Dana Mears, Environmental Educator, Town of Cochrane
Special to the Cochrane Eagle
Kitchens are often the heart of our homes – it’s where we prepare healthy meals and gather with friends and family for a good time. Consider the following kitchen tips to ensure our daily habits help keep our environment happy and healthy too.
A dripping kitchen tap might seem like an easy way to pre-soak your dishes before washing and an annoyance to fix, but every drip adds up to more dollars down the drain. Get handy. Pull out your tool belt and watch some do-it-yourself videos, if needed, to fix the problem. Don’t be afraid to call a professional to fix it either, as the cost of doing so now could be less than what you’ll pay through your higher water bills. You may also consider having a new, low-flow faucet installed to help save more of your hard-earned money.
Cleaning fruits and veggies is important to ensure all the pesticides and dirt are washed off before taking a bite. But consider the amount of water wasted by washing one apple at a time. Rather, put all your items in a water-filled bowl and give them a quick scrub by hand. Your fruits and veggies will be clean, and your water will be put to good use.
Drinking those eight cups of water day is very important to stay healthy, but tepid tap water isn’t very appealing. Instead of running the tap until the water is cold, keep a jug of water in the fridge. You’ll appreciate the convenience and be able to better track how much you’re drinking.
When washing dishes by hand, boil the water in a kettle first, then pour it into the sink with your soap. Partially fill the adjacent sink for rinsing the soapy residue, instead of leaving the tap running.
For those lucky people who own a dishwasher, remember that they differ from laundry machines. Sometimes you can’t select a load size. Make sure those dish racks are full before running a load to get the most value for each wash.
Rinsing dishes used to be the thing to do, but it’s a water waster. Instead, use a paper napkin to scrape the food into your compost bin — then throw the napkin in too! Food waste in Cochrane belongs in the compost bin, where it gets turned into a nutrient-rich soil additive, not in our wastewater system. Food waste in your plumbing can cause costly repairs.
These small changes to food preparation and kitchen clean-up routines can help ensure we are making better use of our water as a community. Keep up the great work Cochrane!