Cooking consciously is not only about making healthy choices, but also about making planet-conscious decisions. The kitchen is where we use a lot of energy, with 13.8% of our electricity usage going towards cooking and 16.8% towards keeping food fresh. By adopting energy-saving habits, we can reduce our carbon footprint and save money. Here are some tips from my Newstalk episode, which you can listen to here.

Appliances: Choose appliances with an A+++ rating as they are the most energy-efficient. Check the power rating, which is usually indicated on the label or manual, and estimate the energy usage by multiplying the power rating by the hours of usage. Turn off appliances at the wall and avoid standby mode.

Cooking: Cooking with gas loses heat to the room, whereas electric cooking is more energy-efficient. The microwave is the most energy-efficient option, using only 0.8kWh and costing €0.06c for 10 minutes of use. An oven, on the other hand, uses 2.5kWh and costs €1.08 for one hour of cooking. Using the right-sized pan with a fitting lid can reduce cooking time and energy usage, saving you up to €70. Simmering instead of boiling water can save up to €65 per year.

Other Appliances: Using a slow cooker consumes only 0.7kWh for eight hours of use, costing around 20c per day. Air fryers use 25c per hour, and microwaves use only 6c per day.

Energy usage statistics from the Centre for Sustainable Energy show that electric ovens use 2-2.2kWh per hour, costing 52c per hour, while gas ovens cost 40c per hour. By using the correct lid size and simmering instead of boiling, you can reduce annual bills by €70 and €65 respectively.

Conclusion: Cooking with consciousness doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. By adopting simple habits, such as using energy-efficient appliances, turning off appliances at the wall, using the right-sized pan with a fitting lid, and simmering instead of boiling, you can save money and reduce your carbon footprint. Let’s start to be more mindful of how we cook, and do our best to make a positive impact on our planet.

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