Green Up Your Dinner

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Your kitchen is a wonderful place to start a eco-makeover. And it doesn't have to cost a bundle. First and foremost, cooking at home is a great way to be green--it saves on gas and produces a lot less waste.

Savvy moms do some legwork to save cash on the family food bill--especially if they are opting for more-expensive organics. Some moms hunt down coupons, or track sales at their grocery stores (I've love to hear some of your favorite coupon blogs). Others join food warehouses. My tip: Join a food cooperative. What is a cooperative? It's a group of neighbors who band together to start their own grocery store. Since it is a non-profit entity it saves the members loads of cash. For example, after we joined the Park Slope Food Coop our food bill was cut by 30%. Better still, the PSFC is green, green, green. They try to source all the food organically and locally--cutting down on pesticides, chemicals and transportationemissions. For more information about coops in your area, check out this site.

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Once you've got a fridge full of organic goodies, smart moms plan menus and COOK. Prepared meals cost a bundle and have a ton of extra packaging. Home cooked dinners (tonight was roast chicken, wild rice and Swiss chard) bring the family together and help the environment.

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Since I am in the kitchen a lot, I was thrilled to be testing out some new green cookware. I sauteed the chard in a little olive oil in a new Starfrit Alternative Eco Pan 9.5 Inch Fry Pan($28). This chemical-free pan has a "Ceram-Eco" non-stick surface. And it's made of 99% recycled aluminum--awesome. The pan has such a divine surface I barely had to use any oil--good for my waist and the environment. I plan to purchase a complete set to update our kitchen.

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