Five simple tips to make your kitchen an eco-friendly one!
Maybe you have just decided to start reducing your use of single-use plastic or perhaps you are a fair way into your environmentally friendly journey - either way, that’s great news and something to be celebrated!
Like with anything, choosing to make changes is easier done in chunks otherwise it becomes overwhelming. I would say this is the same with reducing your impact on the planet - not many people achieve a true zero waste lifestyle but small changes over weeks or months really can make a difference. Here are five easy small changes you can make in your kitchen.
1. Ditch the plastic sponge scourer for washing the pots
Do you ever consider how many single use sponges you have thrown away and where they all go? Unfortunately they are terrible for the environment as they shed micro-plastics into our water systems and they end up straight in landfill.
The good news is that there are loads of eco-friendly alternatives for doing the dishes which work just as well, last longer and provide decent value for money!
Good eco-friendly alternatives can be composted after use without shedding micro-plastics in to our environment.
In our home, we use a combination of compostable sponge cloths which are great for a variety of tasks, including washing the pots. We use a loofah which goes super soft and flexible when wet instead of using a sponge and a plastic free dish brush for scouring that only needs the head replacing each time.
Top tip…. Did you know that you can refresh a tired loofah in the washing machine and that they will last up to 12 months? We also cut ours into smaller sizes (as shown in the picture) making them easier to hold and meaning a pack of loofah’s will last even longer!
2. Invest in some reusable Kitchen Roll
If I was to answer the question ‘what is the most used eco-friendly product in your home?’ - it would probably be Bamboo Kitchen roll. We have used it for EVERYTHING!
A few examples are cleaning, drying, mopping spills, polishing windows, and we even have some we take camping as its perfect for absorbing muddy footprints from the bottom of your tent!
So, disposable kitchen roll is made out of paper, how bad can it be......?
Yes, I hear you, but why not invest in reusable bamboo kitchen roll which can be re-used many, many times?
With reusables, there is no extra carbon emissions produced from continual manufacturing, less waste, less transportation and less packaging, not to mention cost…. A roll of reusable kitchen roll can easily save you money if you are regularly buying single-use paper towels.
Here is a picture I took of how absorbent it becomes after being washed... amazing right?!
Our Bamboo Kitchen roll is around 12 months old and is still going strong, we wash as we go and keep clean sheets in a tin on the side for easy access. An easy and ideal swap, a thumbs up recommendation from us!
3. Choose to go plastic free on your cleaning products
Not so long ago, the only option for cleaning products was to make your own or purchase ready made formulas in new plastic bottles each time, these are often full of chemicals that you probably wouldn’t want around your home.
Fortunately, times have changed, it’s easy and cost effective to re-use bottles that you already have with brands such as Iron and Velvet or Ocean Savers. Simply drop a concentrated sachet into the bottle, add water, shake and viola! You have yourself a plastic free cleaning spray!
If you are after an antibacterial cleaner, there is the Ocean Mist Antibacterial Eco Drop that we use in our home but, there are plastic free cleaning sachets for every task and preference!
Less chemicals, less plastic, less toxins, no price or performance difference. If you are looking to reduce the plastic waste associated with cleaning I would definitely recommend giving concentrated cleaning sachets a go!
You can find our range here.
4. Make using cling film a thing of the past…
With so many products on the market for food storage and so much that can be reused around the home… saying goodbye to cling film is great for the planet and an easy swap once you set your mind to it.
So what can you use instead?
Glass Food Jars - why not wash them out and save them for storing soups and leftovers in the freezer (don’t fill them to the top though as the contents will need a little room to expand once frozen).
Home compostable food and freezer bags - If you want the convenience of a plastic bag but don’t want the plastic these might be for you. They look like plastic, work like plastic but are made out of corn and will compost in under six weeks!
Wax Food Wraps - These little beauties will keep your sandwiches and fridge food fresh, they can be used in the same way as cling film and thanks to the wax, they even have a little adhesion to stick together. We even sell bars so you can make your own if you are feeling a little creative!
Bread and Cereal Bags - Might sound silly initially but if you have a bag that has been used for food, why not use it again for storing food… use, and reuse!
Fabric Bags and Wraps - There are so many gorgeous food wraps on the market at the moment, why not treat yourself and the planet.
Paper Sandwich Bags - These are a much better alternative to cling film. OK so they aren’t reusable but they are convenient and will compost back into nothing when you have finished with them.
Silicone Bags - I have a real soft spot for my silicone bag, its durable, easy to use and can withstand being placed in the microwave if I am heating up last nights tea. They can be a little pricey when compared to other options but as they are endlessly reusable you will definitely see a return on your investment with time.
Imagination is key here and this list is endless… be creative and open-minded. You might even find you love the swap!
Bye bye cling film…. (did anyone actually enjoy finding the end anyway?!)
5. Plan your meals
Did you know that food waste in landfills is one of the biggest contributors of Methane, a harmful gas which contributes to global warming?
We’re all guilty of forgetting something at the back of the fridge, and it sounds simple but planning your meals in advance, using leftovers and batch cooking can not only reduce the amount of food and packaging thrown away it can also save you money.
One of my favourite ways to use up vegetables which are just about to go off is to put them in soup, there are so many amazing soup variations to try and soup will freeze easily in portions for another day!
These are just some easy swaps that can make a difference to the amount of waste and reduce single use plastic in your kitchen, but it's only a start.
Don't ever believe simple swaps won't make a difference, small changes can have a big impact when we all try!
Feel free to drop your own suggestions in to the comments below :)