It’s unrealistic to hope everyone is going to adopt a zero-waste lifestyle, but it’s important that we all try our best and change our everyday habits to reduce waste and carbon footprint. To help our earth, we have to become more sustainable and more eco-conscious.
Luckily, sustainability can reach every corner of our home. Better organisation can lead to an eco-friendly kitchen, for example. If you’re looking for ways to reduce waste and be sustainable, then here are 7 ways to be more eco-friendly in the kitchen.
1. Go With Reusable Alternatives
Single-use plastics are our worst enemies that can be found in most kitchens. From single-use plastic utensils, water bottles, and grocery bags to cling wraps. Well, they don’t have to be since there are eco-friendly reusable alternatives. There are a whole lot of options out there, like beeswax food wrap that easily sticks, covers your food, and can be rinsed and used again.
In addition, replace paper towels with a more eco-friendly alternative. Usually, paper towels are thrown away after only one use, so using kitchen towels and microfiber cloths can make a huge difference in reducing waste. Natural fibers can be composted when no longer in use. Another great option is a bamboo paper towel, which is reusable, disposable, and can be used for wiping tougher stains.
2. Sustainable Food Shopping
Average person throws away around 238lbs of food each year. Food waste is a huge problem, not only that you’re wasting money, but it’s not helping the planet either. The problem is when food waste ends up in a landfill it converts to methane gas. The methane gas is 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, which is already powerful enough.
So, it’s important to shop with food sustainability in mind. That means not falling for greenwashing, buying only what you need to reduce food waste, reusing food scraps and turning them into a veggie stock, and composting food waste and using it as a fertiliser.
Be aware that pre-cut produce comes in single-use plastic packages that impact our planet and are more expensive to buy. Instead, buy whole veggies and cut them yourself to help save our planet.
3. Choose Biodegradable Tools and Utensils
Remember this, every single single-use plastic item will eventually end up in landfills and become waste to the earth. Even non-single-use plastics will, too. So, next time your plastic tool or utensil comes to the end of its life, find a more sustainable and eco-friendly replacement. Good alternatives to plastic are wood, metal, and glass. Another great alternative is stainless steel, all of these replacements are durable, hygienic, and versatile in the kitchen.
You don’t have to make your kitchen plastic free in one day, instead, go step by step and slowly replace tools and utensils when needed. For example, you can place flour, pasta, lentils, and beans in glass jars instead of plastic containers. Glass jars are eco-friendly and recyclable, and they’ll add a stylish touch to your kitchen. Don’t forget to bring your own reusable bags for produce and the supermarket.
4. Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
Cleaning products, especially for kitchens and bathrooms are full of aggressive and toxic chemicals. Replacing them with more sustainable and natural cleaning products will not only be a safer choice for your family but reduce the environmental footprint. You can buy concentrate to make a spray cleaner in a glass bottle to reduce plastic use, and save the planet and money, too.
5. Energy-Efficient Appliances
Did you know that older washing machines use more water than newer ones? Well, the difference is significant, older machines use 40-45 gallons of water per cycle, while newer ones use around 10-25 gallons. Energy-efficient appliances have a lower carbon footprint and save energy. You can easily identify energy-efficient kitchen appliances with the seven-step colour chart. The rank goes from A-G and A means the greenest.
Even though energy-efficient appliances cost more upfront, they save energy, meaning lower electricity bills. With energy-efficient appliances, you’re not only saving money but reducing the impact on the environment, as well.
6. Replace Old Light Bulbs with LED Lighting
One of the easiest ways to make your kitchen more eco-friendly is to replace old light bulbs with LED lighting. Energy-efficient LED bulbs use less energy while making your kitchen as bright as before, if not even better. LED lighting doesn’t need to be replaced often, which saves you money, energy, and lower electricity bills.
7. Donate Things You don’t use
We all have a habit of thinking we’re going to find a time and place to use something we haven’t even touched past year. It’s essential to break this habit and do a monthly pantry and fridge clean-out. If you find something that you and your family aren’t going to eat or use, donate it to a local food charity or donation bins. Not only will you help someone, but your kitchen will be decluttered, and you won’t contribute to food waste.
In the end, even small changes add up and contribute to a healthier planet for all of us. With these 7 ways, your kitchen will become more eco-friendly than before and you will leave a positive impact on the earth.