Wondering how to make your home “greener”? Fortunately, you don’t have to make huge changes or spend a lot to get going—and some environmentally-friendly options even save you money over time. Here are a few items that will get you started in the kitchen.
Before You Buy
If you can do it, swapping out some of your old kitchen standbys for more eco-friendly options is a great idea. It might not seem like a big deal at first, but if everyone just made some small changes in their daily lives, those changes add up.
Here are some things to keep in mind before you make the switch:
- You might spend more money up front. The climate-conscious option is often more expensive. For example, if you buy glass instead of plastic containers, they’re going to cost more. In most cases, though, you’ll find you save money in the long run because eco-friendly options are often more durable and last longer.
- Don’t feel guilty about the things that aren’t “green.”If you choose just a few things in your kitchen to “go green” on, that’s great! You don’t have to ditch everything you own that doesn’t fit the bill. Just make the changes that make the most sense for you and your lifestyle.
Now that you have these two points in mind, it’s to go “green” shopping!
On-the-Go Storage: Stasher 100% Silicone Reusable Food Bags
Made of nontoxic platinum silicone,Stasher bags are also and BPA-, PVC, and Latex-free, and an excellent alternative to plastic zip bags. They’re available in multiple sizes up to a 1/2-gallon bag, so you can use them for everything from food to makeup.
Stasher bags are also super-versatile—you can use them in the fridge, freezer, or on the go. They’re microwave-safe, and you can even use them for sous vide.
To clean them, you just rinse them out in the sink or throw them in the dishwasher. Unlike plastic bags, they last for years, so their price tag is more than worth it.
Produce Storage: Flip and Tumble Reusable Produce Bags
If you want to cut back on plastics, bring a few Flip and Tumble Reusable Produce Bagsto the grocery store with you. They’re great for storing fresh fruits and veggies and are a sustainable alternative to the plastic store bags. Another huge bonus is the breathable mesh will keep your produce fresh longer than plastic bags.
Flip and Tumble Bags are also convenient because you can easily see the contents without having to open them. They’re super-lightweight, tear-proof, and machine washable.
Best Paper Towel Replacement: Kitchen + Home Bamboo Towels
Sick of spending money on paper towels that seem to disappear instantly? Opt for some Kitchen + Home Bamboo Towels. That might sound a bit odd, and they do cost more, but the company claims these last up to the equivalent of six months’ worth of paper towels—so in the end, it works out!
Bamboo towels are also stronger, more absorbent, and much more durable than paper towels. You just throw them in the washing machine in a laundry bag to wash them, and each sheet should last up to 120 washes.
You’ll feel good about using them, too. Bamboo is a lot more eco-friendly than regular paper because the plant grows so quickly and is chemical-free.
For Your Keurig: Keurig My K-Cup Universal Reusable K-Cup Pod Coffee Filter
You might not have realized how much plastic is in Keurig pods. If you regularly use a Keurig machine, a Keurig MyK-Cup Pod Coffee Filter is totally worth it. You fill it with your own coffee rather than using the single pods. Not only does it drastically cut down on plastic, but it also saves you money!
It’s BPA-free, and easy to use and clean. There are two fill options, so you can choose either the cup or travel size.
It’s designed to work in any Keurig machine, so you shouldn’t run into any issues.
Best Green Dish Soap: Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Liquid Dish Soap
Finding eco-friendly dish soap isn’t as difficult as it used to be. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Liquid Dish Soap is a great, clean brand. Plus, you can easily find it in most big grocery stores, like Target.
This stuff is cruelty-free, biodegradable, and made of plant-based products, but it’s still powerful enough to cut through tough grease and other food stains. It also smells great and isn’t too pricey!
Best Plastic Wrap Alternative: Bee’s Wrap
Whether you’re trying to keep a chunk of cheese or sliced produce fresh, or saving a sandwich for later,Bee’s Wrapgets the job done! This plastic-free food wrap is made of—you guessed it—beeswax, as well as jojoba oil and tree resin.
You can use it to wrap or cover food instead of plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Even better, in the fridge, it forms a seal around whatever you wrapped in it.
It’s also reusable and more durable than plastic wrap or bags.
Best Travel Coffee Mug: Stojo On the Go Cup
Toting around a reusable coffee cup is an easy way to cut down on plastic, save money, and keep your coffee warm for longer. Unfortunately, it can also be a pain figuring out what to do with your coffee tumbler when you’re done with it, but still out and about. That’s where the Stojo On The Go Coffee Cup comes in.
Unlike other reusable cups, you can collapse it after you finish your coffee and toss it in a bag or even a large pocket.
You don’t have to worry about spilling any coffee remnants, either—the lid is insulated and leak-proof. The Stojo is made of food-grade silicone, and it’s free of BPAs, Phthalates, lead, and glue.
Keep Your Produce Fresh: BluApple Produce Freshness Saver Balls
Food waste is a huge problem for most households—especially when it comes to fruits and veggies. Produce can go bad quickly—sometimes, just a day or two after you buy it!
One reason this happens is that certain fruits and veggies emit ethylene gas, which can speed up the process. Bluapple Produce Freshness Saver Balls attempt to prevent this from happening so fast.
You just stick them in your produce drawers, and they absorb any ethylene gas that’s emitted, and prevent everything else from absorbing it, too!
This way, your produce should last long enough for you to eat, rather than having to toss it in the garbage.
Best Lunch Container: W&P Ceramic Porter Bowl
Taking your breakfast or lunch to work? Instead of a plastic container, give theW&P Ceramic Porter Bowla try. Not only is it much more aesthetically pleasing, but it’s also made of BPA-free plastic, ceramic, and silicone. It’s also much more durable than inexpensive plastic containers, so it’ll last longer.
Unlike glass containers (which are bit too delicate to take to work or school), these are covered in protective silicone that makes them less likely to break.
The Ceramic Porter Bowls are also dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.
Eco-Friendly Coffee Filters: Bolio Organic Hemp Cone Coffee Filters
Single-use coffee filters create a lot of waste. Fortunately, you can easily replace them with a reusable one, like the Bolio Organic Hemp Cone Coffee Filter. They’re made of 100-percent organic hemp, which is much more sustainable, naturally resistant to mildew and bacteria, and retains more coffee oils, which will give each cup more flavor.
They aren’t dishwasher- or machine-safe, but you just rinse them with hot water after each use, and then hang them to dry.
Best Organic All-Purpose Cleaner:Counter Culture Probiotic All-Purpose Cleaner
Switching to a non-toxic cleaner is easy as long as it gets the job done—and thisCounter Culture Probiotic Cleaning Tonic does! Probiotics are the good bacteria, and this cleaner breaks down dirt and grease as well as any chemical cleaner.
It’s plant-based and doesn’t contain any man-made chemicals, colors, allergens, or fake fragrances—just essential oils.
Save Sliced Fruits and Veggies: Faberware Food Huggers
Instead of sticking that sliced piece of produce in a plastic bag or throwing it out, useFaberware’sFood Huggers. Made of food-safe, BPA-free silicone, these food savers easily attach to the end of a piece of produce and, essentially, seal it up so it won’t go bad. You can also use them on opened cans.
Food Huggers come in a few different sizes to ensure they’ll fit basically anything. They’re also small enough to easily store in a kitchen drawer.
To Cut Down Food Waste: OXO Good Grips Compost Bin
A compost bin is a great way to cut down food waste. It allows you to give new life to old produce and other bits of food, instead of just throwing it all away. TheOXO Compost Bin is a great size to sit right on your countertop. It seals up nicely so liquids and smells don’t escape.
The handle and removable lid make it easy to empty.
Best for Leftovers: Frego Glass and Silicone Food Containers
Swapping out plastic for glass containers is a quick way to get started on a greener kitchen.Frego Food Containers are the perfect, eco-friendly alternative. They’re nontoxic and free of BPA, PVC, and other toxins.
The glass containers sit inside food-grade silicone sleeves that protect them from breaking. You can use them in the oven or microwave, and even the freezer. They’re also dishwasher-safe.