The following is an excerpt from Climate Change: Simple Things You Can Do to Make a Difference by Amanda Cuthbert and Jon Clift. It has been adapted for the web.
- When you use natural gas or propane to cook with, carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced; this is the main cause of climate change.
- When you use electricity to cook with, the power plant burned coal, gas, or oil to produce that electricity — emitting CO2 in the process.
What can I do about it?
- Cut food into small pieces before cooking — it will cook more quickly.
- Select the correct saucepan size for the heating element or gas flame.
- Put a lid on top of the pan when you can; your meal will cook much more quickly and you won’t be wasting energy.
- Turn down the heat when a saucepan comes to a boil. You don’t need as much heat to keep a pot boiling as you do to get it to boil, and the contents will cook just as quickly.
- Only use sufficient water to cover vegetables when cooking them in saucepans.
- Use a steamer for vegetables — you can cook two or three vegetables on one element or gas ring.
- Consider using a pressure cooker for cooking some foods — it reduces cooking times dramatically.
- Make one-pot meals that only need one element or gas ring.
- Use your oven efficiently by filling up as much of the space as possible.
- If you’re cooking a meal in the oven, don’t be tempted to keep on opening the oven door to see how it’s all going, as you lose a lot of heat doing this.
If you do just one thing: When boiling water, use only as much as you need.