Sustainable Kitchen Products
Keep reading for your guide to starting your eco-friendly life in the kitchen!
If you’re aware of the movement towards sustainability, you may be considering trying it out yourself. But where do you start? Switching over to a sustainable lifestyle can be extremely overwhelming. Let’s start with the basics.
Striving for an eco-friendly and healthy lifestyle has become a huge movement over the past few years. People are trying to reduce their effect on the planet and are doing their best to create less harm to the environment. The movement has started to lead consumers away from disposable items that fill up landfills and often don’t decompose.
Reusable straws may be the first thing to come to mind when you think of an eco-friendly lifestyle. The push for reusable straws became a serious consideration for many people once plastic straws were connected with the death of sea turtles and other marine creatures.
The movement soon expanded to do-away with many other types of disposable products as well. If you’ve decided to give being eco-friendly a try, it may be easiest to slowly faze out old products you’re used to, rather than trying to change your entire lifestyle in one go.
One of the easiest places to start with this can be right in your own kitchen.
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Goodbye Paper Towels!
One of the simplest changes you can make in your kitchen is to stop using paper towels. Each year, a single person uses about 3000 paper towels. Cutting down on the number of paper products you use will not only save trees, it is also just more cost-effective. Imagine the money you could save by not buying a new roll of paper towels every week.
There are quite a few different options for cutting back on your paper towel usage, but the most popular is definitely reusable “paper" towels. The most similar alternative to traditional paper towels is bamboo paper towels. Most bamboo towels can be reused. One roll should last you about six months! In addition, the bamboo plant itself is great for the environment. Planting more bamboo forests will reduce greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere and they grow much faster than trees do.
Another option is simply a cotton towel or dishcloth. You can even DIY these for yourself. Check out this easy dishcloth crochet pattern from AllFreeCrochet!
Reusable Food Covers
These may be my favorite product on this list. If you are completely sick of cling wrap that doesn’t stick to anything but itself, then you need these. They aren’t only environmentally friendly, they simply work better than the disposable option!
Some options here are the reusable stretch lids or reusable food wrap. If you’re looking for something a little more similar to cling wrap, definitely go for the food wrap. There are some beeswax options which work super well. The stretch lids are super handy in covering things of a variety of shapes, though. They often come in packs with multiple sizes and can stretch over dishes or the food itself! There are even a few microwave safe options.
Sorry, Sandwich Bags. We’ve Moved On
Did you know we use about a pound of these bags each year, individually? That’s about 300 million pounds of wasted plastic in the U.S. alone.
All those little plastic baggies may be super useful, but they are also super harmful to the planet.
Enter the reusable silicone bags. The creation of this product was a stroke of genius. These bags can be dishwasher-safe, and even microwave-safe! They are also just a whole lot cuter than those boring sandwich bags you used to use to pack your lunches.
These airtight bags can be used for pretty much anything. You can even store liquids without any mess!
Plastic Produce Bags are a No-Go
Buying fresh veggies instead of processed and pre-packaged foods may seem like the healthiest and most sustainable way to live your lifestyle, but think of all those plastic produce bags you use each time you head to the grocery store. You may already be bringing reusable bags to the store with you, but chances are you don’t want to throw a bunch of loose fruits and veggies in with everything else you buy.
The easy solution? Reusable produce bags! Net produce bags have been a huge trend lately. These bags often come in packs of two or three so you’ll easily be able to keep all that produce you buy separately from the rest of your groceries. You can even make them yourself if you have some crochet or knitting skills. Check out this pattern on AllFreeKnitting!
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Check those Cleaners
Many household cleaners can be made with harsh chemicals and are often sold in plastic bottles which do not decompose. These cleaners seem to overwhelm all of the more sustainable versions, but there are a few good ways to avoid those unnatural cleaners.
The most obvious option is just to check the labels before you buy. A few natural brands are beginning to shoot up in popularity (Think Mrs. Meyer’s, Love Home and Planet, and Method Cleaning Products). These brands often focus on cleaners that are plant-based, cruelty-free, and have biodegradable packaging.
Another option is switching to refillable cleaners. These are a great way to avoid single-use plastic since you will only be buying one bottle. Companies who make refillable products often sell glass bottles rather than using plastic at all.
You can also make your own natural cleaners at home. There are plenty of simple recipes to save you money and to stay sustainable when it comes to cleaning. Check out this easy dish soap recipe from CheapThriftyLiving.
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