There are many ways you can go about living a more sustainable lifestyle. Around the world, we're seeing companies making commitments to lower their carbon footprint. On the other hands, more homes are switching to solar power (just like we previously discussed on Alternatives Journal). While these steps certainly go a long way in making a difference for the earth, there are more ways to lessen your environmental impact — and it can start right in your kitchen.

There are many ways to make your kitchen more sustainable, especially given how often it is used and how much waste it produces. Kitchen appliances, in particular, put quite the strain on the environment. In fact, Tech Patio explains that appliances like your refrigerator use a tremendous amount of energy — comprising an average of 13% of your total home energy bill. And while appliances are one of the main sources of the problem, they can also be the solution.

Indeed, the near-infinite number of innovations in kitchen tech is making this part of your home a more efficient and eco-friendly place. So where should you begin? To help you get started, we've put together some tips to make your kitchen more environment-friendly!

Avoid Plastic Kitchen Tools

One thing you can do to have a more eco-friendly kitchen is to refrain from using plastic kitchen tools. While convenient, plastic tools such as banana slicers and egg separators all end up becoming waste that is dumped in landfills. This is especially worrisome considering that CNN predicts that the world will have 710 million tons of plastic pollution by 2040.

Instead of plastic kitchen tools, a better option would be to make use of kitchen tools made of eco-friendly material. For instance, you can use a wooden cutting board instead of a plastic one. To make it even more eco-friendly, try to look for one that uses reclaimed wood.

Use Multi-Purpose Appliances

While avoiding plastic tools is a great place to start, ditching single-purpose kitchen tools and appliances will also go a long way in lessening your overall impact on the environment. Think about it: how many single-purpose kitchen tools do you have in your kitchen, be it juicers or toasters? All of these gadgets will end up in a landfill once they've broken down. This is why you should make it a priority to purchase versatile tools that can cater to various kitchen needs.

You can start by looking for a multi-purpose rice cooker. If your diet isn't big on grains, you might think that rice cookers are pretty impractical. However, thanks to technological innovations, many modern rice cookers can do more than just make rice. We Know Rice's list of the best Aroma Rice cookers highlights how today's advanced rice cookers can fulfill a multitude of different functions. Whether you need to sauté food at high heat, prepare porridge, or cook soup — a rice cooker can do it all.

Lessen Phantom Electricity Usage

Another way you can lessen your negative impact on the environment is by, of course, saving electricity. And while we'll be discussing specific devices that can help you do this, it's important we also address phantom electricity usage. This refers to the electricity used by devices that are plugged in regardless if they are switched on or not.

You can simply unplug the devices when you're leaving your house, but it's understandable to forget to do this sometimes. This is where smart power strips will come in handy, since they allow you to turn off devices using your smartphone as long as they are plugged into the power strip.

Make Use of A Smart Refrigerator

Refrigerators are often one of the top appliances that eat up the most electricity, due to the sheer amount of power it needs to keep food cold. Luckily, technology has improved the humble refrigerator to the point that it is able to use significantly less energy.

Green America's article on climate-friendly fridges highlights how smart fridges expend less energy by keeping track of your fridge-opening habits. Some brands like GreenFreeze even make use of naturally occurring hydrocarbons instead of traditional cooling systems, which are said to be better for the environment.

Lights Make All The Difference

Your kitchen's lights also use up a significant amount of electricity. While you may think that compact fluorescent bulbs are sustainable due to their energy-saving capabilities, they contain mercury — which is harmful to both humans and the environment.

If you really want to be eco-friendly, LED lights are the way to go. They are both energy-efficient and are less impactful on the environment due to how long they last — with the average LED light bulb lasting around 100,000 hours.

Save Water Using Smart Sinks

Having an eco-friendly kitchen also means reducing the amount of water you waste. When it comes to saving water, it's the little things that you have to watch out for. While it may seem insignificant, the amount of water wasted from leaky faucets will rack up if left unattended.

Tools such as the Phyn Smart Water Assistant can prevent this from happening by monitoring the water in your kitchen. It can even keep track of the status of your pipes and will alert you of leaks that are present in your kitchen.