Want a more sustainable kitchen? From grocery and produce bags to cleaning your dishes and the way you store your leftovers. The kitchen is the place where your sustainable shopping choices can have some of the biggest impacts.
Americans throw away 100 billion plastic grocery bags each year. Many of them end up in the sea, where they are either digested by animals who then eventually dies from the plastic consumption, or broken down to micro plastics which in turn gets digested by humans consuming the fish and shellfish.
When it comes to cleaning the kitchen and cleaning the dishes-Most traditional dishwashing liquids uses chemicals such as SLES, phosphates,
coloring dyes and artificial fragrances that can be harmful for both humans and the the environment. The plastic bottles they are sold in are all part of the 300 million tons of plastic produced each year.
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containers & carriers
•Reduce the amount of plastic and produce bags you use.
•Look for brands with glass jars instead of the plastic jar. Pick the one with the metal lid rather than he plastic lid.
•Put snacks in reusable silicon bags or metal containers.
•Store leftovers in glass or metal jars and containers.
BRING YOUR OWN RESUABLE BAGS BOTH TO PUT THE PRODUCE IN AND FOR THE WHOLE SHOPPING, GODDAMMIT!
Say good bye to plastic zip lock bags forever! Stasher makes dish machine washable, self-sealing, platinum silicon bags. Use it to pack snacks, sandwiches, to freeze in or to cook in-it is safe in the microwave, with a sous vide machine, a standard oven or a boiling pot of water-up to 400F. The bags come in a myriad of sizes and colors. Stasher is a B-corp and as member of 1% For the Planet, a portion of every bag sold goes straight to high-impact nonprofits like Surfrider, 5 Gyers, that are dedicated to preserving and rehabilitating our oceans. Check them out in on-line stores like Earth Hero or Well Earth Goods.
Vejibags goes back to basics-our grandmothers knew how to wrap vegetables in moistened tea towels or burlap to keep them fresh for longer. Vejibags are made from US grown organic cotton french terry knit and made in America. Vegetables likes moisture but plastic bags and containers keep too much moisture-they don't allow vegetables to breathe which sets up an environment where ethylene gas concentrates which in turn promotes rotting. Veji bags keeps vegetables moist and lets them breathe and prevents this type of rotting. The bags are machine washable and dryable. Get your bags here.
We love a good glass container for a plastic free food storage but they're also heavy and easily breakable. Stainless steel containers are an excellent alternative for on the go but also at home. They are lightweight, Dish washer safe and leak proof. Well Earth Goods carries different sizes and versions of metal containers, and we love these ones from Package Free Shop.
A lot of the produce we bring home doesn't even need a bag in the first place. I'm looking at you bunch of bananas and two onions. But if you are bringing home several pounds of apples or too many oranges to have them rolling in your cart then use a reusable mesh bag instead. It can be washed in the washing machine and used over and over again. There are many many brands but we like these from Package Free Shop or these from Net Zero Company.
•Choose a dish washing soap and a dishwasher soap that does not come in a plastic bottle or jug, does not contain SLS, phthalates, sulphates, or synthetic colorants or fragrances.
•Choose dishwashing brushes made from wood or bamboo with changeable brush heads.
•Use a re-useable cloth to wipe surfaces
Washing up liquid is 90% water and 10% liquid. It traditionally also comes in a plastic bottle that will remain in landfill for hundreds of years. Etee solves this problem by producing super concentrated dish washing liquid and selling them in compostable packaging pods. Pour in to a clean refillable container and just add water. Their dishwashing soap is free from SLS, Phthalates, sulphates, sulphates, synthetic colourants and fragrances. It is made from 100% plant based ingredients and is not tested on animals. Get a full starter dish washing kit that also includes a cellulose cloth (made from wood and cotton cellulose) and biodegradable scouring sponge. Etee also makes hand soap (super concentrated plant based ingredients in a bio-based, plastic free pod that is also completely biodegradable.) Reusable food bags, biodegradable food wraps and hand and body soap bars.
Dish washing powder. In a recyclable carton box. Without Chloride, phosphates or fragrances. It doesn't get much simpler than that. You can find them in most grocery stores or at Grove Co. Seventh Generation also does a whole plastic free bundle with laundry detergent tablets, dishwashing tablets, kitchen cleaner powder, bathroom cleaner powder, toilet bowl powder and hand wash powder. All in recyclable steel canisters. Plastic free refills is expected to become available soon to refill the canisters. You can currently only buy them here.
The Grove Co
Liquid dish soap in an infinitely recyclable aluminum bottle. Just pour the soap in to a reusable bottle and recycle the aluminum one. You can buy it here. The Grove Co also does a whole series of plastic free cleaning alternatives in concentrated glass bottles-Tub and Tile Cleaner, Daily Shower Cleaner, Floor Cleaner, All Purpose Household Cleaner and Glass Cleaner. Just pour in to reusable bottle and mix with water. You can buy them here.
Dishwasher detergent that gives a powerful clean with mineral based ingredients and compostable packaging. Dye-Free, Chlorine-Free, Phosphate-Free, Phthlathe-Free and never tested on animals. Dropp's also make laundry detergents, fabric softeners, oxi booster and wool dryer balls, as well as Swedish kitchen cloths-compostable of course. You can buy them all here.
If you are starting from scratch get a whole kit. There's a zero waste kit from Earth Hero (use HOWTOLIVEMORESUSTAINABLY at Checkout for 10% off) we love that contains a block of solid dish soap, cleaning brush, 2 Swedish dish cloths, and copper scouring pad. Or check out this kit from Package free shop that features a dish washing brushing a round solid dish soap.
Bamboo Kitchen Roll
Toilet paper and Kitchen roll/paper towels contribute to 20% of global deforestation-equal of 40.000 trees cut down per day. Bamboo grown 30 inches per day and reaches full maturity within three years. Compared to trees that can take decades! Cloud Paper, Seedling by Grove and Reel paper all do Bamboo paper towels and ship straight to your door.
cooking & baking
•Look for re-usable products, like baking mats, muffin cups and popsicle molds.
•Choose wood over plastic-Spatulas,cutting boards
•Wrap leftovers in beeswax wraps
Re-usable silicon baking mats
Re-usable baking mats is our newest addition towards a more sustainable living. And we are wondering where they have been all our life and how come no one told us about them. But better late than never. There is multitude of brands available.
If you need parchment paper to line cake molds or muffins liners for a bake sale. Whatever the reason. Use a parchment paper and muffin liners that are compostable. If You Care makes both parchment paper and muffin liners and you can find them in many grocery stores-Target, Wholefoods and through Amazon.
Instead of wrapping your leftovers in plastic use Beeswax wraps, or plant wax wraps if you prefer to leave the beeswax for the bees. You can buy them from Package Free Shop, Amazon, or from Well Earth Goods or you can easily make them yourself with some fabric, beeswax and pine sap. Check our DIY page for directions.
Wooden spoons and metal- and silicon spatulas
Steer away from plastic and choose wooden spoons and metal or silicon spatulas instead. Not only are you not adding plastic and chemicals to your food, but they're also made without using petroleum and if they ever break, they will naturally decompose. You can find versions anywhere that sells cookware but There are some great options from Amazon, and many more on Earth Hero. Use HOWTOLIVEMORESUSTAINABLY at checkout for 10% off.
Xtrema is 100% ceramic cookware-from glaze to core- that doesn't use chemicals to bond the ceramic to metal as many other brands do. Handmade from the highest quality materials and high fired at 2500 degrees Xtrema's non- scratch surface and durable construction is designed to last the rest of your life. Their range includes ceramic cookware sets, skillets, dutch oven, teapots, sauce pans, stock pots, bakeware (arriving in September) and kitchen accessories.