While there are more than a few things that take getting used when making the switch from a full size to small size home cooking is perhaps the most challenging.
Not only does the act of cooking take place regularly throughout the day, day-in and day-out, but also it’s one thing that we assume, “the more space available the better.” Who among us hasn’t crafted a meal in which both sinks and counters were overflowing with dishes? The oven stuffed, the burners full, and the microwave zinging while all remaining counters look slightly like a food fight just went down. If you have not, I applaud you. But, one of my favorite things about bunking down in a small space is the forced transition to very green and eco-friendly cooking which becomes a necessity, whether or not we always like it.
Rather than dread or complain about the fact that your kitchen may now be more of an “idea” than an actual, physical “place,” relish and embrace the new knowledge that you’re about to become one of the greenest cooks on the planet, or in your neighborhood for sure. Here are some of the easiest things to embrace and to look forward to if you’re just in the process right now.
You can’t Waste Much if You Can’t Store Much
Mega fridges and mega pantries are just destined to become sources of waste. We overbuy and overstock. And then things get buried and hidden and eventually expire. Events come up, forcing us to eat out and in turn we eat less of that fresh beautiful produce than we thought we would. And we waste. Small spaces mean small pantries (if you have them) and small fridges. Relish in the fact that you will naturally waste less because you just can’t fit that much in there anymore. You’ll be able to see what you have, and chances are good you won’t possibly be able to buy more until you’ve used what you have. On the other hand, there are perks to buying in bulk. So if you can, consider a small shed or invest in some heavy duty barrels where you can store things like 50 pound bags of flour outside of your home without worrying about damage.
Choosing to skip big ovens and big stovetops is loaded with benefits for the environment. A tiny house is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of grilling outside more often (skip the charcoal and wood). Solar powered grills are probably your best eco-safe bet, but can also be the most time consuming. There are hydrogen powered grills as well as plant based grills that work very well. Also, you may cringe at the idea of a microwave, but if you don’t have anything against them, they do use less energy than your stove. And they come in very tiny sizes.
More Fresh, Less Processed
With less room to store processed, packaged “stuff” and less desire to stand in a small kitchen over a hot stove, chances are very good that you’ll naturally find yourself leaning towards more fresh fruits and veggies. You may even find a hidden salad connoisseur buried deep inside you that you didn’t even know about! You’ll have an excuse to take more frequent trips to the Farmer’s market, meaning fresher produce all the time and better meals because of it. Green eating is typically the healthiest, and if that isn’t something to embrace, I’m not sure what is! Look at your new tiny kitchen as an exploration into creativity. How many new no-cook, no-bake creations can you whip up? I’ll tell you: the number is infinite. You’ll never run out.
If you haven’t thought of this yet, then you should be changing your mindset right about now! Less counter space simply means less scrubbing and wiping down 24 hours a day. Less floor space equals less sweeping and mopping, and let’s face it: we all know the kitchen is the worst. It gets dirtiest the fastest and is the hardest to clean.
Less Effort and Cost Heating and Cooling
Nothing is worse than cooking in the freezing cold or the super hot. With a tiny kitchen, you’ll warm it up quickly with some simple cooking, and you can cool it off just as rapidly opening the windows, turning on a fan or may a small AC if you have one in your home. You’ll love being able to regulate the temperature more easily, especially when rising fresh loaves of bread…
A tiny kitchen doesn’t have to mean tiny meals or skimpy meals. You can dazzle any number of people with just the bare minimum. It may be more challenging, perhaps more time consuming, but chances, are, also probably much more rewarding. Enjoy going greener and being more creative and embrace that little kitchen wholeheartedly. It’ll pay off and the environment and your health will thank you.
Freelancer Jocelyn Anne writes to encourage families to be greener and more environmentally friendly in their daily living. At the moment, she’s promoting the summer use of small portable air conditioners as a cost and energy-saving option in lieu of central AC systems.