Thanksgiving and other holidays near the end of the year are great opportunities to spend time with family and friends. In the midst of planning the menu and coordinating travel plans with family members, it is easy to forget to be green. To help you save time and energy this Thanksgiving, here are seven helpful tips.
1. Install a dimmer switch. Dimming a light bulb’s brightness by 10% will double the bulb’s lifespan. Most CFLs do not work with dimmers, but you can use LEDs.
2. Plan side dishes to cook simultaneously with the turkey. Coordinating dishes that require the same oven temperature will reduce the amount time the oven has to be on. It’s easier for the cook and more energy efficient.
3. Lower your thermostat a few degrees. The oven will keep your apartment warm. If you have a ceiling fan, turn it on so it sucks up air and distributes the heat evenly throughout.
4. Use ceramic or glass cookware. These materials retain heat so well that they allow you to reduce your oven temperature by up to 25 degrees and will continue cooking food even after being removed from the oven.
5. Convection oven. If your oven has a convection feature, use it! When heated air is circulated around the food, it reduces the required cooking time and temperature. It could reduce your energy use by 20%.
6. Scrape plates instead of rinsing with hot water. Unless food is really caked on, your dishwasher should get the dishes clean without a pre-rinse. Compost your non-meat food waste.
7. Use your dishwasher. It saves energy and time. Only hand wish items that are not dishwasher safe. Stop your dishwasher before the heated dry cycle; just open the door and let your dishes air-dry.