So, about two years ago my husband — in a fit of minimalistic vigor — got rid of our microwave. At the time, I remember being a little unsure about that decision. " But," I sputtered, "we use it for... re-heating! And it has that nifty timer on it! What are going to do now when we need to heat something up? Use the oven?"
Well, yes. What seemed like a kitchen necessity at the time has not been much missed. Though it may take a little longer (but usually, not very much) we re-heat our food on the stove or in the oven and we defrost frozen items in the fridge overnight. And actually, from what we've read, using the stove/oven might be the GREENER option as well...
>>Take our survey after the jump!
Planet Green says the electric stove comes out the winner as it's more practical and useful overall, and even though microwaves are speedy, they don't end up saving that much more energy than a stove. (And personally, we think food just tastes better when it's cooked in an oven or on the stovetop.)
TreeHugger acknowledges that it's a bit more tricky deciding which is the greener option. They recommend checking appliance labels for average wattage, and then multiplying the wattage by how many hours or fractions of an hour you need to cook the food. That sounds like an awful lot of work to do every time you want to cook something, but it would be the best way to determine which is the greener option.
Aside from the energy efficiency question, sometimes the issue is just learning to live with less. Is having a microwave an absolute essential? Probably not. And as an added bonus, it sure frees up our kitchen counter space!