How Green is Your Kitchen?




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How Green Is Your Kitchen | MightyNest Promo

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…

Earth Day MightyFix Promo | reusuable produce bags

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

How To Keep A Green Kitchen | Cloth Napkins and Dish Towels

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.

Handwoven Dish Towel from Stillwater Weaving

#2 ditch the plastics

MightyNest glass water bottle

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 ;)

Bee's Wrap from Mightynest

#3 keep it clean, but not too clean

Save $$ AND the planet with natural cleaners

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!

Simple but meaningful changes you can make in your kitchen to go greener and healtheir for you, your family, and the planet.

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!

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…

 

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41 Comments

    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    Beth
    December 8, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    I am beginning my green kitchen journey. I dug out some cloth napkins I had in a drawer and will begin using them for everyday, instead of just for company. I love yours. Where did you find them?

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 8, 2018 at 7:26 pm

      I’ve been collecting plaid cloth napkins for a while now, I pick them up wherever I see them at stores like Marshalls, World Market, etc.

  • Reply
    Pamela
    June 11, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    I know this late but I just saw this post. I just started going green and I have given up paper towels in the kitchen, but napkins just a little harder.

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 11, 2017 at 5:34 pm

      It’s funny Pamela, I feel like it’s the opposite for me…I use cloth napkins and they work so well, I often just fold them up after a meal and use them again the next day, it feels so good not to be throwing away all that paper, doesn’t it?

  • Reply
    Claudia Phillips
    June 7, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    I love your ideas. I quit using paper towels a couple of years ago. Instead I buy those packs of cheap terry cloth washcloths that are sold at Target tied up with a ribbon. I use a damp one to wipe the counters (with a spray cleanser). Then I wipe again with a clean dry washcloth. I use them daily and wash them often. And I make sure I always have a large supply. I don’t miss paper towels at all.

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 7, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      Every once in a great while, I miss them…and it usually involves making bacon ;)

  • Reply
    Debbie
    May 26, 2017 at 6:43 am

    Where is the recipe for homemade pita bread? I don’t see it anywhere!

  • Reply
    Adina
    April 24, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    I find it hardest to give up paper towels (although I only use about one roll in two weeks or so) and freezer bags. I’ve never heard of the bees wraps, they seem great, I have to search for them. One thing I am really proud of is that I don’t use any chemicals for cleaning the kitchen, just vinegar cleaner, which I mix with water. I use that for the floor and stove, sink, working surface, actually everything. It is greener and cheaper than anything else and totally efficient.

  • Reply
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking
    April 24, 2016 at 11:57 am

    These are awesome tips! Where was this post last year when I was trying to figure all this out?! ;) Paper towels are the only thing I can’t give up but wish I could!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 24, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      I hear you about the paper towels, every once in a while I throw a roll in my grocery cart when no one’s looking ;)

  • Reply
    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
    April 24, 2016 at 5:57 am

    Sue, I’ve had a semi-green kitchen for decades, but I doubt I’ll ever give up paper towels altogether. I’ve cut waaaayy back on them, though, using them only for jobs that would simply ruin cloth. I keep a stack of a dozen or so towels at the ready and a stack of dishcloths right by the sink. Perhaps if I can collect some rags to keep under the sink, that would eliminate the need for even the occasional paper towel?

  • Reply
    Wendy O'Neal
    April 23, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    Great tips. We are huge fans of using cloth and reusable water bottles and bags.

  • Reply
    Carolyn
    April 23, 2016 at 6:08 am

    All great ideas. We use cloth at all times, except for the occasional time when eating wings and ribs…then we give our kids some paper napkins. But we can compost them here in Portland so I don’t feel as bad about it!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 23, 2016 at 7:20 am

      I really need to consider composting, that’s my next phase :) Thanks for stopping by Carolyn ~

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    April 23, 2016 at 4:32 am

    Great tips Sue, I’ve got a long ways to go in lots of these areas. I make such a mess when I cook, I would be washing towels by the boatload. You’ve definitely given me some great ideas and things to strive towards!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 23, 2016 at 7:22 am

      I know Chris, it’s such a dilemma, nothing is easy…I do make use of a sponge, which helps because I’m NOT a neat cook either ;).

  • Reply
    Anna @ Healthoop
    April 23, 2016 at 12:50 am

    Useful tips! I like…. Thank your sharing! :)

  • Reply
    Kelly
    April 22, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    We love Mighty Nest and have been doing the Mighty Fix for a few months now. :) Wish I was ready for a renewal already.

  • Reply
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com
    April 22, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Great tips!! I don’t use paper towels in the kitchen or on paper napkins on our dining table anymore.

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    April 22, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Great tips. I have tried to find ways to green up my kitchen, too. I think I have been most successful at reducing food waste, so far, but I still have more to do, so I appreciate these ideas :)

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    April 22, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    What a great article. I am constantly trying to go greener. The paper napkins and plastic have been gone for a while, but the convenience of paper towels is difficult to do without. I do have a ton of dish towels, but I guess I just need to get over the staining that will occur. Thanks for sharing your consciousness with all of us.

  • Reply
    Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners
    April 22, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Hmmm, I thought I was pretty green but it seems I’ve got a few more things to do. Funny how you forget about the obvious like ziploc bags. Oh my gosh, that’s going to be a hard one but consider it done. I do most of the other things and I have found the best thing to get things super clean – hot water, lemon and baking soda. Works like a charm.
    Definitely going to check out the natural liquid hand soap, too.
    For cleaning around the house, I cut up old clothes that are too bedraggled to give to Goodwill. They make great cleaning cloths.
    Loved this post and all these helpful reminders and tips, Sue!

  • Reply
    Cathy
    April 22, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Lots of good ideas. On our little island, there is no recycling and the plastic makes me crazy. They do have a drinks place that recycles glass bottles, beer and soda’s like we used to do in the U.S. I have cloth shopping bags and one grocery store is pushing them again. I also have a large thermos that I fill with water. In our heat,it tastes so good to drink ice cold water. I also have a small collection of glass storage that I want to expand. They are much healthier and some can go from freezer to counter to oven and microwave. Haven’t quit paper towels though.

  • Reply
    Matt @ Plating Pixels
    April 22, 2016 at 10:23 am

    My kitchen has more of a teal theme, but you can never have too many green veggies!

  • Reply
    Diane
    April 22, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Don’t forget about wax paper bags. They can handle just about anything a plastic baggie can.

  • Reply
    Jill
    April 22, 2016 at 9:44 am

    These are all great tips! I’m good about reusable water bottles (all four of us have a stainless steel variety that keeps ice from melting even on a hot day). And some of the other stuff… those paper towels though :) Gotta keep working toward not using those. I pinned this for Earth Day too.

  • Reply
    guy23
    April 22, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Love all their glass food storage containers. Sturdy, well designed. Just gives me a better feeling about what I’m eating for some reason.

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 22, 2016 at 9:29 am

      I agree, and they’re especially important for using in the microwave.

  • Reply
    Sara
    April 22, 2016 at 9:09 am

    Sadly my kitchen is not very green, which partially comes with the fact that having 3 kids age 4 and under makes me rely too much on convenience products like paper towels by the boat load :(. I’m definitely going to try to incorporate some of these great ideas into my kitchen!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 22, 2016 at 9:30 am

      Sara you get a reprieve until the kids are older ;)

      • Reply
        Sue
        April 22, 2016 at 9:31 am

        But check out Mightynest’s kids section, I wish I’d known about that stuff when my kids were little.

  • Reply
    gerry
    April 22, 2016 at 9:01 am

    I’m loving that water bottle!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 22, 2016 at 9:30 am

      It’s seriously the best Gerry.

  • Reply
    Meeta
    April 22, 2016 at 8:25 am

    I am so with you here – we’ve been going in steps too – we’ve got the cloth napkins and kitchen towels going for a few years now. The plastic is the challenging task I must admit especially aas many of the products come wrapped in plastic. I LOVE that bottle will have to see if they deliver this to Germany

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 22, 2016 at 8:27 am

      I know they deliver to Canada, Meeta, but not sure about Germany, I’ll check.

  • Reply
    Sara - The Organic Dietitian
    April 22, 2016 at 8:02 am

    What great tips! I definitely have been working on living a more green life. Thanks for giving me some more ideas.

  • Reply
    Whitney @WhittyPaleo
    April 22, 2016 at 7:51 am

    I’ve slowly been trying to stop with the paper towels myself! Thanks for the great tips!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 22, 2016 at 7:56 am

      I still miss my paper towels ;)

  • Reply
    Tricia
    April 22, 2016 at 5:01 am

    Terrific tips and wonderful reminders – gotta check out the water bottle. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 22, 2016 at 7:56 am

      You’ve got to get one of those bottles Tricia, you will LOVE it.