Be waste-wise. Make it your goal to have a ZERO WASTE household. If you start comparing and recycling you can DRAMATICALLY reduce the amount of waste you send to your local landfill site every week.
SAVE TIME, ENERGY AND MONEY BY MAKING A HABIT OF THE FOLLOWING:
- Cover pots and pans to keep in the heat.
- Match the size of the stove plate to the size of the pot. Using a smaller pot on a large stove plate means that the exposed part of the stove plate is being wasted.
- Keep your stovetop clean. If there's dirt there, it is absorbing some of the heat.
- Invest in copper-bottom or cast iron cookware as they heat up faster and reduce cooking time.
- Use good quality flat-bottomed cookware to ensure that maximum contact is made between the stove plate and your pot minimum heat is lost in-between.
- Don't open more than necessary. Every time you open the oven door you lose up to 10ºC.
- Turn off the oven shortly before the meal is done. The oven will retain enough heat to finish the cooking.
- Bake with ceramic, glass or cast iron as they all retain heat. This means you can lower your cooking temperature by about 5ºC.
- Clear and clean your racks. Avoid oven trays or foiling your racks.
- If the racks are clear it improves air circulation and heat transfer.
Buy a gas stove for your eco-friendly home.
Pro chefs loves gas stoves because of the instant heat and control they offer. Gas stoves are also far cheaper to operate and save on electricity.
More tips to reduce your carbon footprint at home:
Use your dishwasher. Hand washing dishes, if you leave the tap running, can result in much wasted water, while a dishwasher can reduce water use on dishes by 35%. But be sure to only use your dishwasher when it’s full (as it uses the same amount of electricity and water regardless of the amount of dishes) and stop it before the drying cycle. Rather open the door and let the dishes air dry.
Use your sink.
If you fill two sinks; one with soapy water and one with warm water for rinsing, this will use even less water than a dishwasher. Especially if you do all your dishes in one go.
Fix leaking taps
- A steady drip adds up fast! Fixing it usually involves disassembling the faucet and replacing the worn out washer inside (any hardware store can help guide you).
- Sort out your drips to save water and money.
- Regularly replace washers as even a slow dripping tap can waste as much as 30 litres of water a day.
Avoid opening the fridge or the freezer unnecessarily.
For each minute a fridge door is open, it takes three energy guzzling minutes for it to cool down again. It can take a freezer as long as thirty minutes to regain its temperature if the door is open for just one minute.
Clean the oil on the fridge.
The coils on your fridge are those sometimes grotty looking things at the back. They shouldn't be grotty! It's important to keep them clean because they transfer heat from the inside to the outside of the fridge, keeping the inside cold. When the coils are dirty and dusty it hinders the amount of heat dispersed, insulating the coils and a result the fridge needs to use even more energy to keep cold. Clean coils can improve efficiency by 30%.
How to clean them:
- Wipe the coils to remove the dust and ensure there is a space between them and the wall to allow air to circulate freely.
- Clear the top of the fridge
- Clutter on top can hinder the works of the compressor by blocking air circulation.
Keep it full
- Every time you open the fridge door cold air escapes and warm air enters. If you keep your fridge about two thirds full the cold items inside it will help it to recover the cold temperature when opened.
- If your fridge is getting empty, keep some containers of water inside.
- If it's full, don't pack it to tightly - air should be able to circulate.