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Which kitchen appliances you should use in order to minimise greenhouse gas emissions is not as straightforward as you would expect. In fact, whether you should choose gas or electric depends completely on where you live and how your local power plant produces electricity. Cooktops As we can see in the below table (courtesy of etool.net.au), gas cooktops yield almost 8 times more greenhouse gas emissions compared to induction cooktops in Sweden, where renewable energy sources produce the bulk of the country’s total energy. In Australia, where coal burning is the major source of electrical energy, cooking with gas cooktops result in about one third of the emissions as cooking with an induction cooktop would yield, even if the transfer of energy is less effective. At the same time, induction and gas delivers instant heat, while electric elements take longer time to heat up to the desired temperature, leading to further wastage of energy, meaning that cooking with a traditional electric element would result in even higher greenhouse gas emissions Ovens When it comes to ovens, it is a similar story, with gas ovens in Sweden resulting in about 4 times higher levels of emissions when compared to an electric oven. In Australian states that rely heavily on coal burning, the use of gas oven result in up to one fifth of the emissions as an electric oven. It is no wonder that gas fitters in Australia have plenty of work on their hands. General tips to save energy when cooking Regardless of your choice of appliances, there are some steps we can all take to minimize energy usage when cooking. Trap the heat Putting a lid on the saucepans will trap the heat in the pan which would otherwise rise up and escape, which can halve the time involved in bringing water to a boil. And when it is first boiling or simmering, a lid on the saucepan will enable you to turn the heat down, saving even more energy. Also ensure that the oven seal is in a good condition and not letting unnecessary heat out, and minimise the amount of times you open the oven door to inspect the food. Size matters Choose the right size saucepan or frying pan for the job. The bigger the saucepan is, the more energy is required to heat the contents. Choose as small as saucepan as you can for the job. Saucepans with flat bases will also have a better connection with the hot plates than a rounded base, meaning that less energy will be wasted. Overcooking Whether you are boiling, frying or roasting, overcooking meat and vegetables does not only reduce the satisfaction of the meal, it wastes energy. Cook your food just right and turn the heat off as soon as you can, and you will enjoy a better meal while saving energy. Consider purchasing a roasting thermometer for roasting meat, to easily check when the meat is cooked to your liking. Microwaves Microwaves use far less energy to cook or heat the food. However, microwaving as a cooking alternative results in less than satisfactorily results in most cases. Though microwaves are great for reheating purposes for some types and food, and also boiling rice.
The world is going green, and so can you! Having an Eco friendly kitchen starts with what’s in your fridge and extends all the way out to what materials and tools you use, food preparation that is energy efficient, and cleaning using sustainable materials instead of toxic chemicals. These are all super important for having a kitchen that is truly green and Eco friendly. The great thing about converting your space from a regular, unhealthy kitchen to something that is phenomenal and efficient is that the change will be fantastic for your well being as well as save you dollars while saving the planet. What could be more amazing? Trade In Your Cookware And Cheap Kitchen Supplies You may not think of it, but the tools and materials that you cook with actually have a big impact on your health. For cook ware and utensils, you want materials and cookware that is going to last a long time as opposed to being ultra-disposable. Plastic has to go. Teflon pans, while perhaps convenient, are not very green. They also cause cancer which makes them a big no-no in the kitchen. The best thing you can do is purchase cook ware that is sustainable as opposed to convenient. That means investing into a thick, classic cast iron skillet. These babies last forever and are a dream to cook with. Go for bamboo and environmentally friendly spoons and stirrers, and ditch all the plastic and low quality stuff that’s hiding in your kitchen. Instead of buying paper towels over and over, purchase some nice cloth towels that can be washed. Lastly, invest in ultra high quality knives that can be sharpened and used for decades. Having Ecological Enlarged Windows Having enlarged windows can bring the element of light into a kitchen and really work to open a space. When you enlarge a window, you can make a room more bright without spending more energy and money to bring that extra light in. Rooms have natural light during the day, and when you extend a room you can cut back on overhead lighting powered by electricity. This is a simple way to enhance your kitchen and cuts back on overall energy costs, making your kitchen even more green. Cooking And Being Energy Efficient Cut back on energy costs by cutting out preheating. Modern ovens heat up easily. Try to change the way you cook by putting the food in as soon as the oven is turned on. Then turn off the oven a few minutes early and allow the dish to cook in the remaining heat. Cooking multiple things at one in an oven will also save energy. Use a toaster oven or microwave for smaller dishes and you can save 80% of the energy you would normally use by putting in the big oven. Using Gas Or Electricity To Cook There are different advantages to each cooking method. The best thing to do to be green is to purchase the electricity from a source that is sustainable and use electric equipment. The cost is a little more now but carbon prices will change that and save you more. Electricity sourced from a station that uses coal as a power may be worse for the environment, so in that case going with gas is a superior option. Most electric cooking equipment is the more efficient choice because the energy created goes towards what you are cooking, where gas a lot of the energy dissipates and goes to waste. Electric induction tops cook faster and are more efficient than gas by up to 55%. Emissions for electricity are lower than gas since the emissions for gas are generally higher at the start of use. Electricity for cooking is more sustainable and is even more environmentally friendly when you buy electric appliances that are efficient. 4.5% of the energy used at home comes from cooking. That’s only a small part of carbon emissions, but they matter. Gas burners can give off heat that is instant and have more control over temperature, so that is an advantage of using gas. Electric stoves do take more time to heat up and cool. However, new oven models that utilize electric ignitions in place of a pilot light use 40% less gas, making them an energy efficient choice.