If you’re looking for simple ways to reduce and reuse at home, why not start in the kitchen where a few simple and sustainable swaps will have a big impact? Going green in the kitchen doesn’t have to be expensive. These everyday items will actually save you money as you find reusable solutions for food storage to cleaning. Here are 12 eco-friendly products to add to use in your kitchen.
Refillable cleaning containers
Instead of throwing out the bottle when the cleaning solution is empty, why not refill it with a solution bought in bulk or invest in refillable bottles? Saje has recently launched a line of multi-surface cleaning kits where a solution made from plant-based extracts is added to reusable amber glass bottles. Instead of using harsh chemicals to clean, the refreshing eucalyptus and black spruce scent and an invigorating lemon and ginger scent are naturally antibacterial and deodorizing to clean a variety of surfaces in your home.
Washable cloths and sponges
Ditch wasteful paper towel and instead wipe down your counter with a washable cloth that can be washed in the laundry machine and re-used multiple times. You can make cleaning rags by cutting old towels, sheets and other fabrics into smaller pieces, or buy a microfibre cloth that’s are soft enough to be used on several surfaces, including glass. In the sink, switch out the single-use sponge for scrubbing dishes with a washable sponge like this one from Marley’s Monsters.
Replace paper napkins for a washable set of linen napkins that will become the focal point of your table setting. The Bezhig Napkins from Indigo Arrows, available in four colours, are almost too pretty to use, handmade from 100% linen and feature a print inspired by a 400-year tool used by Indigenous families in Manitoba.
Reusable food storage containers
Swap single-use plastic bags and wraps for reusable kitchen storage containers. To save money (and reduce waste), wash out and re-use glasses jars from sauces and other grocery items. These containers are great for leftovers, but are also handy to have when you buy dry food in bulk. Take your food storage to the next level with ZWILLING’s Fresh & Save containers that keeps food fresher for up to five times longer (compared to regular food storage containers) by vacuum-sealing their BPA-free bags and glass containers closed.
Reuse containers for organization
The most sustainable solution is something that you already have. Instead of spending money on organizers for your kitchen cupboards and drawers, be creative with how you can reuse clean food containers to organize the space. For example, an empty plastic takeout container (or a food storage container that you’ve misplaced the lid) can double as a basket for your shelves to organize spices and small packets. Or, place smaller boxes in packaging inside a drawer to keep loose items together. If you don’t have a container on-hand, look for ones made from recycled plastic like this storage basket from Simons.
Beeswax food wraps
Instead of covering your food with plastic wrap, try a reusable Bee Kind Wrap made from organic cotton, beeswax, pine tree resin and jojoba oil. These wraps fit firmly around food, cover dishes and are washable for multiple uses. Unlike plastic alternatives, Bee Kind Wrap is biodegradable when you finally decide to toss it out.
Mesh produce bags
This Joie Eco-Friendly Reusable Mesh Produce Bag will change the way you grocery shop. Instead of using the plastic bags in the store, bring this sustainable alternative with you. They are available in different sizes to fit a variety of fruits and vegetables and are see-through to make it easy for the cashier to know what is inside.
Non-stick silicone baking mats
While Silpat’s silicone baking mats have been a favourite among chefs for years, they are slowly making their way into home kitchens as a reusable alternative to aluminum foil or parchment paper. Made from food-grade silicone, this versatile non-stick mat can be used in the oven (up to 480 degrees Fahrenheit) or stored in the freezer, eliminating the need to grease pans before baking or cooking.
Transform food waste into compost
Compost your leftover food scraps into fertilizer that you can use in your garden. To expedite the process, invest in Tero—an eco-friendly electronic countertop device that transforms your culinary creations into nutrient-rich organic fertilizer while filtering odours to keep your kitchen smelling fresh. Or, you can compost food at home by adding water, soil and dry leaves in an airtight container to start the process.
Reusable coffee pods and filters
While single-use coffee pods might be a quicker and more convenient option in the morning, reusable coffee pods and filters will be the more sustainable solution. The My K-Cup Universal Coffee Filter is compatible with the Keurig machine and can be filled with your favourite ground coffee and washed after use.
Carbonated water at home
Fuel your love for sodas and seltzer more sustainably with a SodaStream. Instead of going through cases of bubbly water in a can, this countertop gadget carbonates water in a reusable bottle with just the push of a button. In the past six years alone, SodaStream Canada has saved 1.5 billion single-use plastic bottles and cans from polluting the environment!
Eco-friendly starter kit
If you’re unsure what to buy first for your green kitchen transformation, why not let Essentials Eco decide for you? This low-waste subscription box is full of environmentally friendly products for cleaning, cooking and all-around your home. Or, gift a box as a housewarming present to help them set up their new space in a sustainable way.