Why boil your vegetables? A microwave is much, much greener, and there are other advantages too!
And at a time where electricity and gas prices are rising steeply, shouldn’t we all be doing this anyway, for the sake of our wallets?
What do I need to do?
When you prepare a family meal, we usually boil your vegetables?
A classic example is frozen peas … you bring the water to the boil on the hob, add a bit of salt, put the frozen peas in the water (it goes cold again), bring it back to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
It’s very easy, but it does use a lot of electricity or gas for the amount of food that is being cooked in that pan.
Instead, it’s much, much more energy efficient to put the peas in a dish with a little water, and microwave for two minutes. Job done.
Why does this save carbon dioxide emissions?
This small action, if replicated across millions of kitchens, will reduce the demand on our electricity grids. In turn, this reduces the amount that the suppliers need to generate, thus reducing the demand for fossil fuels.
If you cook with gas, your use of fossil fuel is being directly reduced.
Anything that reduces the use of fossil fuel will also reduce carbon emissions, plus, of course, you’ll be saving money!
But how much difference does my pan of peas make?
In percentage terms … a lot! That’s why this is such an effective action if we can act collectively.
Here’s some maths to illustrate this.
Using an electric hob, your demand for electricity to cook your pan of peas will be based on the length of time the power is switched on (let’s say, a total of 15 minutes) and the power drawn by your cooking hob ring (typically, for a small pan, about 1.2 kilowatts). On the other hand, if I run a 750 watt microwave for 3 minutes, the percentage saving in energy can be calculated using this formula:
Units used by the hob = 1.2kW x 15/60 minutes, which is 0.3 units of electricity.
Units used by the microwave oven = 0.75kW x 3/60 minutes, which is 0.0375 units of electricity.
So the saving is 88% … that means 88% less cost and 88% less carbon dioxide.
88% less electricity just by using your microwave oven to cook your peas!
Summing up the advantages
- microwaving can reduce your energy use for a cooking job by nearly 90%
- reduced power bills
- reduced CO2 emissions
- reduced pollutants from fossil fuels
- food cooked quickly in a microwave loses less taste than when boiled
- food cooked quickly in a microwave loses fewer nutrients than when boiled
- cooking is quicker, more convenient, and less steamy
Next time you are about to fill up and boil a saucepan for a simple cooking job like cooking vegetables, think again … could you use the microwave oven instead and reduce your cost and carbon footprint?
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