1.     Take a light bulb or two out of your overhead light fixture. If it has 3 or 4 bulbs in it, remove one and see if it makes much of a difference. If it doesn’t, try removing two.

2.     Use your toaster oven instead of the oven when possible. It uses much less energy than the conventional oven and doesn’t take as long to heat up.

3.     Save the water from cooking vegetables/pasta to water your plants. I did this last summer with a half barrel full of impatiens outside. I only watered them with leftover cooking water. They bloomed beautifully.

4.     Switch to all natural, biodegradable dish soap. I use the Natural Almond Earth Friendly Products Ultra Dishmate. It doesn’t make as many suds as what you may be used to, but it cleans just as well. I like the almond smell, too.

5.     Hide the paper towels and use rags to clean up your messes. Make sure you put the rags in an easily accessible place.

6.     Eat your leftovers. Wasted food is more than just wasted food. It’s wasted water and energy.

7.     Keep a pitcher of tap water in the refrigerator. You’ll have cold drinking water on hand instead of running the faucet till it's cold or drinking bottled water. Plus, I’m always more likely to drink more water when it comes out the fridge. I think psychologically I feel like I’m drinking something instead of just water.

8.     Save the plastic bags from bread, veggies, the inside of cereal boxes and other things to be reused before they hit the trash. If you’ve gotten into the habit of taking reusable shopping bags to the grocery store with you, these bags can do a lot of the same things that the plastic grocery bags did.

9.  Unplug appliances like the toaster oven, coffee maker, and microwave when not in use. Yes, I know it will mess up the clocks on some of them - you can deal with it, I know you can.

10. Get a counter top composter and compost your fruit and vegetable scraps. Then maybe you’ll start that compost pile in your backyard you’ve been meaning to start. Oh right, that’s me. And I know, this one isn't as easy as the rest, but it's a great idea.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

10 easy sustainable kitchen tips
These 10 easy tips can help you be more sustainable in the kitchen.