September 19, 2010

Ways to Save Electricity and Gas, Part 2

Yesterday I posted Part 1 of this series.  Today, we’ll look at Ways to Save Electricity and Gas in the kitchen.

In the kitchen

  • When boiling something, use only as much water as needed.  Boiling more water not only wastes water but it also wastes energy to heat up that water.
  • Use lids.  Your dish will heat more quickly.  If it is hot outside, make sure to leave the lid on when cooking has completed.  If a cold month, remove the lid and let the heat escape from the dish to help warm the room.
  • Use pressure cookers to prepare foods that take longer.
  • Use carry-over heat when cooking and baking.  Turn off the eye of the stove a few minutes before the food is actually cooked through and the residual heat from the cooking vessel will help to finish the meal. 
  • Don’t preheat the oven unless you are making a sensitive dish such as popovers, soufflés, or pita bread. 
  • Pick the eyes of the stove that best fit your pot or pan.  Don’t put a large pot on a small burner, for example.
  • Cook in season.  In the summer, use your toaster oven instead of the oven so that you won’t generate as much heat.  Opt for no-bake cooking, grilling outside, and/or simple preparations when you can.  In the winter months, cooking will warm your house and eating warm foods will help to warm your body.
  • Run your dishwasher when it is full to not waste electricity or water
  • We have turned off the heat dry function of the dishwasher and air dry them.  We open the dishwasher slightly when it completes its cycle to help them dry thoroughly.
  • Use task or ambient lighting instead of turning on every light in the room.  This tip applies to every room in the house.
  • Use the self cleaning setting on your oven only when it is cold outside.  Wait until you already have the oven heated for another dish, and after that has completed its baking, set it to self clean.
  • Unplug kitchen appliances when not in use.
  • Full refrigerators and freezers are more energy efficient than empty ones.  Freeze containers of water if you need to fill space.
  • When needed, update appliances to be more energy efficient. 
  • When the weather is nice, dine outside to avoid using indoor lighting.
  • We do not wear our shoes in the house.  This reduces the number of times per week that I need to mop and vacuum. 
  • Cook once and eat twice.  Make a large batch of your recipe so that you can enjoy it later in the week or freeze it for a future meal.  You’ll not only save time, but you’ll also save money.

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