If you are trying to live a greener lifestyle, you may wonder if there is anything you can do while cooking to lessen your energy usage. Below are three tips for green living to get you started.

Cook More Than One Item In Your Oven At One Time

If you are planning to use your oven for more than one dish, consider cooking two or more together at one time. While the cooking times on each item may increase slightly, your oven will still be used for only a fraction of the time required to cook each one individually.

For example, if you are baking a ham and macaroni and cheese, place the ham on the top shelf and the side dish on the bottom. If the macaroni and cheese has completed cooking before the ham, remove it and put your green bean casserole in its place while the ham finishes.

Use Only As Much Water For Boiling As Needed

Unless a recipe calls for a specific amount of water, use only enough to cover the food you are boiling. When the pan is filled with unnecessary water, it takes longer for it to start boiling. This keeps the stove top on longer, using up energy that is not really needed.

For example, if you are boiling potatoes for mashed potatoes, place them in the pan. Then, put the water in the pan until it covers the top by a quarter of an inch. Since the potatoes will cook down, this will be plenty to get them done.

Reheat Or Cook Small Dishes In Your Microwave

If you have small dishes of food to reheat or cook, use your microwave instead of your stove top or oven. Because this appliance cooks more efficiently, it can use up to 80% less energy to cook or reheat food. 

For example, if you have a small bowl of leftover mashed potatoes from the day before you plan to eat again at dinner, put it into a microwave-safe bowl and reheat it in the microwave instead of in the oven. Not only will it be ready faster, but you will save energy while doing so.

While the above tips will not turn your kitchen completely green, they do give you a good starting point. For more information about green living and saving energy, you may want to speak with your gas and electric companies for further suggestions.