10 Simple Ways to Make Your Kitchen More Sustainable
The kitchen is one of the most used parts of the house and also the place in a household that produces the most waste. There are many small things you can change in your daily routines to have a more sustainable kitchen. This article gives you inspiration and easy product swap ideas to head towards a more eco-friendly and sustainable kitchen so you can reduce your waste and minimise your impact on the planet while still enjoying all your favourite foods!
1. Buy in bulk
A great way to cut down on waste and also save some pennies is to buy your staples in bulk. The great news is you don’t even have to go to a different shop for lots of your items, just take your reusable bags to the supermarket and use the bulk bins. Long-life items such as pasta, nuts, flour, lentils and beans are perfect for buying in bulk lots and they store well in jars for that perfect plastic-free pantry.
2. Start Composting
If you’re not already you should get a closable container and start a compost. Even if your garden is small it’s a really effective way to process food waste and doesn’t take up much space. If you don’t have a garden check what the options are for processing food waste in your community. Maybe someone nearby has a compost bin or even animals to feed. Our classroom food scraps go to a local pig.
3. Use metal, glass or wooden kitchen items
Even non-single use plastic is still adding unnecessary waste to the earth so we’ve made an effort to only purchase kitchen items made from glass, metal or wood. This doesn’t mean throwing out the plastic items you already have if they still work (no need to create more waste) but if you are replacing an item see if you can find an option made from more sustainable materials. We love glass bowls for baking, metal utensils and glass jars and containers for storage.
4. Switch to loose leaf tea
Most tea bags contain plastic! Yes, it’s sad but true. A simple switch to a strainer and loose leaf tea makes your daily tea habit that little bit more sustainable. You can buy loose leaf tea in boxes at the supermarket or treat yourself and head to a specialist tea store to buy something special.
5. Get reusable cloths and kitchen towels
My current project is teaching myself to crochet so I can make us some cloths for the kitchen. They can be made from natural fibres which means they are not only reusable but also compostable once they reach the end of their life. They can be used for all sorts of cleaning and spills but if you’re a paper towel user there are either some great sustainable options such as bamboo paper towels or reusable ones like these.
6. Make things yourself
This one requires a bit more time but it is so worth it to know exactly what’s in your food and be able to make things without packaging. We love muesli bars as a quick snack but couldn’t find any not wrapped in plastic so we started making our own. For some more great ideas check out our article about simple things to make instead of buy
7. Buy second hand
As with any room of the house, it’s better to buy things second hand than new. This reduces waste and also means you can save some money. There are so many great second-hand shops out there and lots of stuff is actually near new (think unwanted wedding presents, couples moving in together, people moving abroad etc). It might take an extra few weeks of hunting but the satisfaction of finding just what you need at a fraction of the price and helping the environment at the same time is pretty amazing.
8. Get efficient appliances
When you’re upgrading your fridge, dishwasher or oven have a look at the energy efficiency of the new model. There is a huge difference these days in the amount of energy required to run an appliance and the water used during a dishwasher cycle. Investing a little bit more in an efficient appliance will save you money on your power bills and have less impact on the planet.
9. Use beeswax wrap
Beeswax wrap is an awesome invention for getting rid of all the plastic wrap in your life. You can buy it from many eco-stores or even make it yourself by melting beeswax onto scraps of cotton fabric. The beeswax has natural antibacterial properties and is easy to wipe clean after use. They can be used for wrapping lunches, storing food or putting over bowls or containers to store things in the fridge. We’ve even used ours to wrap our solid shampoo while we’re travelling.
10. Get eco-friendly scrubbers
Doing the dishes with a plastic scrubber is a thing of the past! There are lots of natural and compostable options out there that do the same job and are better for the earth. We love scrubbers made from coconut husk and our wooden brushes with replaceable heads.
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