15 Dec 5 Eco-Friendly Essentials for the Kitchen
If you’re beginning to ease into a more sustainable lifestyle (aka, ditching plastic whenever possible!), there are a few items I highly recommend to get you started. You will use them on repeat, and it will help you eliminate buying single-use items. If you even come close to having the same experience as I have had with moving toward a more sustainable home, you’ll find that using your items on repeat is extremely satisfying. There is something so rewarding about simultaneously taking care of ourselves, our families, and our beautiful planet. [/caption]
1. Reusable Beeswax Food Wrap: This is a must! Now, much more talented people than I are able to make their own beeswax wraps, and if you have the ability to do that, you’re amazing! If you’re looking for a quicker solution to ease you into a more sustainable lifestyle, then I’d highly recommend these wraps. You can use them in place of tin foil or plastic wrap to cover your leftovers. You can use them to cover a casserole, or even use the wrap as a mat for kneading dough. You’ll get so much use out of it! And when you’re done, they’re compostable, meaning you can return them right back to the Earth.
2. Glass food storage: If you take anything away from this post, please let it be this: stop storing your food in plastic! Plastic is one of those things that is bad for the environment and for us. It doesn’t matter if it’s BPA free. Small plastic particles can – and will – still leek into your food and then you will consume it – yuck! These beautiful glass containers will last forever and the lids are even made out of eco-friendly bamboo. You can use them for leftovers, food prep, storing washed up fruits and veggies. They are worth every penny.
3. Charcoal sticks for water purification: Everyone wants to feel good about the water they’re drinking, but a lot of the water purification systems involve plastic, or filters that regularly have to be replaced/thrown out. We were using big plastic water jugs for the longest time and finally made the swap to charcoal sticks. It’s so easy and when the charcoal sticks are used up (they can last anywhere from 3-6 months depending on the brand), you can compost them. I save and reuse our glass milk bottles, so we currently have 4 of these jugs in our fridge all with a charcoal stick in them. The water tastes amazing and it’s given a new purpose to those jugs (I knew saving them would pay off!). My husband can be a bit picky when it comes to the taste of things, and I knew these sticks were a keeper when he gave his nod of approval.
4. Wooden everything: Here’s another plea from me to stop using plastic. Don’t use it to cook your food, store your food, or stir your food. I’d suggest swapping out your plastic spoons for the wooden version, replace plastic cutting boards with beautiful wooden or bamboo ones, and substitute plastic bowls for the wooden versions immediately. Glass bowls for serving hot food are also a good option. The other thing you’ll begin to notice as you eliminate plastic and start using wood/bamboo/glass products is that your home will begin to look more natural and rustic. It creates a warm and cozy feel that cannot be replicated with plastic. My cutting boards are used daily for chopping and meal prep, but I also use them to give my kitchen a farmhouse feel. I continue to slowly add more to my collection, to which my husband has now started to ask: “Do we really need another cutting board?” Spoiler alert: The answer is yes. If you want to see a seriously gorgeous wooden cutting board, check out this one from Sonder Los Angeles. So pretty.
5. Reusable storage bags: Not only will this help with eliminating your plastic use, but it’ll also inspire you to meal prep more. At the beginning of the week, I’ll fill these with cut up fruits and veggies, pre-cooked rice, etc. and line them all up in the fridge. We have chopped produce at the ready, and our fridge looks nice and organized thanks to these bags. Win-win.
I do firmly believe that the above items are essential in helping you create a more sustainable kitchen. But something to keep in mind is that part of sustainability is using what you already have. If you don’t want to run out and spend a lot on glass food storage, start saving your glass jars (you should do this anyway; there are so many great uses for them!) and use those for leftovers and cut up fruits and veggies. If you don’t want to buy beeswax wraps, there are many great resources available that show you how to make your own. The point is that the great thing about sustainability is often you don’t need to look any further than the items you already have. You just need to start asking yourself: “How can I give this item a second life?”