While environmentally friendly cookware won't make you a gourmet cook overnight, it can help reduce energy usage in your kitchen and prevent harmful chemicals from tainting your family’s food.
Many kitchenware manufacturers, like Cuisinart, are now using a new ceramic technology designed to keep foods from sticking. Traditional nonstick pans are coated with Teflon that starts to break down at temperatures more than 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 degrees Celsius). Most stoves reach higher temperatures, so the Teflon starts to break down after only a few months.
Pots and pans made with new ceramic-based nonstick technology take less time to heat the surface to the proper cooking temperature because of the excellent heat conductivity of the aluminum it’s made from. Its ceramic coating doesn’t start to break down until temperatures rise above 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit (538 degrees Celsius).
Purchase only the individual pieces you need instead of buying sets with pots that you'll never use, and select oven-friendly pieces that can be used for multiple purposes. You should also seek designs with tightly fitting lids so that very little heat energy escapes.
Look for cookware made of recycled materials, including handles derived from recycled aluminum. Some manufacturers even offer cookware with handles composed of sustainable materials like bamboo.