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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Kylie Kwong celebrates a sustainable Chinese New Year

Sydney, Australia: In preparation for Chinese New Year, Earth Hour ambassador Kylie Kwong has found 10 ways to save electricity in her kitchen.

Earth Hour ambassador, 2008 Chinese New Year Festival Ambassador and leading Sydney chef, Kylie Kwong has identified the kitchen as one of the biggest energy guzzling rooms within the home and therefore, a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

“Chinese New Year is a time for families to celebrate with delicious food symbolising prosperity for the coming year. This year, the Year of the Rat, is also an opportunity for us to make a few changes in our lives to live a more environmentally friendly life,” said Kylie.

Kylie is a keen environmentalist and serves only organic and biodynamic produce in her restaurant, Billy Kwong, in Sydney.

The average Australian home produces about half a tonne of greenhouse gas each year from energy used for cooking, according to the Australia Government’s Greenhouse Office.

Kylie’s 10 tips for an energy smart kitchen:

  1. Choose a fridge or freezer that’s the right size for you – they operate more efficiently when filled to the correct capacity
  2. Keep the fridge temperature between 3 and 40C and the freezer between -15 and -180C
  3. To save water in the kitchen, wash vegetables in a small amount of water in sink, rather than under a running tap
  4. Avoid using in-sink garbage disposal units – compost instead
  5. Avoid gas flames spilling up the sides of pots – turn the burner down to keep flames on the bottom
  6. Thaw food in the fresh food compartment of the fridge before cooking
  7. If cooking in the oven, avoid opening the door unnecessarily and consider cooking several things at once
  8. Make sure your fridge rubber seals are effective by placing a piece of paper in the door and checking if it is held firmly
  9. Fan forced ovens generate up to 35 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions than conventional ovens, and more items can be cooked at the same time as the heat is more evenly distributed
  10. A family fridge with an extra star on its rating label cuts greenhouse gas emissions by more than 100 kilograms each year. Over its lifetime it will save $200 in running costs
Kylie Kwong is getting ready to celebrate her second Earth Hour by holding a candlelit dinner for patrons at Billy Kwong restaurant.

Earth Hour began in Sydney last year and inspired over 2.2 million Sydneysiders and over 2,200 businesses to switch off their lights, highlighting the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“We want all members of Australia’s Chinese community to get involved in Earth Hour. Climate change is an issue which affects all of us so we need to come together to meet this challenge,” said Andy Ridley, Earth Hour Director.

To sign up to Earth Hour visit

For more information contact:
Kath Eggleston, WWF-Australia Press Office, +61 2 8202 1294 / 0408 408 562

* A photograph of Kylie Kwong is available upon request.

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