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How to Cut Energy Consumption in Your Kitchen

If you’re interested in green living, preparing your own meals in your kitchen is better for you — and better for the environment — than going out or eating packaged food. If you’re tired of dinner in a bag, drive-by-style, or something from the frozen food section, maybe it’s time to give slow food a try. Pull out the flour and eggs, cut up some vegetables, measure the ingredients, stir them together, and stir-fry, steam, toast, and bake away the afternoon. The result? A healthy, tasty, inexpensive gourmet meal.

Even if it’s only a tuna casserole, broccoli, and salad, you have to start somewhere. In the process, particularly if you’re experiencing a cold winter, when done baking, leave the oven door open. This allows heat to escape and warm up the house, giving your furnace a little respite, however brief.

In the kitchen, a lot of little habits can build up to make a big impact, like covering pots on the stovetop so they reach boiling point faster, turning off the oven a couple minutes before your dish is done, and resisting the temptation to open the oven door and peek in on the progress. One other tip that’s great: When doable, use a toaster oven or an electric skillet or crockpot rather than the stovetop or oven. The smaller appliances eat up less energy (unless you’re using them all at once).