Sunday, January 17, 2010

How green is your kitchen?

I'd say we're about average...better in some areas, could improve in others. For example, we don't use "green" soaps (tried the Method brand, yuck!), but we won't run the dishwasher unless it is full.

There's the scrap jar on the counter (fruit/veg scraps, not scrapbooking scraps, lol) for the worm/compost bin. Not the most attractive decoration, but it works. Yes, I do empty it before company comes over.

We bring reusable bags to the grocery store (and other stores), but somehow, still end up with plastic bags. They get used as trash can liners so at least they get used once before they're tossed. Probably our worse offence is those thin plastic bags from the produce and meat section, although if I'm only buying one or two or three of something, I don't bother with the plastic bag. I'm sure the checkout clerks hate that. But I always use a plastic bag if the product is wet and also for meat. Those bags get tossed immediately, not reused.

Paper, we're better reducing use, though we haven't eliminated it like these people. The comments are the most interesting part of the article.

paperless kitchen

We do use paper towels and unfortunately, our use has increased, not decreased. We used to use a roll every two months. Now I think we go through a roll every 5-6 weeks. I'm not sure what caused the increase, wait, that's not true. I know one reason for the increase is we ran out of napkins (nope, we don't use cloth napkins, don't like 'em). We don't use napkins at every meal (I really don't need a napkins when I eat oatmeal), but still, it is an area that we can improve. I'm sure if I found some cloth napkins that I liked, I would be more open to using them. One thing that helped us use fewer paper towels was buying the "select-a-size" kind. If I buy full-sized paper towels, I usually tear them in half (I stuff the other half in the top of the roll to use later).

What do you do to be green in your kitchen?


Nancy Thomas said...

I'm sorry to say that we are not all that "green". We did make a vow to recycle more this year so cans and plastic are now going into a separate garbage can to be taken down to the big recycle bin in the basement when full. We don't really do paper plates anymore - I have a set of cheap plastic plates that we use instead. I always wait until the dishwasher is completely full before starting it - we've been doing that for a long time due to the droughts we have here. I cannot give up paper towels though although we do have a set of old clothes that I clean with when once upon a time I would always use a paper towel. Baby steps here!

scrapper al said...

Nancy, baby steps, any steps are good. I didn't grow up using paper towels so it is a bit easier for me to keep their use down. Plus, they are so expensive! That's another motivating factor for me.

tini said...

We're not overly green either, I don't think. I also use Green bags and am very good about that - plastic bags only come into my house if someone else brings them in. I recycle everything possible as well. Beyond that, though, we're not overly green. Food scraps go down the garbage disposal, we use paper towels and paper napkins and regular old detergents and cleaners. I also wait till the dishwasher is full (laundry is also only full loads). I think that's about it though! So yeah, I'm not the greatest either, but I'm okay with it ;)

scrapper al said...

Tini, you're better than I am with the plastic bags. Every bit helps!

Madeline said...

We were talking about this last night. Our group had just finished reading How Much Is Enough by Arthur Simon, founder of Bread for the World, and we filled out a "Voluntary Simplicity" Assessment.

I try to remember my reuseable grocery bags! And we use paper napkins and towels but sparingly. (I keep them high up in the pantry so no one will be tempted to use one to DRY THEIR HANDS!) Some things we don't do that were recommended: purchase locally grown food (saves on transporting), buy in-season or can or freeze out-of-season, plan meals and make limited trips to the grocery store, GROW some of your own food. <---yeah, right. LOL! Baby steps here too. :)

scrapper al said...

I'll have to check out that book. And I don't grow a lot of vegetables, but home-grown tomatoes can't be beat.