10 Tips to create an eco-friendly kitchen
In our journey to create a conscious lifestyle, we eventually must look to our homes. It is our sanctuary that we share with loved ones and where we feel like ourselves. Therefore it is no wonder that as we decide to be more eco-friendly we want our homes to reflect this decision.
Taking on the whole house can be very overwhelming and quite frankly expensive. Two factors that can easily discourage you. However, if you break it into smaller areas and tackle one at a time, you will see that it is doable. This is the approach I used when it came to my home and with this in mind, I decided to tackle the kitchen first.
The kitchen is where so many of us spend so much time and most importantly where all the yummy food is made. I would even go as far as saying that the kitchen is the heart of our homes. But if we think about it, it is also where most waste can occur.
Being eco-friendly in your kitchen can mean many things. It can mean being conscious of where you shop, the food and items you buy as well as what you use in your kitchen. You also want to reduce the plastic packaging that you bring into your home and reuse items as much as possible.
So let’s talk about a few changes that you can make to your kitchen to make it a little more eco-friendly. You do not have to do it all at once but by being aware of these swaps it will be easier to know what to purchase once it is time to replace those not so good items.
Here are some changes and ideas that you can adapt to your life to create an eco-friendly kitchen and to reduce plastic packaging at home.
Natural fiber brushes- a plastic sponge can take hundreds of years to decompose, so imagine all the sponges you use in a lifetime. Swap out your plastic sponges that can release synthetic fibers in waterways and are not biodegradable for natural fiber brushes or sponges. No matter what you prefer to use to do your dishes there are better options out there.
Reusable straws and cutlery- plastic straws and cutlery do not need to have a place in your kitchen. Real cutlery and reusable straws will do the trick and it is more environmentally conscious. Even if you are packing a lunch everyday use real cutlery.
Reusable cloths- rather than using a paper towel once and throwing it in the bin, purchase a few cloth towels that you can use for multiple tasks in the kitchen and then wash and reuse. This is also true for napkins. Do not use it and toss it, invest in some cloth napkins.
Reusable bags- instead of using plastic bags when you go shopping invest in reusable shopping bags that you can use for every shopping trip. This also applies to plastic zip bags for storage, swap them for silicone storage bags as they are a much better option.
Beeswax wraps- cling film is used in many kitchens to wrap food when it needs to be stored or covered but beeswax wraps are a much better alternative. You use the heat of your hands to mold it to the items you need to cover and after you can wash and reuse it. Just ensure you wash it in cold water and do not use it in the microwave.
Farmers' market - when possible shop at farmers' markets. The items usually do not have plastic packaging and you can bring your bags to carry them home. As a bonus, you will also be supporting local farms and eating seasonally.
Cleaning products- rather than buying multiple cleaning products that can be toxic, make your own. I know that not everyone is into DIYs but they do not have to be complicated and once you do it once, you will see how easy it is.
Buy bulk- most bulk shops let you bring your containers. You fill the container with what you want and pay only for what you are taking home. As an extra tip, you do not need to buy containers for your purchases. You can reuse glass containers from previous kitchen items you purchased such as pasta sauces. Wash the container and you are ready to go.
Glass containers- swap all your plastic containers for glass containers. I believe that they are better for storing your food. They will keep food fresh longer and they do not hold on to smells.
Cook at home- We all love to have the occasional day that we do not have to cook and here comes the food delivery, the take out, or ready-made meals to the rescue. However, by cooking at home you will not have all that extra packaging that comes with the food. You can still order food occasionally but by reducing the number of times you purchase ready-made food you will reduce the plastic at home.
There you have, my 10 tips to create an eco-friendly kitchen. Give them a try but keep in mind that it is a journey. You do not need to rush. Every day you will learn new things about what works for you and your home, but if you do not give up you will be able to achieve an eco-friendly home. Start with one thing if it is easier and build on that until the day you find yourself where you want to be.