When it comes to the food we consume, the cooking process itself is actually one of the biggest contributors to a meal’s carbon footprint. In an energy-rich country, most of us have never really had to consider optimizing our energy use. While turning the lights off and not leaving the oven on will certainly make a huge difference, there are lots of other cooking habits we can introduce.
We all know that some of the best ways to generally reduce your personal carbon footprint in the kitchen are to adopt a more plant-based diet, eat seasonally and locally, and reduce our waste as much as possible. These are all great steps towards an eco-friendly lifestyle, but how about thinking less about what we eat and more about how we prepare our meals?
Here are five easy changes we need to make to reduce carbon footprint in the kitchen:
1. Chop your veggies into smaller pieces:
This helps the veggies to cook faster and therefore requires less time on the stovetop. Henceforth, less energy would be consumed.
2. Boil the water gently:
The temperature of the water is the same whether we’re cooking at a full boil or a gentle simmer, which means the cooking time is also the same. Pop the lid on and turn the heat down, if there are bubbles, the meal will take the same amount of time to prepare.
3. Always use a lid:
No matter what we’re cooking, using a lid on the pot speeds up cooking time and stops energy wastage. Up to 20% of the energy used can be wasted if we don’t use a lid.
4. Boil only when required:
Whether it’s just for a cup of tea or to boil our in-season potatoes, fill the kettle with only the water needed. An easy way to measure is to simply use your favorite mug to fill the kettle, then it’s guaranteed to have the right amount.
5. Use the right stove top for the pan:
Using a pan that is far smaller than the size of the stove can lead to another 20% waste of heat out of the sides. Another option is to use an induction stove, which can work to minimize the heat wasted from the stovetop.
These kitchen habits may seem like they don’t make much difference. But, being more conscious about how we cook therefore has the potential to make a huge difference to our personal carbon footprint.
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