Being that I’m a mom of two kids and I love to cook, I spend a major part of my day in my kitchen.
So it only makes sense that that would be an area of our home to really focus on making an effort towards greener choices. And what I’ve found is that making environmentally-friendly decisions can be really simple.
Here’s a quick list of 17 easy ways to make your kitchen a little greener.
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Recycling should be second-nature to most of us by now, but it always bears repeating! Check with your local recycling centers to make sure you’re properly disposing of your glass, cans, cardboard, and plastics!
Goodbye, one-time use plastic baggies! Reusable fabric bags are becoming more and more readily available. My favorite ones have little honey bees on them and a really strong velcro closure.
I do still have plastic zip bags that I use for the messier jobs, like raw meats or marinades, but I do my best to wash and reuse them as much as possible.
Also, consider stocking up on a few mesh bags for produce. Bring them along when you’re grocery shopping so you don’t have to use plastic bags for your fruit and veggies. I have these in my Amazon cart right now!
Drink filtered tap water
We drink a lot of water in our house. If our family of 4 used a new plastic bottle of water every time we needed a drink, the amount of empties would be staggering. We fill up a regular old Brita pitcher multiple times a day and pour that into our personal bottles.
Plate cover for microwave
For the longest time, I would rip off a new piece of plastic wrap to cover every plate or bowl I would put in the microwave. Ugh, it makes me cringe just thinking about it! Now I use a reusable cover that I picked up at Ikea. It works on every size container I heat up and I really think the food gets hotter faster which means I’m also using less energy.
Another replacement for plastic wrap, beeswax wraps are a coated fabric wrap that can cover a bowl, some produce, or a wedge of cheese. The heat from your hands helps the beeswax seal and keep your food fresh.
Beeswax wraps are available online, but I’m hoping to test run making my own later this year. I’ll keep you posted on that!
There is really no need to bring tons of toxic chemicals into your home. Green cleaners are easy to make and only use a few ingredients. For some quick cleaner recipes, check out the mini e-book I’m offering when you sign up to receive my weekly email updates.
Reuse glass bottles
I save glass bottles and use them for tons of things. They hold our toothbrushes. I use them to make homemade salad dressings. They line window sills for my indoor herb garden. Seriously, they’re all over our house and they’re extremely versatile.
According to the EPA, 22% of all the trash that reaches landfills is food waste. That number is crazy!
Making a second meal out of your leftovers can seriously cut down on that number and save you loads on your grocery budget.
My family has not ventured into composting yet. But my husband is in charge of our vegetable gardens, and knowing him, it’s just a matter of time until we start building our compost to help those veggies grow!
Buy used small appliances
The next time you’re looking for a waffle maker, griddle pan, or some other small kitchen appliance, think about buying second-hand. Shopping on Facebook Marketplace, Ebay, or even your local thrift shop may save you a few dollars, and keep some things out of a landfill.
Plastic forks and spoons are another disposable that can be replaced for more eco-friendly choices. If you’re packing lunch to go, and you’re afraid of using your metal flatware, pick up some inexpensive utensils made from sustainable bamboo and carry them along.
No more one-use straws
While I’ve never been a straw person, I know for some reason, there are a lot of strong feelings about this. If you just can’t be all in on the straw ban, consider stainless steel, glass, or silicone straws you can wash and reuse.
Not only is buying in bulk good for your wallet, it’s also great for the environment. Bulk means less packaging, or often, no packaging. Look around your neighborhood for a natural food store that offers cooking staples in bulk. You might be able to bring in your old bottles and jar to fill them up!
One of my first steps into making a simpler, greener life was to stop using paper napkins for our dinners. I was afraid that this plan would end up doubling my laundry. But we’ve been using them for a few years, and it’s not much more work at all.
Old towels and t-shirts make amazing rags. In our home, once a shirt has a hole, or a towel has started to fray, it gets torn up to be used for cleaning.
All done with your toaster and your coffee maker for the day? Unplug them! You’ll save electricity and a few pennies off your bill.
Regrow produce and herbs
Don’t have the room or the right climate for an outdoor garden? With a quick Google search, you can find tons of tutorials on growing produce from scraps and cuttings in water or pots. Lettuce is a great starting point!
This list of ways to make your kitchen a little greener is just a starting point.
With a little more time and research, your kitchen can become extremely sustainable and you can make great strides to making the earth a little happier!