Sustainable Kitchen Swaps

by Elisabeth Kleppinger

The easiest way to transition to a sustainable and eco-friendly way of living is to look at your garbage. Your garbage will tell you what area of your life is contributing the most waste. Is it your closet, your bathroom, or your kitchen? For my family, the kitchen creates the most waste. So, here are some easy sustainable kitchen swaps that you can make. 

Photo taken by author.

Reusable Straws 

This is an essential that everyone knows about. Reusable straws are such an easy way to get away from single-use plastic. My favorite reusable straws are made from metal, but they are also available in silicone and bamboo. Keep one in your purse at all times so when you get a drink out, you can ask for no straw and use your own. 

Reusable Produce Bags

When you get fresh produce in the grocery store, there are stations that have single-use plastic bags for you to gather your fruits and veggies in. Depending on how much fresh produce you get, that could be a lot of plastic bags in one store visit. Now think of how often you visit the grocery store: that measures out to hundreds of plastic bags per year. Swap them for cloth bags that you can put your produce in. You can throw these bags in the fridge if you want as well. These are washable, too. Another great sustainable swap is to keep these reusable produce bags and larger reusable bags in your car, so you never forget them at home

Stasher Bags 

Stop buying plastic sandwich bags and make the switch to Stasher Bags. These are reusable, non-toxic silicone bags that are a great alternative to single-use plastic bags. Stasher bags are great for moms that need to pack lunches for their kids, or anyone who cuts up produce and stores it in the fridge for later. They are safe to put in both the fridge and the dishwasher. You can shop bundles on their website or purchase them at Target. 

Beeswax Wrap 

Plastic cling wrap has a safer and more sustainable cousin, and she is beeswax wrap. Beeswax wrap can be used exactly like plastic film wrap, but instead of throwing it away when you peel it off, you can wash and reuse it. Beeswax wraps can be cleaned with soap and water and left out to dry so you can use them multiple times. The wraps will last for around one year, saving you money and saving the planet from rolls of plastic. 

Compostable Dish Brushes

A lot of people put their dishes in the dishwasher, but for pieces that need to be scrubbed , these are great products to have. Chemically dyed sponges and plastic scrub brushes are made from a variety of toxins that aren’t good for you or the planet. A compostable wooden dish brush is a healthier alternative, and it is easy to clean and reuse. If you want to take your dishwashing a sustainable step further, swap in eco-friendly dish soap bars which eliminate the single-use plastic bottle and harsh chemicals in dish soaps. 

Reusable Paper Towels 

Paper towels are a huge contributor to kitchen waste. The second something spills we run for single-use paper products, but do we ever stop to think about how often we go through a roll of paper towels? There are a variety of sustainable kitchen swaps for paper towels that also come in rolls. One company that makes great alternatives is Wowables, which are multiuse reusable towels that are biodegradable and compostable when you are done with them. Their company is also sustainable in their water use for production and the rolls come without acardboard core. 

When becoming more sustainable, perfection isn’t the goal. Small changes make a big difference. If you want to take your sustainable kitchen swaps to the next level, make a compost bin which you can put these finished products and food waste blended in with dirt from your back yard. You can use this in your home garden or blend into flower beds to feed your plants then. This saves hundreds of pounds of waste from entering landfills every year and provides nutrients back to the soil. 


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1 comment

Sally June 6, 2020 - 2:44 pm

Love these swaps! Definitely going to try out the beeswax wraps 🙂

I love my reusable smoothie straws and coconut dish scrubber from the brand Pureosophy so much and those items have definitely helped me save plastic in our kitchen. I find that I actually love the coconut scrubber way more than the ones with wooden (or plastic) handles – just a tip for next time you need a new one 🙂

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