10 Eco-Friendly Kitchen Tips

Easy go-green tips good for you and the planet

Shop locally.
Look for locally grown produce at farmers' markets, farm stands and food co-ops. You get fresher fare, support your community and help reduce fuel waste and emissions from long-distance shipping.

Keep an eye on the "9."
Check the numbered stickers on fruits and veggies. If they start with #9, your produce is organic, meaning it's grown pesticide-free.

B.Y.O.B. – "bring your own bag."
Skip your supermarket's plastic bags and transport groceries in reusable tote bags or canvas produce sacks.

Ditch the plastic bottles.
Outfit your kitchen tap with a purified water filter, and tote around a refillable sports bottle, made of glass, aluminum or recycled plastic.

Kick those cleaned-out cans, jars, plastic bottles, pizza boxes and even used tin foil to the curb on recycling day. When sorting plastic containers, look for #2 and #3 on the bottom and trash or reuse the rest.

Reduce waste.
Buy in bulk, pick fresh ingredients and look for products with limited — or at least recyclable — packaging. Switch to cloth napkins or buy paper towels and napkins labeled "recycled," "unbleached" and/or "post-consumer waste."

Grill it!
Outdoor grills take less energy than your stove and keep heat out of the house, reducing costly strain on your AC. Better still: upgrade to induction cooking — it's most efficient.

Chill out.
Fill empty space in your refrigerator or freezer with crumpled newspapers or full water bottles — it improves cooling and saves electricity and money.

Go compostal!
Feed fresh kitchen scraps (no meats or oils, please) to a compost pile. Then use the nutrient-rich compost to perk up your herb garden.

Clean greener.
Scour cast-iron pans with salt to preserve seasoning, turn off the tap while scrubbing dishes and only run a full dishwasher. Plus, stock your pantry with the best natural cleaners: baking soda, lemon juice, white vinegar and club soda.