Do You Know How to Save Energy While Cooking?

Whether you want to protect the environment, or you want to save some dollars on your energy bill, saving energy while cooking is always a smart choice. You might be surprised to find in how many ways you can actually become green and use your home appliances correctly. In fact, you don’t need to fill your kitchen with a lot of electronics, thinking that they will make the difference in your energy bill. Use this article to learn how much energy you can save with the appliances you already have.

5 ways how you can save energy while cooking

1. Match your pot size with that of your stove top element

When you are using a small pot to cook your meal, you can also use the smallest burner. You probably think that if you put a small pot on a larger burner, you will cook your food faster. This is completely false. By doing so, you will make your kitchen hotter than before, but your food won’t cook faster.

Studies on energy efficiency show that, in general, if you put a 6-inch pot on an 8-inch burner, you will waste 40% of the energy produced by that burner. A simple calculation shows that if you match your pot size with your burner, you can save $36 per year on energy and around $18 on gas. Also, by using lids on your pots, you can keep the heat in better and prepare your recipes faster.

2. Plan your quantities

Spending less time in the kitchen means less energy spent. Planning your quantities and meal schedule ahead will help you keep a balance between the time and energy spent while cooking. For instance, you can save energy by boiling the exact amount of water you want to use. If you prepare pasta, it is easy to estimate the quantity of boiling water you need. By boiling more water than necessary, it will take more time to reach the boiling point and thus more energy spent.

Moreover, you can use the boiling water for more than pasta. You can put a colander on top of your pan and prepare some steamed veggies in the meantime. This is how you will prepare two dishes at a time and save a lot of energy also.

3. Use the oven only when necessary

There are many recipes that don’t require a stove or oven. You can use the microwave or crockpot instead. However, when you prepare a recipe that requires an oven, you need to let curiosity aside. You don’t need to open the oven door every 10 minutes to check on your food. By opening the oven door, you let a lot of heat to escape. So, your oven will use more energy and time to re-establish the correct temperature.

4. Preparation is important

Before you start cooking, there are many actions that need to be done. For example, you might need to peel and chop some vegetables and season the meat. All this preparation should be done before you put your pan on the stove. In case you need to defrost some ingredients, this should be also planned ahead. To save even more energy, you can cover the frozen food and put it in the refrigerator to defrost. Even though it may take longer than leaving it on the counter, your refrigerator will save a lot of energy.

5. Keep your pans and stovetop clean

Apart from looking good, the metal pans will also help you save more. When your pans are blackened and greasy, they will absorb more energy to heat up and prepare your food. What is more, you should clean your stovetop after every use. Thus, it will need less energy and time to transfer the heat to your food.

You will see that by following the simple steps above, you will cook more efficiently and spend less time in the kitchen. What is more, you are contributing to the environmental protection by spending less energy while cooking. So, you can start slow and invest each penny saved in buying energy-efficient appliances that will add more money in your pockets on the long term.

How Is Electronic Waste Affecting Our Lives?

We are living a time when the electronics make our lives a lot easier. They help us communicate and stay in touch with the latest updates. The innovation pace is so big that, even though we just bought a new device some months ago, we don’t think twice before we buy the latest, recently released gadget.

But, what happens with our old electronics once we replace them? Even though almost all the electronic waste can be recycled, we are still way behind to doing it right. Unfortunately, almost 14 million mobile phones are thrown away each year. And as if this wasn’t enough, all this quantity releases 80,000 lbs. of toxic lead, known for its devastating effects on the human body.

7 facts about electronic waste and recycling

Once you start reading this article, you most probably ask yourself how bad can electronic waste be? How is electronic recycling going on and what could be done to improve it? The majority of our electronic waste is discharged in the landfills from Asia or Africa. However, this doesn’t mean that there, all our mobile phones, TVs, and laptops are properly recycled.

All the electronic waste is usually incinerated on their landfills, polluting the air and the environment with the released toxins. Massive quantities of electronic waste are also sent to developing countries where the workers try to extract precious metals from them.

With an average replacement period of 18 months for a mobile phone, the facts about electronic waste and recycling should make everyone think twice before they replace their electronics.

  • 1. 50 million tons can be quantified each year as electronic waste. This amount is expected to grow yearly by 4%. The United States is the highest electronic waste producer, with an annual quantity of 3 million tons. China comes next with 70 million cell phones and 20 million household electronic devices thrown away every year.
  • 2. Up to 85% of the electronic waste is sent to landfills or incinerators in other countries. Guiyu, a town in China, is known as the “capital of electronic waste”. The workers from Guiyu have an average value of lead concentration of 149. Considering that any value above 100 puts the life in danger, it is obvious to understand what can happen with the workers from these landfills.
  • 3. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mentions that if we would recycle our electronic waste, the benefits could be impressive, starting with a better home space management to preventing pollution and saving the world’s natural resources. For instance, if we would recycle all the mobile phones we throw away in the landfills, we would save enough energy for 24,000 American homes.
  • 4. Electronic waste contains about 60 valuable elements like gold, copper, silver, or palladium. According to EPA, if we would recycle 1 million cell phones, we would obtain 50 pounds of gold, approximately 500 pounds of silver, 20 pounds of palladium, and 20,000 pounds of copper. With these values in mind, it is easy to estimate that the Americans are throwing around $60 million worth of gold and silver to the garbage.
  • 5. Each TV contains approximately 4 to 8 pounds of lead. When a TV is not properly recycled, all this lead ends up into the soil and water. The lead is extremely harmful to the nervous system and kidneys.
  • 6. Apart from lead, electronic waste contains a lot of dangerous and toxic substances. For example, it contains mercury, arsenic, chromium, selenium, or cadmium.
  • 7. The number of mobile phones has reached such an incredible level of being more than the world’s population. What is more, the statistics show that the mobile devices have a growth rate five times greater than that of the population.
  • We can all change this situation and start recycling our electronic waste. Education is the key for an efficient recycling program. Before we throw an electronic device to the garbage, we should think before if someone else could use it. What is more, we can also ask the electronic shops about their recycling programs and get their help.