be checked.
Use the smallest appliance possible for the job. A slow cooker is a great low-cost investment because you can save on water and gas when you cook your meals in a single pot.
Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances, and you'll save money in the long run. Look for the Energy Star label. Some energy-efficient appliances even come with a federal tax credit. Check the Energy Star website to see what tax breaks are available this year.