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Success E co GREEN MINDED Eco-friendly is a term we use a lot, but what does it actually mean when it comes to the kitchen? The following environmentally conscious choices will not only benefit your body and the environment but, as an added incentive, your wallet as well. T E X T BY SA N DY L I N D S E Y DISH SMARTS We all have dishwashers, yet continuously reach for paper plates and plasticware for get-togethers. Running the dishwasher after an event costs less and adds an elan not found with disposable tableware. FRUIT SURPRISE Did you know that fruit can rot faster in the fridge because the ethylene gas it emits as part of the ripening process gets trapped inside? You may want to consider storing fruits at room temperature whenever possible. BUY RIGHT On average, 14% of food goes to waste. That’s not just your dollars, but the farmer’s work, transportation costs, packaging, etc., going to waste and negatively impacting the environment. BUY BULK The exception to the rule above is non-perishables that you absolutely know you’ll use. Buying bulk means less packaging, less gas for trips to the store and the ability to plan meals ahead. OVEN MAX While baking tonight’s dinner, why not bake tomorrow’s as well to maximize use of oven heat? Plus, it’ll be nice to come home to an already prepared home-cooked meal. CHEF LEVEL When it comes to remodeling, don’t overbuild. Yes, you get a lot back from a kitchen remodel when you sell the house, but do you really need a 6-burner gas stove when you mainly use the microwave?! QUALITY MATTERS Unlike appliances, high-quality cookware and utensils can last a lifetime. (Remember Grandma’s good old cast iron skillet?). Some neighborhoods have a “kitchen library” for items you use rarely or want to try out. TOWEL NO-NO Manufacturer’s spend millions marketing the convenience of paper towels to us. Buy sponges, dish towels and dish rags instead and when they’re no longer fit for the kitchen, use them to clean the car. 40