15 Sustainable Kitchen Products to Feel Great About Using Every Day
According to a report featured in Forbes, 77% of people want to learn more about a sustainable lifestyle and 85% of people say they recycle. And accoring to a study by Zulily, almost 80% of moms believe each of us has a personal obligation to do what we can to be more environmentally responsible. If you’re looking for a few easy ways to green your routine, using eco-friendly, sustainable products for your kitchen is a great place to start.
The kitchen tends to be a part of the home that produces a lot of waste. From food packaging to food waste, the kitchen generates a lot of items for the local landfill: Ziploc bags, tin foil, saran wrap – you name it. The CDC has a great list of sustainable lifestyle changes and ways you can lessen your impact on the environment and move toward a low-waste life.
Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to start making your kitchen a little more eco-friendly. From swapping out single-use containers for reusable ones to replacing often-used items with sustainably-sourced counterparts, you can make your kitchen a space in your home that is easy on the environment.
Ditch the Single-Use Plastic
The easiest way to make your kitchen more eco-friendly is to ditch single-use plastic: plastic sandwich bags, plastic water bottles, plastic food containers. They are cheap and convenient but not good for the environment because even if they are only used for a few minutes or a few hours, they exist in our environment for hundreds of years, causing trouble for our ecosystems and wildlife. Getting rid of single-use plastic containers is one easy, impactful change you can make in your kitchen that will help the environment.
of parents say being eco-friendly is important to their families
want to learn more about how to reduce their environmental footprint as a family
say avoiding single use plastics is one of their highest priorities to teach kids
Getting rid of single-use plastic containers is one easy, impactful change you can make in your kitchen that will help the environment.
Top Eco-Friendly Kitchen Essentials
1. Reusable snack or sandwich bags
Instead of single-use plastic, buy reusable sandwich bags or storage bags instead. Reusable bags come in a variety of materials, from mesh to waxed fabric to silicone. You can buy them in various sizes and patterns. Although they will cost you more upfront, the amount of plastic you will save from the landfill will be significant. Plus, these bags are way cuter in kids’ lunch bags (just remind them to not throw them away)!
2. Glass food containers
Get rid of your plastic food storage containers and swap them out for glass. Not only will glass hold up better over time, it can also be used in the microwave or even the oven. These are also dishwasher safe. Easier to use and better for the environment!
3. Bamboo or wood cutting board
Not only do bamboo or wood cutting boards look more elegant sitting on your kitchen counter, they are much longer-lasting than plastic if they are properly maintained.
4. Kitchen compost bin
Instead of tossing food scraps and waste into the garbage can (where they ultimately become smelly and leave your kitchen stinky), toss them into a kitchen-top compost bin where they will decompose. When the bin is full, toss it on a compost heap in your backyard (or in your yard waste container if that is supported where you live) and use it to help with your vegetable garden!
5. Reusable shopping bags
Stop using the store-provided plastic bags when you do your grocery shopping. Invest in a few reusable bags and bring them to the store with you each trip. To keep yourself from forgetting them on your next store run, keep them in a plastic bin in your trunk and make it a point to put them back in the bin each time you unload the groceries.
6. Refillable dish soap bottle
Instead of buying dish soap in a single-use container and tossing it in the trash or recycling when you are finished with it, consider buying a refillable container and then buy your preferred dish soap in bulk and refilling the container as needed.
7. Refillable hand soap bottle
Like dish soap, hand soap typically comes in single-use plastic bottles that sometimes get tossed into the trash or recycling bin once they are empty. Pick out a pretty refillable bottle to keep by your sink and buy your desired hand soap in bulk to refill your decorative container as needed. Bonus: some large-size hand soaps now come in a cardboard container, meaning no plastic waste!
8. Reusable coffee cup
When you make your morning coffee run, bring a cute reusable cup for your java.Not only will it save cups (styrofoam cups are especially environmentally gnarly) from the landfills, but some coffee shops will also give you a small discount for providing your own cup. Win-win!
9. Microfiber cleaning cloths
Say goodbye to paper towels, which are easy to use but generate a lot of garbage. Consider switching to microfiber cleaning cloths that can be washed and reused, or other reusable alternatives such as beeswax wraps or cotton napkins. You can even try cloth “roll” of paper towels.
10. Reusable straws
Move away from plastic disposable straws that are terrible for the environment and switch to reusable drinking straws, which are often made from materials such as silicone or metal. Keep a few in your purse so you can say no to plastic when you are dining out.
11. Reusable produce bags
Plastic produce bags from the store are simply more plastic bags for the garbage can and therefore landfill. Skip those bags by using reusable produce bags instead. Even better, fruit and veggies won’t go bad nearly as quickly in reusable bags as they will in plastic.
12. Reusable coffee filters or refillable K-cup pods
If you like coffee in the mornings, there is a way to make your daily caffeine-jolt more eco-friendly. If you have a regular drip coffee maker, try reusable coffee filters that can be washed and reused instead of tossed with each use. If you own a single cup coffeemaker, buy a small reusable plastic K-cup insert that can be filled with the coffee grounds of your choosing instead of K-cups that are used once and tossed in the trash.
13. Bamboo cooking utensils
Instead of plastic utensils you might use in the kitchen for cooking (spoons, spatulas, tongs, etc.), choose utensils made with bamboo. Not only will they last longer, they will also look prettier sitting on your countertop than their plastic counterparts.
14. Refillable water bottles
Instead of buying bottled water from the store, buy a refillable water bottle instead. Not only do refillable water bottles come in a variety of fun prints and sizes, they come in a variety of materials that will give them a long life in your kitchen.
15. Glass plates and bowls
Sure, paper plates are easier to use, especially if you are having company. (Less clean up!) And plastic plates and bowls are certainly a safer option if you have young kids (because shattered plates make a hot mess of the kitchen floor), but glass plates and bowls are easier to clean, better for the environment and will last long than paper or plastic. Plus, they look fancier, too.
Remember, small changes can make a big impact, whether starting in your kitchen, exploring sustanable fashion or even swapping out your backyard landscape lighting with solar lights. These reusable swaps and others will make your life easier and you won’t need to take out the garbage as much.
Data Source: Zulily Moms 25-54 Winter 2020 NCHS survey, Simmons, 2020
This post was originally published on April 23, 2021, and has been updated.