TIP ONE: FRIDGE EFFICIENCY
Your fridge is the biggest energy user in your kitchen.  About 11% of a household's total energy consumption is thanks to the fridge. You can test the seals on your fridge easily. Close your fridge door on a piece of paper. If you're able to slide the paper out easily you need new seals. You can replace the seal yourself with a DIY kit from the hardware store. Keep your freezer full for efficiency.  Store bags of ice or pop bottles filled with water to take up space.  Vacuum the coils and underneath every season.  Never put warm items in the fridge, and always put a lid on containers: moisture released from food makes the compressor work harder.

TIP TWO: USE A TIMER POWER BAR
Small appliances (especially those with LCD displays) require power even when not in use. Your coffee maker, microwave and cell phone charger should be plugged into a power bar with timer. When you leave the house, program the power bar to shut off.  This will help you save on hydro and reduce the amount of phantom power that these small appliances suck up throughout the day.  By making this small change you can save up to 15% on your energy bill.

TIP THREE: SAVE UP TO 70% OF COOKING ENERGY WITH THIS ONE TOOL...
The pressure cooker! Yes!  Uses 70% less energy because pressure and intense steam heats to cook meals in a fraction of the usual time.  A stew that would take hours normally could be done in 40 minutes; curries 20 minutes; can even make ribs or cook a whole chicken - tons of recipes online and in great new cookbooks.  Pressure cookers are making a huge comeback because their designs are updated and they are one of the best energy savers when cooking.

TIP FOUR: PACKING FOOD TO GO
When you're getting your lunch ready to take away, skip the sealable plastic bags and plastic boxes. We all know these items are convenient but not great for the environment (or your health).  Sandwich, cookies, fruit and recess snack = 4 bags a day, 5 days per week (20 bags). For a school year of 40 weeks that's 800 bags per child!  That's about $30 a year, but the environmental cost is much higher: it could take 100 years or more for a plastic bag to break down, and the bits can pollute our waterways, soil and endanger wildlife.  Invest in reusable, chic and enviro-friendly options. Bento boxes, tiffins and LunchBots are now all the rage. They are stylish, enviro friendly and can be purchased in great variety now.  Lots of fantastic food storage options that are BPA free and "green".

More tips for Green Living...
www.greenlivingonline.com

Comment to win!  What's one green living trend you want to learn more about?  Let us know and you could win one of these awesome Green Kitchen Prize Packs! 

GREEN KITCHEN PRIZE PACK 1

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Kuhn Rikon 7.4 quart Pressure Cooker (courtesy of Fast Cooking)
RuMe Tote Bag (courtesy of Gone Shopping)
So Young Mother Cooler Bag
LunchBots Stainless Steel Containers

GREEN KITCHEN PRIZE PACK 2

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Deni 8.5 quart Oval Pressure Cooker
RuMe Tote Bag (courtesy of Gone Shopping)
So Young Mother Lunch Bag
The Laptop Lunch Kit (courtesy of Credible Edibles)
Greentainers Round Stainless Steel Box (courtesy of Gone Shopping)