Green Kitchens

Turning our kitchens green – no matter what color they are

LED kitchen lighting again January 26, 2009

Filed under: saving energy,Using the kitchen — kevwilliams @ 12:09 pm

More LED kitchen under-cabinet lighting, this time a new award winner from Kichler. Great stuff.

Right now I have a battery-powered multi-LED disc duct-taped to the underside of the cabinets over my main work area, after the previous fluorescent Brightstik fell off, hit the cast-iron frypan on the counter below, and exploded into the dinner I was just serving up. Broken glass and mercury do not make good condiments 😦

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Decluttering the fridge so you can clean it July 11, 2008

Filed under: saving energy,Using the kitchen — kevwilliams @ 11:56 am

Cleaning the fridge is an important part of keeping it running as efficiently as possible so that it uses as little energy as possible.

If your fridge looks like a bomb went off inside it, or it’s stuffed to the gills and you can’t find anything, or you’re afraid to open it because the science experiments have created their own civilization and reached the gunpowder stage… read on.

  1. Turn the fridge off, pull out everything, and start the fridge defrosting while you work. You can set pans of hot water inside to speed up melting. If the cleaning process will take a while, put frozen and highly perishable foods in a cooler or ice chest.
  2. Throw away the science experiments, anything with fur that shouldn’t have it, and anything that’s gone bad.
  3. Look at all the leftovers. Decide: will you eat them in the next 2 days? Can they be frozen to eat later? No? Into the garbage or compost they go.
  4. Check expiry dates. Throw out anything which is unreasonably beyond it’s date (it seems a shame to waste something which expired yesterday – but be sure you’ll eat it SOON!).
  5. Consider how you use the space inside your fridge: could it be better organized? Can shelves be moved to use the space better? Plan for better space use while it’s empty.
  6. Take out your baking soda container if it’s been there longer than a few months, and use it to clean out the sink drains.
  7. Clean the fridge.
  8. Add new baking soda
  9. Replace everything you’re keeping, using your new space plan.
  10. Admire the lovely clean spacious fridge.

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Should you include a waste disposal in your kitchen? June 25, 2008

Filed under: appliances,design,recycling,saving energy,Three R's,Using the kitchen — kevwilliams @ 12:11 pm

Waste disposals (garburators, waste disposers) have pros and cons. Not everyone needs or wants one.

Pros:

  • easy disposal of food waste
  • no bad smelling garbage or compost container
  • waste containers can be smaller

Note: properly managed compost and garbage containers don’t have to smell.

Cons:

  • take up space in the sink cabinet
  • can be noisy
  • can get jammed by or damage items which go into the disposer by mistake
  • another appliance to go wrong and get serviced
  • food wastes add a high load to the sewage system (some areas do not allow disposals for this reason)
  • may overload septic systems
  • can smell (need to have citrus fruit or chemicals run through them to prevent this)
  • can clog and need plumbing disassembled to fix
  • uses a lot of water, which you or your local utility pays for

Because I compost most of my food waste, I don’t feel any need for a disposer. But more generally, I believe they waste electricity, water, soil fertility and sewage disposal capacity for very little return in convenience. In fact if I moved into a house with one already installed, I’d probably take it out!

Agree/disagree? let me know!