If you find yourself gazing at an overflowing crumpled heap of used paper towels in your rubbish bin, wondering what eco-friendly kitchen swaps you could use to do your part for the earth. You are not alone!
In the midst of cleaning up after dinner, we find ourselves going through one too many paper towels. You may have found yourself ripping sheet after sheet of cling wrap when you are putting away leftovers. Maybe you’re working hard to use eco-friendly appliances in your home but feel as though you could do more.
Reducing the amount of waste you accumulate does more than just reduce the landfill. The Great Barrier Reef is facing a plastic pollution epidemic. Not only are small sea animals affected, but large ones too. Working toward an eco-friendly zero-waste lifestyle can help reduce the amount of plastic in our oceans.
As plastic sits in the ocean, it never truly decomposes but it does break off into small pieces. These pieces absorb pollutants like heavy metals that are eaten by marine life. Larger sea animals eat the smaller sea animals and ultimately humans eat the larger fish. With the recent ban on single-use lightweight plastic bags in Queensland, you may be searching for additional ways to reduce your carbon footprint and be more eco-friendly. These kitchen swaps will help you do just that.
Eco-Friendly Kitchen Swaps to Cut Back on Paper Trash
Switching out paper towels for reusable microfiber cloths or washable fabric paper towel replacements is an easy way to save money and the earth. They can be used several times before needing to be washed and they dry quickly on low heat in the dryer.
Another eco-friendly kitchen swap that will also save you money is to replace disposable Swiffer pads with an old school mop and bucket and keep more money in your pocket. These products will last years and are the perfect way to ease into a zero-waste eco-friendly kitchen.
Consider making your own cleaning solution with water, vinegar, and essential oils. Another eco-friendly way to clean your floor is with a steam mop. For those unable to give up the ease of the Swiffers, consider switching to the reusable pads to eliminate how much waste winds up in the bin on cleaning day.
Another great option for swapping out paper towels in your kitchen is to invest in eco-friendly un-paper towels. These towels are designed to snap together in a roll and can be added to a paper towel holder.
Eliminating Plastic for an Eco-Friendly Kitchen
Silicone reusable bags and eco-friendly cloth food storage bags are available in many sizes and styles. Swap out cling wrap and plastic baggies with these green solutions to keep your family healthy and the earth happy.
Cling wrap was originally invented in America in the early 1930s, it was sprayed on fighter planes as a layer of protection from wear; hardly something you want near food. When storing food in bowls and jars, consider using silicone stretch lids over the top instead, to keep food fresh.
Silicone food bags like “Stasher” hold sandwiches and snacks for school and work really well. Stasher bags handle high temperatures and keep food fresh in the freezer or fridge. They can also be microwaved or boiled and are dishwasher safe.
In addition to silicone and cloth food storage, beeswax wrap is an excellent kitchen swap when you’re looking to be more eco-friendly. With proper care, beeswax wrap lasts about 6 months and works well to keep sandwiches and snacks fresh. Simply eco is also an excellent cling wrap or aluminium foil substitute.
Try These Sustainable Earth-Friendly Kitchen Utensils
Choosing to swap out your current dishware for more eco-friendly options may not be a priority, but it is something to consider. One such choice is coconut bowls. Using these sustainable eating bowls keeps millions of coconut shells from being thrown away and into landfills. They’re naturally free of toxins, BPA or plastics and just make your smoothie bowl look that much prettier.
Another kitchenware swap to consider is a set of silicone cooking utensils. Quality silicone is a better option than plastic because it doesn’t leach chemicals into food or down the drain when washed. Bamboo cooking utensils are the perfect choice for picnics or dining outdoors. Rather than using plastic utensils, switching out to one of these eco-friendly choices is a swap that is both aesthetically pleasing and better for the environment.
Additional Eco-Friendly Swaps for Your Kitchen
One of the benefits of purchasing quality, stainless steel items or vintage-style kitchen products is that they can be passed down for generations. We all have that one item we remember from Grandma’s kitchen and if we’re lucky, as adults had it passed down to us for our own home.
If you’re a coffee drinker consider purchasing a French Press or stainless steel brewer instead of that huge fancy coffee machine to save on power and price.
If you don’t have an ice-maker built into your refrigerator, switch out plastic ice cube trays with metal ones. This vintage retro style adds a quirky element to your kitchen.
Stop purchasing disposable wooden skewers for your family barbeque. Invest in a good set of stainless steel skewers, they last forever.
Reusable napkins add a touch of class to your kitchen table. They’re also a more eco-friendly option than their bleached, packaged counterparts.
Sponges made from natural vegetable cellulose are an affordable kitchen swap if you’re trying to create a more eco-friendly kitchen. They are made from vegetable-based cellulose and bacteria resistant. Regular sponges contain plastic and often harbour harmful chemicals.
Make Small Changes One Step at a Time
Making the switch to a greener kitchen may not come easily at first. It often takes several months, if not years, to commit to reducing your carbon footprint. Making small changes consistently over time is the best way to incorporate these eco-friendly kitchen swaps. Don’t try to change too much at once.
Once your family is accustomed to using the more sustainable option, introduce new eco-friendly products. Reducing your carbon footprint and creating an earth-friendly home takes time. Taking consistent baby steps is key.
You’re doing the best you can with what you have, continue to strive to do better and soon you’ll be living in an eco-friendly home.