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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

8 Ways to Create a Green Kitchen

With human-powered appliances, biodegradable silverware, and eco-friendly storage containers, today's marketplace provides plenty of choices for people looking to build a green and planet-conscious kitchen. While some goods take a stylish approach to decreasing unrecyclable waste, others concentrate on conserving energy, water, and precious resources. Hopefully, the following green kitchen suggestions will inspire you to make a few lifestyle changes. 1) Kitchen Composter Composting is a practice that delivers two-fold rewards for both you and the environment. The process allows you to transform your food scraps and yard trimmings into rich soil that makes vegetables, trees, and flowers smile. Composting also greatly reduces your need to use water, fertilizers, and pesticides for your gardening projects. Some composting collectors and bins use recycled materials in their construction, such as recycled plastic milk jugs, while others take advantage of sustainable resources, like the Bamboo Compost Collector ($55) – an attractive kitchen model that holds a week's worth of scraps. A six-month activated-carbon filter lid traps nasty odors inside. For a fancier, more efficient choice in kitchen composting, consider the NatureMill PRO Automatic Indoor Composter ($399), which handles up to 120 pounds of food waste per month. Using 5kWh of energy per month, the composter reaches temperatures that effectively treat all food scraps, including meat, fish, and dairy. Every two weeks, expect nutrient-rich compost that covers 10 to 40 square feet of lawn or garden. 2) Organic Cotton Napkins and Tablecloths Enhancing your green kitchen with a matching set of Fiberactive Organics cotton napkins and tablecloths means you invest in a family-run fair trade business that encourages world-wide organic farming. The napkins come in a variety of colors and styles with packs of 4 offering two sizes: dinner (15" x 15") and luncheon (10" x 10"). Organic cotton tablecloths run between $70 and $80. Not only does Fiberactive Organics produce eco-friendly products, but the company also provides work, competitive wages, free transportation, onsite free childcare, lunch, and English lessons for Vietnamese refugee women, who assist in creating the 100% certified organic napkins. In the near future, look for Fiberactive Organics to make the leap into the world of solar power. 3) Bamboo "Big Kahuna" Chopping Board When you're ready to slice and dice vegetables and other ingredients, why not choose a chopping board fashioned from one of the most renewable resources in the world? The Big Kahuna bamboo cutting board is comprised of handcrafted laminated strips with the power to withstand most of the typical moisture-related problems associated with boards that shrink or swell. Since bamboo is 16% harder than maple, your board doesn’t suffer as much damage, like the unsightly marks left behind by knives. The other side of the cutting board also doubles as a smart serving tray. The Big Kahuna Chopping Board ($145) measures 2 ¼ " x 18" x 24". 4) Sun Frost Refrigerator Freezer Create an energy efficient kitchen by installing appliances that greatly reduces your use of electricity. One of the first places to start is with your refrigerator – responsible for one of the largest drains of energy. With your choice in electric and gas-powered models, Green Home offers energy-efficient refrigerators and freezers, which prevents freezer burn and wilted foods due to water loss. With a Sun Frost refrigerator, you can enhance your foods by using breathable storage containers, like paper bags, which doubles the life of fruits and vegetables. Available in three different sizes, Sun Frost refrigerators cost between $2875 and $3645. 5) Bamboo Utensil Set When it's time to dig in, choosing To-Go Ware Bamboo Utensil Sets allows you to reduce your ecological footprint in style. Sustainable materials are used to make the organic utensils that prevent the increase of harmful chemical-laden 'throwaway' plastic cutlery that unmercifully collects in landfills. Thanks to the NGO project (CONSERVE) in Delhi, the stylish holder of the set uses recycled plastic collected by 'ragpickers' who locate discarded plastic bags for repurposing. The utensil sets are hand finished, safe for use on non-stick surfaces, doesn’t absorb flavors, and measure 10.5" long. One pack costs $19.95. To accommodate an on-the-go lifestyle that helps preserve our planet's resources, choose the convenient set dubbed 'Repeat' that contains a fork, knife, spoon and chopsticks for the traveling diner. Measuring 7" long, one set costs $11.95. 6) Biodegradable Naked Sponge Are you tired of cleaning countertops and scrubbing the inside of your refrigerator with sponges containing suspicious materials, like dyes? The long-lasting and durable Naked Sponge ($30) not only effectively swipes spills and helps you maintain a clean kitchen, but is also 100% biodegradable and produced from cellulose harvested from renewable tree farms in Norway. On the manufacturing level, 99.97% of all waste used in the creation of the sponges is reused. If you're looking for other ways to green your kitchen, consider outfitting your small spaces with: 7) Hand-Cranked Blender ($99) – In an effort to reduce your energy use, choose a human-powered Vortex Blender that also accommodates outdoor excursions, like picnics and camping trips. 8) Terra Cotta Water Crock ($169) – A handcrafted water crock from Real Goods offers effective countertop water filtration comprised of coconut shells and containing a granular activated charcoal filter. 9) Biokleen Spray and Wipe Cleaner – A neutral pH formula provides one of the safest and most versatile of cleaners on the market that destroys stubborn odors, dirt, grease, and stains. Comprised of grapefruit seed and orange peel extract, you can easily keep your kitchen spotless and safe. Depending on the size, expect to pay between $26 and $53 per container. Other Biokleen products for your kitchen include dish powder, produce wash, and soy cream cleaner. Image Credits: Green Home environmental store; Real Goods

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2 Comments:

Blogger Where Hope Begins said...

Loved this article! Did you also know that there are refrigerators out there that run on Solar Power?!?! We at Refrigerator Pro have recently been checking into all of the different alternatives to regular refrigerators and have been pleasantly surprised to find so many alternatives. Check back with us soon and we should have an entire section dedicated to refrigerators just like this.

10/29/2009 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger Where Hope Begins said...

Loved this article! Did you also know that there are refrigerators out there that run on Solar Power?!?! We at Refrigerator Pro have recently been checking into all of the different alternatives to regular refrigerators and have been pleasantly surprised to find so many alternatives. Check back with us soon and we should have an entire section dedicated to refrigerators just like this.

10/29/2009 05:55:00 PM  

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