Sustainable swaps for the kitchen
When thinking about everyday items we use in the kitchen - there are SO many products that we use that can be easily swapped for a more sustainable alternative. We spend so much time eating and cooking so why not invest in a few items made with a little more love?
1. Bees wax wraps
The natural and sustainable alternative to plastic wrap for food storage. This is a relatively new concept that has recently become popular and it is easy to see why! Made from natural bees wax, you can wrap up fresh fruits, vegetables, breads and even use it to cover those delicious left overs. With some basic care, your bees wax wrap can last up to one year and comes in multiple different sizes.
Not a fan of the bees wax wraps? We love reusable produce bags. Multifunctional so they can also be used outside of the kitchen for things like cosmetics, shoes and clothing. Completely plastic free, machine washable and designed to last. Take them with you to the shops and pack your fruit and veggies as you go. Say no to plastic bags - say yes to good decisions.
If you can't recycle EVERYTHING you waste - we understand. Sometimes you just want a bag to line your bin. So make the smarter choice and purchase certified compostable kitchen bags. There are quite a few brands out there on the market. Why do we love them? Certified to compostable standards, made from plants and starch and they usually contain no plasticisers. They are great for the kitchen but can be used for your compost too!
4. Canvas tote bags
Consider that the average single person will use between 350-500 plastic bags each year.
If your going to go shopping, make the switch: reusable, recycled, canvas tote bags are the no brainer alternative to plastic bags. They can be washed and used over and over again. Keep them in your car, carry one in your bag and off you go!
5. Coconut scrub pads
If you have read some of our other blog posts you might have seen this one before - coconut scrub pads. They are multi functional - great for use in the kitchen, on surfaces and on the body! They are made from natural coconut fibres bound together by a non toxic adhesive. Gentle on surfaces so they won't scratch but touch on grease. Did we mention they are gentle on the skin and completely biodegradable and compostable! YES!
6. Glass drinking straws
Not only are these straws reusable and eco friendly, they look great too! Gone are the days where you use paper straws for parties and milkshakes! Forget about those soggy sticks and make the switch. Strawgrace handmade straws are the stylish alternative which are also easy to clean, handmade and environmentally friendly.
7. Reusable coffee cups
How many takeaway coffees do you consume each day? Have you ever thought about the amount of disposable coffee cups you throw away in one lifetime? A big waste, with a simple alternative. Make the switch - Reusable, washable, portable coffee mugs are the way to go. KeepCup brew have some sleek microwave safe and lightweight designs. We can't say no to coffee, but we can say no to unnecessary waste.
We LOVE coffee. These days, it seems a lot of individuals and workplaces have invested in coffee pod machines. Although we don't condone this new fad, we can see why it's so popular...it's simple, quick and a relatively tasty alternative if you can't source a proper coffee from your cafe. The problem with this new concept is the production of pod waste.
Have you considered how many pods you throw away or how long they will take to break down?
The alternative: BIODEGRADABLE CAPSULES
As a result of all the concerns surrounding environmental waste, some companies have emerged to tackle this problem by creating biodegradable coffee capsules made mostly from vegetable fibre and starch. Unlike traditional Pods which take around 150-200 YEARS to break down, these new biodegradable pods take only around 180 days! Incredible, no?
Interested and want to learn more? We still have a long way to go before biodegradable products becomes the gold standard. Two companies that have jumped the gun are Ecocaffe and Lavazza - check 'em out and start making a difference today. Remember - every little bit counts!
Want another alternative? Nespresso have introduced a new recycling program. FINALLY! Want to learn more? Click here!
8. Re-useable dish cloths
We know how bad paper towels are for the environment. They ARE useful and we DO love them, but there IS a cleaning alternative. Cleaning cloths might take some getting used to, but can be reused, washed and are also biodegradable. Not to mention absorbent, strong, durable, safe, multifunctional...
9. Reusable utensil sets
Whether you've been on the go or you order takeout, we are all guilty of using the plastic fork knife and spoon set. There are substitutes. For this one? Look at lightweight, recycled, heat resistant utensil kits. You could simply take some cutlery from home or alternatively, To-go ware have designed bamboo utensil kits that come with a casing so you can pack them away in the pocket of your bag and a carabiner for an added travel bonus!
Reusable utensils are the way to go if your looking for a sustainable alternative to plastic. Something you can travel with and something that will fit snug into your bag.
Plastic utensils are unfortunately still prevalent in eateries and takeaway joints. When offered, you should politely decline. Did you know - the United States alone throws away more than 40 billion plastic utensils EACH YEAR?
Edible cutlery company Bakeys have created a solution - cutlery made out of rice, wheat and sorghum. That's right, cutlery you can eat your food with, and then it it too. Whats better? It comes in three different flavours - sweet, savoury or plain. Great for complimenting food. Don't want to eat your cutlery? Good news - The cutlery will decompose pretty quickly and can even act as a fertiliser.
We're impressed. At the moment, only spoons are available for sale, but the company hopes to produce other utensils like forks and chopsticks in the future. Stay tuned.
10. Glass jars
Glass jars as an alternative to plastic tupperware? yes please. You can use them to store dry goods, preservatives, jams, tea bags...anything you can think of really. They are reusable, washable and durable. They look great and can be utilised outside of the kitchen for other storage usage as-well. Want another use? Take away the lids and they make for a pretty hipster drinking glass. How about funky herb planter jars, home made body scrub containers, candle holders? The list goes on...
11. Slow cookers and pressure cookers
There are some extremely energy efficient slow cookers out there. They work by preventing heat loss by utilising good insulation. The insulation keeps your food warm and cooking for up to 6 hours! Pressure cookers are wonder pots - a tight seal doesn't let any air or liquid escape below a certain pressure. Because of this, your food cooks quicker and you use less electricity. Have a look around, but these days you will get more value out of a combined 2in1.
12. Indoor compost bins
What better way to practice sustainability than with a indoor compost bin. Odourless, space savvy and environmentally conscious - investing in one of these is the best way to get rid of all those food scraps and left overs! Decrease your impact on environment landfill and create a rich, nutrient compost matter for your garden at the same time! For more information about how to compost, click here.
Have any comments or suggestions for other sustainable kitchen products? We would love to hear from you!