Most homeowners know that going green is good for the environment, but few realize that it can actually have a significant impact on how much you spend on utilities as well as other commodities. If you don’t want to go green for the environment, you may want to do it for the savings. Either way, going green in the kitchen is something all smart homeowners are interested in. Let’s have a look at a few ways you can start saving money and reducing pollution at the same time:

Use an Aerator: If you haven’t heard of this device before, you should definitely look into it. Typically water comes out of your faucet at an alarming rate (about 5 gallons every minute).  Adding an aerator to the line coming into the sink will reduce this water flow by over 60%. Aerators are in-expensive, easy to install, and can have a dramatic impact on your water use in the kitchen.

The Dishwasher: One of the easiest ways to go green in your home kitchen is to make sure that you use the water saver settings on your dishwasher (if there are any) and that you only run it when full. This will lower your water and energy use in the kitchen.

Look for Energy Star: The fact is that an Energy Star rated appliance will save you 10-15% on your energy bill over comparable appliances without the rating. Factor in the number of appliances in the kitchen – stove, oven, fridge, dishwasher, coffee maker, toaster, etc. – and you can see how this 10-15% really adds up. The higher price tag for an Energy Star rated appliance usually pays for itself in less than 3 years. After that its money in your pocket.

Unplug Smaller Appliances: If you think that your small steam iron, think again. The only way to stop smaller appliances from using energy is to unplug them. The simple trick to taking care of this problem is attaching these entire units to a power bar, like the one you’d use for a computer. When you are done with these units simply flick the switch on the bar and begin saving money as well as reducing your carbon footprint.

Composting: For those that have a home garden composting makes all sorts of sense. The easiest way to do it is by placing a container under the sink and depositing those compostable items into it along with a compost powder. Once the bucket is full you can transfer the contents directly to your garden area. Winter is the best time to use compost to invigorate your garden soil at a fraction of the cost of fertilizer or buying nitrogen rich soil.

Recycling: Many cities today offer great recycling programs, but it is up to you to make it happen. I find that the easiest way to ensure I recycle is by having the right bins for the job. It only takes a minute to separate out the paper, plastic, glass, and cardboard, but without a bin for each it becomes one big mess that never gets cleaned up. If you want to become a better recycler, all you need a few bins and some labels.