I was never the type who used to care too much about saving energy, wastage, etc etc. until I started running a home on my own. I then realised that there were umpteen ways in which you could save energy at home, and not just sourcing the food aspect alone, but with storing, cooking and even cleaning to be precise. So when E.ON announced the launch of an interesting project called the E.ON Innovation- an online community aiming at inspiring the general public (of course UK based) to come up with brilliant ideas to design the next big energy saving product or service- I decided it was high time I sat down and thought about ways to practise this at home.
Linked to the Channel 4 series 'Home of the Future', E.ON features five different challenges in the areas of rest, work, play, food and wellbeing, wherein you can put on your thinking caps and come up with innovative ideas that may make you the next big thing in the world of inventions, or even better, the best submission from each of these themes will win a home energy make over worth up to GBP 2000. If thats not enough, a 'Shining Star' winner will be selected, in which case the prize deal is increased to a home energy make over worth up to GBP 10,000.
This week the challenge is on the theme of food, and along with encouraging all of you to come up with ways to save energy with regard to storing, preparing and cooking food, I thought I'd ring up a few myself:
1. Use the kettle to boil water, and not use the hob top (which takes more time). Also, boiling the exact amount of water required and not huge quantities, which will go to waste and use up more energy.
2. Try and use the microwave as much as possible for reheating food, as opposed to using the oven or hob which requires a 10 minute pre heating time and then a minimum of at least 10 to 15 minutes to heat the food. A tip to save energy in case you need to use the oven, is to turn it off 10 minutes prior to the actual time as the oven will retain enough heat to do the job effectively. Same goes for a hob as well.
3. The pressure cooker, I think, is one of the best kitchen utensils I have ever owned. It not only does the job in half the time, but also saves loads of energy. If you dont have one, just get one without thinking twice. Trust me, its a good investment
4. You are usually given different ring options for cooking on the hob top, try and use the ring that matches your vessel and not a smaller one, in which case you are wasting energy.
5. Boiling rice, pasta, lentils etc take a whole lot of time. So if possible, make large chunks of this ahead and store in the refrigerator or freezer for later use. I know for a fact that rice and lentils stay in the freezer for week without any problem.
6. When you buy grocery, check the expiry date and think if you will be able to utilize it by the use-by date and wont have to waste it.
There are lots of ways in which you can actually save energy at home when it comes to food. I now make a conscious effort to do all this and more, and I hope you do too.
If you have a brilliant idea you want to put forth, then log on to www.eon-innovation.com and submit them there, before the 9th of April and be part of the project by following E.ON on Twitter @talkingenergy and keep a watch out for the hashtag #eoninno.