The Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur begins this Friday night, September 12. In Jewish tradition this is the day of repentance, a time to look back on our actions during the past year and resolve to do better. It’s a good time to power down, and during the holiday season, much of our activity focuses on cooking for friends and family. The kitchen is the part of any home that uses up the most resources on a daily basis. It’s time to take stock—have you committed any of these environmental “sins” in your kitchen over the past year?
- Depending on disposables. Disposables have to be manufactured, transported and well, disposed of. Better to invest in a few practical utensils–second-hand is fine—and wash them with an appropriate amount of water and soap.
- Wasting food. Rotten food emits methane, which is worse for the environment than carbon dioxide emissions. Buy only what you need, use it up before buying more, and don’t overeat.
- Wasting energy. A pressure cooker or crockpot is more efficient than the oven. Cooking one-pot meals save the most energy. And open your refrigerator rarely.
- Wasting water. Don’t let your water run when you’re not using it, and save water from washing vegetables for houseplants. For more ideas, see Twelve Tips for Saving Water in the Kitchen.
- Eating too much animal protein. This year, replace some of the meat, eggs, and dairy products with legumes, nuts, whole grains and vegetables. You can follow these tips for Switching to a Vegetarian Diet.
- Relying on processed foods. Processed foods are not only expensive, they usually contain excess amounts of sugar, salt, preservatives and unhealthy fats. And think about all the packaging that ends up in the landfill. Stick to local, raw and organic products whenever you can.
:: Photo credit: Let Ideas Compete
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