The DeLish Bite

Lindsay Evans blogs about food, entertaining and her favourite recipes for Green Living.

While kitchens are used for a great deal of cooking, this subsequently leaves a great deal of clean up. Cleaning up your kitchen can actually be a source of harsh chemicals being used in the home. Using products that don't include bleach or petroleum ingredients are the first step to creating a safer clean-up zone in your home.  

Here are a few tips which will help you to minimize your impact on the environment while doing your dishes:

Fill your sink:

Prior to washing all of your dishes by hand, fill the sink with warm (use hot water only for very baked on messes), soapy water and allow your dishes to soak. This will make it easier to quickly clean dishes, running water only briefly to rinse each dish.

Fill your dishwasher and use a low temperature cycle:

If you use your dishwasher, use the lowest temperature setting available and do not run a cycle until the dishwasher is absolutely full. This will enable you to cut down the energy used and you will only have to run your dishwasher a couple of times each week.

Purchase a new dishwasher:

If you are moving or just decide to purchase a new dishwasher, look for energy efficient brands which cut down on the amount of energy used for each cycle. They do all the hard work!

Use environmentally friendly cleaning supplies:

There are so many options available now at each and every grocery store, hardware store or corner store. Environmentally friendly cleaning products are filling shelves everywhere so before you reach for that Clorox, look at the label and choose something natural and/or organic instead. Although a few years ago, these products were not very powerful and thus got a bad rap from those seeking a decent clean, new products pack just as much punch as non-environmentally friendly products.

Avoid bleach and aerosol oven cleaners:

These cleaners are incredibly harsh for you and the environment. Companies such as Ecover and Seventh Generation now offer environmental assurances and transparency that their products don't contain the hazardous chemical additions.

Use re-useable cloths and dish towels:

Instead of using paper towels constantly to dry your hands and dishes, opt to purchase a few good tea towels which you can have handy and wash every few uses. Also, instead of using j-cloths and throw away scrubs, opt to purchase the new line of eco-friendly wash cloths which can be used and re-used over and over again.

Do not leave tap running constantly:

Always be aware of how long you are running your tap. If you wash your hands, turn tap on to wet hands, turn off to lather and scrub, then turn back on to rinse hands.