If you want to be green in your kitchen, of course
Choose Long-Lasting Cookware
You should select utensils and cookware that will last a long time. First of all, this means that you should stop using Teflon-coated pots and pans. There already is a big debate about whether or not non-stick surfaces are unhealthy. The other thing to be aware of is that Teflon just does not last very long. We recommend that you choose a skillet made of steel or cast iron. It is true that a cast iron skillet is more expensive, but it lasts a long time.
On a similar note, you should choose utensils that will last a long time. Spoons made of wood will degrade and rot rather fast. Plastic melts if you leave it on your stove. You should try to buy higher quality metal utensils that last, and also buy higher quality knives that you can sharpen, rather than throw away when they get dull.
Gas or Electric?
This can be a tough choice. Natural gas is of course a fossil fuel, but most electricity still comes from power plants that burn coal. Many cooks like gas better because it is much easier to control the temperature. Gas also means that you have heat that is on instantly, and no heat is wasted when you are finished.
As far as electricity goes, the best ones are those that use induction parts. These will transfer all of the energy right to the pan. This leaves your cook top fairly cool and will use only half or so of the energy of a regular stovetop. You have to keep in mind that a stovetop with induction elements means you must use cookware made of metal. You cannot use aluminum or glass.
Another good choice for electric is to use a stovetop with a ceramic glass surface. These give heat right away and will respond fast when you change the temperature. They are easy to clean, too. However, they only work at the highest efficiency when there is a good amount of contact with the glass surface and the bottom of the pan. Much energy is wasted if the bottom of the pan is round at all.
Regular electric coils are the worst when you are trying to stay green in the kitchen. They waste a LOT of energy. If you do go electric, try to buy the most efficient energy-wise unit that you can afford. You also can buy green power to support renewable energy.
Keep in mind that you should choose a stove that fits into your budget and your style of life. Picking the 'greenest' option is really choosing the one that you can live with for the next 10 years. This way, you won't be replacing it every few years and wasting resources and material.
To Replace or Not Replace?
We are all for energy efficient appliances, such as a good, efficient dishwasher. One of these will use a great deal less hot water than washing your dishes in the sink. However, you should not just head right out and buy a new, efficient appliance as soon as it comes available. You should first be sure that your current appliance cannot be repaired. You're really better off from a resources standpoint by repairing your current appliance if possible.
If it really is time to buy a new appliance, many communities now have programs where you can turn in an old appliance. They will dispose of your appliance in a green way. Many old appliances have dangerous chemicals or materials.