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The world’s natural environment is constantly deteriorating, from organisms to plants and forests. An overabundance of toxic waste products and unsustainable rates of resources consumption are likely to blame, but you can help to alleviate the effects of humanity on nature by developing a more eco-friendly lifestyle and home. In the case of your kitchen in particular, here are five changes you can make.
When you see the term “eco-friendly,” think about it in two ways: ecologically friendly and economically friendly. One needn’t look further than kitchen appliances to be convinced. For example, dishwashers built prior to 1994 waste more than 10 gallons of water per cycle. Meanwhile, a newer, energy-efficient dishwasher will save about 1,600 gallons of water over its lifetime. This adds up to an average economic savings of about $110 per year. Visit a site like Budget Restaurant Supply and upgrade your appliances to more efficient models.
You may have heard about LED and CFL light bulbs. In the past decade alone, they’ve made quite a buzz for the amount of energy and money they save. For example, a pack of eight 13-watt CFL light bulbs from GE will run you about $14. However, these light bulbs have a lifespan of 8,000 hours, which lasts an estimated five years.
Compost is the natural breakdown of organic materials into a rich, fertile soil. So then if you’re not a gardener, why does it matter? Because many agricultural practices have led to soil erosion and land degradation. As Washington State University puts it, “While it takes thousands of years for the earth’s forces to build good soil, we can help do this in 5–10 years by adding compost—which adds microorganisms, arthropods, worms, and humus to the soil.” Make a compost bin for your kitchen’s scraps. That way, your vegetable peels and fish bones can go to use.
When we think of eco-friendly cleaning products, we generally confine the conversation to switching from toxic, chemical-laden products to more natural ones such as Simple Green. While this is generally good advice, the fight for a cleaner earth extends far beyond that. For example, did you know that many companies now produce recycled paper towels? If every household in the U.S. replaced just one 6-pack of 140 sheet virgin paper towels with their recycled ones, the world could save more than 2,200,000 trees and over 780 million gallons of water.
You’ve heard of low-pressure showerheads before, but did you know that there are low-pressure kitchen faucets, too? The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that replacing your outdated faucets with new, energy-efficient models can reduce your yearly water usage by as much as 60 percent.
As the most advanced species on this planet, it is our responsibility to ensure that we look after the environment and all the other organisms that we share it with. Do what you can to make your kitchen more energy efficient, and you’ll enjoy both cheaper electricity and water bills and a healthier world.