It’s one thing to want a healthier, greener kitchen, but it’s another to actually make it happen…the trick is to take it in small, manageable steps… here are my top 3 tips for getting started…
How green is your kitchen? I’m not talking about the color of your back splash, I’m talking about a kitchen that leaves the smallest footprint possible on planet earth, while making sure our families are fed and healthy. Keeping a green kitchen is important to me, I’ve been working on it here at home for a few years now, and luckily, it seems like almost every day a cool new eco-friendly product hits the market to make that a whole lot easier.
So let’s get to it, I challenge you to implement these three simple but oh-so-critical, changes in your kitchen this year!
#1 embrace cloth
The very first step I made toward a greener kitchen was to stop buying paper products. This can be a bit revolutionary if you’re paper-dependent, so I suggest doing it in phases…
- The first thing to go were the paper napkins. I just stopped buying them. I keep a stash of cloth napkins on the counter and use them everyday. I don’t wash them everyday, though, we use them until the stains are obvious, and then toss ’em in the laundry pile. You can find inexpensive cloth napkins at discount department stores, Cost Plus, Pier I, and of course, you can always find them online. It’s fun to collect them according to a theme…I’m mad for plaid :)
- Next to go were paper towels. This was harder for me. Food blogging involves a lot of cooking, which involves a LOT of clean up — and spills. I used to depend on the convenience of paper towels but again, one day I made the commitment to just stop buying them. I now make do with a combination of cloth dishtowels and a pile of rags that I keep under the sink for messy spills. Remember my American Artisans feature on Thistle Rose Weaving and their beautiful hand woven dish towels? I love the idea of buying hand made pieces that are beautiful and sturdy. Etsy has some amazing examples, like the one below from Stillwater Weaving. When I surround myself with really special natural products it makes going green a pleasure. You can also find lots of washable cloth ‘paper towels’ on Amazon.
#2 ditch the plastics
There is so much plastic to give up it can be overwhelming — again, take it one step at a time.
- Once I read about the health hazards of microwaving and storing food in plastics, that part was a no-brainer. My Lifefactory glass water bottle, above, is my bff, we’re connected at the hip, I don’t go anywhere without her, (she’s like family.)
- I’m slowly collecting glass storage containers, too, so all that Tupperware is a distant memory.
- I just got my first mesh produce bags (top photo) and I’m so excited! Everybody at the grocery store asked about them…
- The hardest thing for me to give up were my precious zip lock baggies — I used them in so many ways! I’ve found a great solution, though… I love BeesWrap for storing everyday stuff like cut onions, and open pet food cans… whoever heard of food wrap that smells divine, anyway? You can even get compostable and reusable bags if you’re not ready to go cold turkey with your sandwiches just yet ;)
#3 keep it clean, but not too clean
Yup, it’s possible you’re getting things too clean, and spreading lots of toxins, pesticides and other chemicals around your kitchen and down the drain while you’re at it.
- Start with a small change…I know we all love to wash our hands, but those little plastic pump foam dispensers cost a lot, and are full of chemicals, dyes, and antibacterial nonsense that can actually be harmful to our health. Buy yourself some natural liquid hand or dish soap and squirt a bit into an empty foam pump dispenser (yes, you can use them again and again once they’re empty!) and fill the rest with water. Screw on the top and voila — you got a full bottle at a fraction of the cost of buying a new one. I’ve done this for years, and each foam dispenser generally lasts me at least 6-8 months. If you want to match your decor, add a drop of food coloring. You can also buy glass and metal dispensers, I have one made from a mason jar.
- If you’re ready to tackle more, you can see lots of household cleaning supplies that don’t rely on bad stuff.
please pin and share for Earth Day!
I’d love to hear how you guys go green in your kitchens — let’s share tips — together we can make it happen in 2016 :)
Don’t forget to pin these 3 Simple Steps to a Greener Kitchen!