With all this extra time at home, I am investigating easy ways we can make our kitchen more eco-friendly. I started paying attention to what ends up in our garbage and found that a significant portion was plastic zip bags, aluminum foil, and plastic wrap. After doing some research, I made easy swaps for these items to create a more eco-friendly kitchen. Most of these items I enjoy using more than the originals!
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Why create a more eco-friendly kitchen?
I’m a busy mom of three young kids, with little time and a long to-do list. So why would I take the time to research eco-friendly kitchen swaps?
The short answer is that I believe any small change we can make does make a difference. If everyone makes a few changes to take care of our planet, we can collectively make a big impact. I don’t think that we all have to become “waste-free.” That isn’t a realistic goal for most of us, especially to start.
I saw this quote from Anne Marie Bonneau, from Zero-Waste Chef, and it really motivated me. “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero-waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”
Having kitchen products that I feel good about using also makes me happier to be in the kitchen, a place that I spend a ton of time anyways preparing meals and endless snacks, and of course, washing dishes.
Swap beeswax wrap for plastic wrap
A super easy swap for a more eco-friendly kitchen is beeswax wraps for plastic wrap.
I absolutely hate using plastic wrap because it gets tangled and mangled and it never sticks to what I’m covering as well as I want it to. It’s a pricey product that leaves me frustrated. And I don’t feel good about tossing it in the garbage. I honestly didn’t know there were great alternatives to plastic wrap until recently.
I found these beeswax wraps on Amazon and I love them! They seal so well around bowls and food items, using the warmth of your hands to heat up the wax and make it sticky. They’re so easy to use.
Beeswax wraps are made from eco-friendly materials, like cotton and beeswax. They can be washed again and again, and when they finally stop holding their shape, they are compostable. These wraps are also handmade in New Zealand.
Swap silicone baking mats for aluminum foil
Silicone sheet pan liners are an awesome and easy eco-friendly kitchen swap for aluminum foil.
Before making this swap, I used aluminum foil to line sheet pans. Sheet pan dinners are a go-to in our house for super easy meals and clean up, so I was resistant to give up the foil. Turns out that these silicone liners clean up so easily that it’s an easy swap to make.
These silicone liners fit perfectly on standard sheet pans and are safe up to 450 °F. They are also dishwasher safe, but they clean up so easily that I haven’t needed to put them in the dishwasher.
We don’t need a handful of people doing zero-waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.-Anne Marie Bonneau from Zero-Waste Chef
Swap reusable plastic bags for disposable
Reuseable plastic bags are a great eco-friendly kitchen swap for the disposable version.
I was honestly hesitant to try a reusable plastic bag, but this product has been painless to use. I first heard about them from Happy Money Saver.
Plastic bags are a kitchen staple in our house. I use them to hold leftover rice and quinoa, store meat and produce in the freezer, and to keep homemade bread fresh.
These bags are heavy duty and the closure works so well compared to the disposable bags I’ve used. They don’t leak and are easy enough to clean with soapy water. I much prefer to use these bags over disposable plastic bags, and will definitely be buying more.
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Tell me about eco-friendly kitchen swaps you’ve tried.
These eco-friendly kitchen products have been such a joy to use that I am now looking for more swaps to make in our home. There is an initial price investment, but I am hopeful that they will last long enough to make up for the money spent.
I’m realizing that I want impart a consideration for the environment on my kids as they grow up. It also makes me feel good that I’m making changes to take care of our planet, no matter how small.
I can’t say that I won’t ever use aluminum foil, disposable plastic wrap, and plastic bags again. I use aluminum foil to clean at times, and disposable plastic bags can be useful for sending home leftovers after a get-together. My use will be much reduced thanks to these products, however, and I believe that any change we can make is worthwhile.
I’d love to hear about eco-friendly products you enjoy using. Leave a comment below.
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