You’ve planned a spectacular meal and are looking forward to your family gathering around the table to celebrate this year's holidays … but how can you save some energy while cooking that turkey, ham, dressing and all the fixings?
1. Match pot size with burner size. A lot of energy is lost when a small pot sits on a large burner. The best way to heat or cook food without wasting energy is to make sure the bottom of the pot matches the size of the burner.
2. Keep the oven door closed. It’s difficult to resist peeking at that delicious dish in the oven, but don’t do it! Opening the oven door releases about 20 percent of the heat; it also causes the oven to work harder and your food to cook unevenly. Instead, use the oven light and peek at your creation through the window.
3. Fire up the grill and use the microwave. Grills and microwaves use a lot less energy than ovens and can drastically reduce cooking time. Another idea is to use your slow-cooker. Your guests will never guess your energy saving secrets!
4. When possible, keep the refrigerator door shut. Your refrigerator is designed to keep things cool. Each time you open its door you’re letting that cool air out. Try making a list of the things you need and minimize the number of times you have to open the fridge.
5. Load up the dishwasher. Did you know that hand-washing all those dishes uses about twice as much hot water as your dishwasher? Load up that dishwasher and use the “light” cycle – it will clean your dishes just as well as the “regular” cycle but uses half the hot water.