Going green in your kitchen starts with watching what you eat and the produce you buy, but there are plenty of ways you can make the heart of the home more eco-friendly. Consider these tips for going green in your family’s kitchen and establish some habits that will help conserve energy, save money, and benefit the environment.

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Temperature Control

The kitchen often becomes the hottest room in the house, and it can be unavoidable when using the stove and oven to cook a meal. Instead of cranking the thermostat down and running your air conditioner for all its worth, consider other ways you can help control temperature and energy usage in your kitchen. Most kitchens are equipped with numerous windows to allow natural light to shine in. Unfortunately, this stream of sunshine can also prove to heat up the kitchen even further. If you have old windows, you’ve likely felt the effects in both winter and summer as drafts make their way through. There are plenty of options when it comes to energy efficient windows and doors and while this renovation does constitute a larger investment, it’s an easy way to make your entire home more eco-friendly and improve resale value in one step. Check out Renovate America; their HERO Program makes it easy for homeowners to purchase important energy efficient upgrades.

Switch to Energy Efficient Appliances

Making the switch to Energy Star appliances can save you a significant amount of money each year in energy usage. In 2014, Americans saved upwards of $30 billion by using Energy Star appliances, windows, and lights. In terms of environmental benefits, this meant reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 277 million metric tons. You’ll see immediate benefits on your energy bill and find your appliances are more efficient and do their designated duties better.

Grow Your Own Herbs

 Imagine being able to pick your own fresh ingredients from the comfort of your own kitchen; you can, buying growing your own herb garden. When you purchase herbs from the market, you may be buying plants that were picked up to a week prior. These plants are also often shipped from thousands of miles away, meaning a significant amount of energy is wasted and greenhouse emissions are produced just to bring herbs to your local supermarket.

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Learn to Clean Green

When it comes to being eco-friendly, don’t make the mistake of assuming you can no longer keep your kitchen spotless. While you should steer clear of many of the regular dishwashing and cleaning solvents, there are plenty of natural and organic alternatives. Many companies now produce natural cleaning supplies including non-toxic and biodegradable detergents, dishwashing soaps, all-purpose cleaners, and more. Prefer to have your kitchen scrubbed down intensely? Check out Maid Brigade; this cleaning company offers certified maids that perform green cleaning measures to ensure your home is spotless and healthy.

 Start Composting

 Did you know that up to 70 percent of household and yard waste can be composted? Don’t let scraps make their way into the local landfill; instead, turn your leftovers from dinner and lawn clippings into a fantastic mulch for your garden beds. Compost uncooked organic waste, which can include anything from vegetable and fruit peels to paper and cardboard, then combine with landscaping clippings including leaves and grass. Give it some time and you’ll be left with helpful humus that can be spread through your soil, allowing rich nutrients to soak into the soil and help your plants grown bigger and stronger.

Recycle When You Remodel

 If you decide to remodel your kitchen, be sure to use recycled materials. You can find barely used cabinetry at salvage shops, and create your own backsplashes with recycled tile, glass, or even aluminum. If you do need to purchase new materials, be sure to shop locally and support sustainable businesses. Buying locally also helps cut down on the costs associated with transporting your goods, saving fuel and energy.

It’s easy to go green in your kitchen with the right strategies and tips in mind. Consider which of these opportunities is best suited o your kitchen space and budget and make a difference you’ll be able to feel immediately.