We spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and there is a lot to do here to reduce its environmental impact, especially by reducing electricity consumption and recycling properly. You can read more about recycling and waste here. Our appliances also play a big role, and what materials you use when you renovate and renew your kitchen. You can read more about renovation here. Read more about sustainability in the kitchen below.
Small things that make a big difference to the climate
- Plan what to eat the day before, use something from the freezer – set it in the fridge and let it defrost there overnight.
- Plan so that you can use the stove for more than one thing when you are still heating it. Putting several things in the oven at the same time while having the oven fan on reduces the time you need to keep it on.
- Boil the water in a kettle instead of on the stove.
- Always cook with the lid on, it can save up to 70% of energy consumption.
- Turn off the oven / stove a few minutes before the food is done, it will become ready anyway.
- Let the food cool before you set it in the fridge, so the fridge can spend less energy on cooling it.
- If you are going to heat a portion, the microwave is the most energy-efficient alternative.
- Set the fridge to +5 degrees and the freezer to -18 degrees to reduce energy consumption
- Regularly dust the fridge and freezer on the back for them to work optimally.
- Defrost the freezer regularly.
- Only run the dishwasher when it is full and use the energy saving program.
- Choose a fridge and freezer that is energy labeled with A + or A ++
- If you need to buy a new stove, buy one with an induction hob.
- Avoid washing the dishes under running water. Fill up a tub or sink instead.
- If you wash dishes by hand, you can use the leftover dish water in the tub to rinse out packaging.
- Wash / boil the dishcloth regularly so you do not have to buy a new one as often
Non-toxic and plastic reduction
PVC, phthalates, PFOA, bisphenol A – yes the list can be made long of potentially harmful chemicals that are often found in our kitchen. Many are carcinogenic, hormone disrupting or difficult for nature to break down. Here is some advice to keep in mind when buying kitchen utensils. Since plastic often contains so-called plasticizers that can cause hormonal disorders, it can be good to replace those with other materials, especially in the kitchen where the plastic comes in contact with the food and in many cases also gets heated, which contributes to even greater impact.
- Replace the plastic with stainless steel, bamboo, cast iron, porcelain, wood, enamel, glass or clay – look for second-hand!
- Pots, pans, frying pans and kitchen utensils made of stainless steel or cast iron are preferable to those made of aluminum, as they often release aluminum ions.
- If you buy items at flea markets that are glazed, remember not to store acidic foods (foods with a low pH value) in them. Heavy metals that are present in the color of the glaze can otherwise be excreted and end up in the food.
- Replace your plastic lunch box with one made of glass or stainless steel.
- If you use plastic lunch boxes, try to avoid heating the food directly in them. Place on a plate before stuffing the food in the microwave, so that the risk of harmful substances escaping from the plastic becomes lower.
- Replace your water bottle with one made of stainless steel or other environmentally friendly material.
- Replace your cutting board with a wooden one.
- Reduce disposable products.
- Replace the plastic wrap with reusable beeswax cloths or simply cover the food with a plate.
- Replace your plastic dish brush with a wooden one.
- Bring used plastic bags to the store and reuse all bags as long as possible in the kitchen.
- Skip plastic completely in the presence of heat, use stainless steel or a wooden spatula instead of plastic.
- Buy a kettle in stainless steel instead of plastic.
- Use a solid dish soap bar instead of detergent in a plastic bottle.
- If you bought a plastic utensil that will neither heat up nor come into contact with your food, then it is best to wear it out properly and then replace it with wooden utensils.
- Buy kitchen utensils second-hand. There is a lot of plastic-free that is of good quality and will last at least another 40 years!
- Read more about reducing plastic here (in Swedish).
Page updated 2021.