Keen to go green but struggling to maintain an environmental kitchen? Here is how to do it in a more eco-friendly way.
While there is no doubt that humanity has been a huge influence behind the catastrophes we have been facing lately due to climate change, with increased awareness, more and more people these days are inclined to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Going green lets us lessen our carbon footprint, reduce pollution and waste production, save water and energy, increase sustainability, and own an organic-based way of life, improving our own health and Mother Nature’s. However, the practices and habits we have developed over the centuries are not easy to change.
Most people do nothing because they simply don’t know how to adopt eco-friendly practices in their households. Particularly when it comes to the kitchen, many of us feel overwhelmed. We have used a range of inorganic and ecologically harmful products for years and we have no idea how to establish a greener kitchen.
But it is not as hard as you might think, nor as expensive. Therefore, if you are ready to establish a more eco-friendly kitchen, here is how you do it:
Switch to Sustainable Kitchen Items
Doing this alone can make a notable difference. However, that means an array of changes to make. And while you may be wondering which can be a proper sustainable substitute for your kitchen appliances, take a look at these super cool ideas.
No More Plastic Bags for Groceries
Opt for a reusable grocery bag instead. Anything suitable made of organic substances like cotton, hemp, or jute will do. Just wash it each time after you do your groceries, and it will be ready for reuse.
However, you can keep it more eco-friendly by making your shopping totes by yourself using your old/torn/leftover clothes. This way, you can have a fancy, customized bag while making use of your waste materials at the same time.
Switch Plastic Wrap for Eco-Friendly Alternatives
You can effectively cut down the amount of single-use plastic to a great extent by swapping your plastic wraps with something sustainable. Here we have a significant number of options, both old and new!
Silicone Bowl-Covers and Bags
Despite their rubbery texture and almost plastic-like appearance, food-grade silicone products are deemed safe for food storage and capable of keeping your food fresh for a long time. They also fit better than plastic wrap.
Nowadays, silicone bowl-covers and bags come in various forms and sizes to suit your kitchen wares and your needs. Besides, these silicone products have more aspects to appreciate.
1. They are stretchable; therefore, you can usually use these covers regardless of the shape/size you may need.
2. They are oven and microwave-proof.
3. They are safe to use in a dishwasher.
4. They are suitable for both dry and wet food products.
5. They can be used inside the cupboard, fridge, or freezer.
6. They are transparent, and you can write on them with markers. Therefore, they are easy to manage and organize.
Note: Beware of low-quality products and make sure the one you are buying seals well.
They are cotton wraps with beeswax infused in them, usually available as a big sheet that you can cut to fit or as a readymade sandwich wrap. Beeswax wraps are reusable, biodegradable, and an excellent alternative to plastic wraps, and it sticks nicely around your food or bowls without leaving a residue.
To keep this wrap reusable, always wash it with cold water, and later when it gets worn out, you may leave it to recycle or let it decompose. Beeswax sheets can be store-bought. But you can save some money making your DIY beeswax wrap yourself and also beeless vegan wrap using the same tactics. For this too, you can use your leftover pieces of cotton materials as a greener option.
Reusable Food Container
Lunch boxes and food containers made of glass and stainless steel are also ideal for storing your leftover foods without covering them with plastic wrap. They are durable, machine-washable, food-safe, and later they can also be used as plant-holders or other creative applications.
However, you may also consider some reusable plastic food storage containers. But, while buying them, make sure they come with recycle code 5 so they can be recycled.
Reusable Nylon Bags
These reusable food-grade cloth bags made of ripstop nylon can be another good substitute for your plastic wrap. From snack bags to food storage bags, they are widely available in the market and come in various looks, shapes, and sizes.
Even though an old-school trick, storing food wrapped in a dishtowel inside a bowl or basket with a dinner plate on top still works and can be used instead of plastic wrap in many cases. Both the classic dish towels and flour sack towels can be used. So it would be wise to have them handy in your kitchen.
Swap Your Plastic and Aluminum Made Kitchen Products
While many may not know, the production of aluminum is also a significant threat to our environment because of its emission of harmful greenhouse gases. Therefore, to keep your kitchen environmentally safe, you should restrain yourself from buying both plastic and aluminum kitchen gadgets. Here are some basic yet important changes you can make:
1. Ditch your single-use plastic bottles with their reusable counterparts; use bottles made of glass instead. These days there are also many healthy and fancy options available too, such as bottles made of bamboo or copper. In fact, drinking from copper vessels has health benefits too. Besides, reusable/recyclable plastic bottles can also be added to the list.
2. A reusable coffee mug is a great addition to your green kitchen since by using it, you can contribute to saving a notable amount of single-use plastic and paper waste.
Usually, when we go out for coffee, it comes in a paper cup with a plastic top, which later goes to the trash box only to get dumped somewhere else. But in contrast, if you carry your reusable mug to get your coffee in, it not only saves the earth, it also helps keep your coffee from cooling down too fast. Besides, they are also very durable gadgets.
3. Use eco-friendly cutlery kits and dinner wares, replacing your plastic and aluminum kitchen utensils and styrofoam bowls, cups, and plates. Bamboo cutlery is a great option. They not only look good, but they are healthy for humans as well as Mother Nature.
For bowls and plates, go for ceramic and metal options. For glasses and cups, choose recycled ones. Wooden utensils are great for cooking and serving and add charm to your kitchen.
4. Stop using aluminum foil and choose from its healthy alternatives like baking sheets, silicone, or metal. They all are reusable and can work for many other kitchen purposes.
5. Get rid of your harmful cleaning products and switch to organic solutions. Here are the changes you should consider.
A. Swap your paper towels with reusable microfiber cloths. Go for high quality since they will last much longer.
B. Use sustainable sponges. You can find biodegradable plant-based ones which make great substitutes. You may also try out silicone scrubbers found in the market. Sponges made of cotton or copper are also available. Buy the cotton ones if you are looking for something machine washable.
C. Start using homemade liquid cleaners with ingredients you already have in your pantry.
All-purpose cleaner using white vinegar, water, lemon rind, and rosemary sprigs. While lemon can clean dirt and grease, it also has antibacterial, antifungal, and insecticidal properties. Besides being antibacterial and antifungal, rosemary has antiseptic and antiviral elements too. Lemon, rosemary, and white vinegar add freshness and are also known to be deodorizing elements, which make them great for cleaning, degreasing, and sanitizing everything inside your kitchen from your trash can to your microwave.
Finally, Try to Go Zero Waste
With vegetable peels, you can make homemade kitchen cleaners, while with the rest of your trash you can make natural fertilizers to grow herbs, vegetables, and flowers in your kitchen garden.
The list is neverending. All you need is determination and a heart full of love for humanity and Mother Nature. We hope this article helps you to maintain a greener kitchen and a greener life.