In your kitchen
Below are some conservation tips for one of the busiest rooms in the house.
At the sink
- Conserve water when you hand-wash dishes by partially filling the sink with soapy water and quickly rinsing dishes with a spray device or in a pan of warm water.
- Clean your vegetables in a partially-filled sink rather than under a continuously running tap.
- Steaming vegetables uses less water than boiling and conserves more of your vegetables' nutrients.
- Keep drinking water in the fridge rather than running tap water to get it cold.
- Install an aerator attachment on your taps to use up to 25% less water.
Tin it, then bin it
- Don't dispose of solvents, chemicals, cleaners or cooking fat by pouring them down your drain; they can harm both the environment and your drainage system. Learn more about protecting your pipes.
Drip, drop, stop
- Regularly check your faucets, pipes, taps and hoses for leaks and drips. Your local hardware store can help you fix most minor household plumbing issues.
- Water-efficient dishwashers use less water and less energy to heat the water than standard models.
- Use full loads to save water and energy.
- Use the shortest wash cycle for your load size.
- Use the no-heat drying cycle.
- Set your water temperature to no higher than 50°C (120°F).
- Use high-quality, flat-bottomed pots and pans that match the size of the burner to avoid heat loss. Up to 40% of the heat is wasted if the pot base is smaller than the cooking element.
- Check your oven's temperature with an oven thermometer to ensure the heating controls are accurate.
- Make sure your oven door seals tightly.
- Use the self-cleaning function immediately after cooking while your oven is still hot.
- Keep your oven door closed while cooking so the temperature remains consistent. Every time you open the oven door, the temperature can drop by as much as 24°C/75°F.
- Plan meals so as to make full use of the oven space.
- Use a high heat setting to boil liquids on the stove, then reduce heat to maintain a consistent low boil.
- Only pre-heat your oven for delicate baked goods and pastries. Most ovens will heat to 180°C/350°F in about 10 minutes.
- Use glass baking dishes for better heat transfer.
- Turn off your oven 15 minutes before cooking is done to allow the cooking to continue using residual heat.
- Do not use your oven to heat your kitchen.
- Use small appliances (like a microwave oven) when cooking or reheating small quantities of food. You'll use up to 50% less energy compared to a conventional oven.
- When designing your kitchen, place the fridge away from direct sunlight, heating vents and heat-generating appliances like dishwashers or ranges. Allow enough space for continual airflow around the appliance.
- Extreme heat or cold make your fridge work harder, using more electricity and reducing its lifespan.
- Make sure the interior of your fridge isn't overcrowded and has plenty of space for air to circulate.
- The ideal temperatures for food safety and energy efficiency are: 3°C/38°F for the fridge, and -18°C/0°F for the freezer.
- Make use of automatic ice makers and water dispensers.
- Ensure your fridge and freezer doors are tightly sealed. Clean the seal if there's any residue.
- Avoid opening your fridge or freezer door for long periods of time.