1. Use reusable shopping bags and produce bags. Bags made from hemp or organic cotton are ideal, but also reuse whatever plastic bags you already have in your home.
2. Stop using plastic bag and containers to store food. Opt for glass, metal, and silicone instead. Repurpose your clean mayo jars to make salads, store nuts, and more.
3. Get biodegradable kitchen garbage bags. They usually cost a bit more per bag, but it’s a small investment in sustainability.
4. Buy loose leaf tea. A 2019 study concluded that tea bags can be a hidden source of microplastic pollution. At least check to make sure your favourite tea comes in plastic-free bags.
Ways to Shop Smart
Reduce your environmental impact and save money!
1. Pay attention to packaging. Opt for products that are minimally packaged, and look for recycled or recyclable paper and glass.
2. Choose seasonal, local produce and animal products when possible to reduce the carbon footprint associated with shipping food around the world.
3. Shop organic if possible. Organic farming reduces the amount of synthetic fertilizer dumped into the environment. Also support farms that use sustainable farming practices even if they aren’t certified organic. The process of becoming certified is arduous and expensive, and many smaller eco-conscious farms can’t afford it.
4. Look up second-hand stores. Buy used kitchen appliances, silverware, and dishes. Look for cast iron and stainless steel cookware that is durable enough to last for decades.
Cleaner Cleaning Products
Ironically, many of the tools we traditionally use to clean the kitchen have a negative environmental impact. Not so clean after all, eh?
1. Ditch traditional scrubbing sponges and dish brushes, which are major sources of plastic waste. Sponges made from cellulose, hemp, cotton fibre, and even walnuts are compostable or biodegradable. Some scouring pads are recyclable. Look for plastic-free dish brushes made with sustainably harvested wood and natural fibre bristles.
2. Use greener cleaning solutions. Standard cleaning products contain chemicals that can contaminate our home environments and contribute to air, water, and soil pollution. Luckily, it’s possible to clean just about anything in your kitchen, and indeed your whole home, using non-toxic methods.
3. Cut back on paper towels. Kitchen towels and cloth napkins are all you need., For extra eco-friendly points, look for ones made from organic cotton or recycled materials.
Ways to Save Water
Reduce the amount of water that goes down the drain with these tips.
1. Use your dishwasher. The dishwasher uses less water than handwashing, provided you run full loads. Scrape plates instead of rinsing them for added savings.
2. Install an aerator on your kitchen faucet. Aerators reduce flow and backsplash while actually increasing water pressure. They’re simple to install and cost just a few dollars. If your faucet isn’t compatible, at least try to avoid running your water at full blast all the time.
One Last Tip: Recycle!