Food for Thought
Cooks who want to save the planet can help by taking small steps to conserve water. Adopt these water conservation habits, and make your kitchen a little greener in the process.
- Don’t run the faucet until the water comes out cold. Instead, keep a pitcher of fresh water in the fridge each day and encourage your family to use it.
- Instead of buying plastic bottles of drinking water, fill your own bottle each morning before you leave the house.
- Wash your produce in a large bowl, and use the leftover water for your garden.
- Instead of using your garbage disposal, peel produce scraps right onto a sheet of old newspaper and throw the whole thing away when you are done dicing. Better still, make a compost using old eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags and produce scraps.
- Make sure your next dishwasher is energy efficient.
- Keep the ice maker in the freezer turned off, and turn it on only when the ice supply gets low.
- Wash pots and pans immediately, before food hardens on them; you will use less water. If necessary, fill dirty pans with water and let them sit a while to loosen the residue, rather than scrubbing them under running water.
- Run the dishwasher only when it is full, and wait until after dark to turn it on.
- Don’t bother rinsing plates and utensils thoroughly before putting them in today’s dishwashers.
- If possible, use two sinks to wash dishes—one for hot, soapy water and the other for rinsing.
- Restrict each member of your family (and visitors, too) to using one glass a day.
- Don’t thaw frozen food or cool hot items using running cold water. Instead, put them in a bowl filled with ice water, or thaw food in the fridge overnight.
- Save leftover cooking water, and let it cool on the counter for use in the garden.
- Steam veggies in a scant amount of water rather than boiling them in a pot filled to the brim with water.
- When heating a pot of water, always use a lid, since the water takes longer to heat without one.