In 2020 I made a pledge to try and use more sustainable products when possible in my life and cut down on single-use plastics. While I made great progress in 2021 I am renewing my vow and going all in. Read about why in this post.
My goal is to share simple swaps and changes that I have tried, tested, and loved so that you can try them out too. This month’s focus is on a few kitchen items. If you decided to try these please let me know in the comments or send me a DM!
Remember we just need a few people doing it imperfectly not a lot of people doing it perfectly.
4 Tips for a More Sustainable Kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of your home, right? Well, it’s also where you produce a lot of waste. If you want to be more sustainable you gotta cut down on your personal and household waste. The kitchen is also where we clean and sometimes (a lot of the time) the product we use are not great for the environment. However, finding green household cleaners is a rabbit hole that we are not going down today – I promise we will soon!
We started composting at the end of December (2020) and I’m already obsessed. I so ashamed/mad that I didn’t start doing this years ago! First of all, it’s stupid easy and I feel so much better about tossing food we didn’t eat or has gone bad into the compost vs the trash. Also, you can compost paper products like used paper towels and bath tissues. While we try and cut down on paper towel use I go through so many issues! And now I can compost them! Read my full post on how to start composting in Denver here.
In 2018, 21% of US waste was food. That food then rots inside trash back in a landfill producing methane gas – a greenhouse gas. Food waste is a huge problem in the US and around the world. Composting is just one way to combat that.
2. Stasher Bags
What do you do with a used ziplock bag? No really, do you toss it or try and reuse it? I had been trying to reuse as much as possible but after a few times, it’s done and I feel so icky tossing plastic it was making me crazy. I had heard of Stasher Bags but while at Target one day I grabbed a knockoff version, while they worked okay after a few washes they started to warp. So I just ordered a bundled set of the real Stasher bags. It’s been wonderful being able to use and reuse these for just about everything. When they’re dirty just pop them in the dishwasher. Stasher bags are made with non-toxic silicone, microwave safe, freezer safe, you can even pop it in the oven or sous vide!
You can buy Stasher Bags just about anywhere online but if you purchase directly they will no include the cardboard that typically comes on each bag – win!
Eco friendly, sustainable cleaning is a wormhole. One I promise to go down for you but right now let’s talk about brushes. We use the one that you can stick the cleaning soap in and I like it way more than a sponge but it’s big and gets gross. And when I say big I mean it can’t clean my wine glasses, so I need a sponge and sponges just super gross me out.
Enter the EcoCoconut Kitchen Cleaning Brush. This thing looks like its gonna scratch your stuff but it won’t, these coarse hairs will flick of stuck-on dirt (dry red wine), get in hard to reach places (bottom of a wine glass) with ease. The brush is naturally antibacterial and biodegradable. I got mine at the Zero Market in Stanley Marketplace but I am seeing them online everywhere too!
4. Reusable Cloth
Once you become more aware of your waste using a paper towel can become kind of painful. I didn’t want to go with bamboo paper towels but something more reusable so I ordered these reusable cloth towels from Etsy. Marley’s Monsters seem to be the go-to in the reusable cloth space, however, I would try and only purchase the Organic Cotton ones. I wish I had done this but I had not watched True Cost yet and realized they use pesticides on textiles too – like duh. So organic cotton – is best!
Truth be told we still use paper towels, we have them both on the counter and sometimes paper towels just feel like the right choice, but now that we are composting I don’t feel as bad throwing them away cause I can now compost them!