We’ve all felt the need to be more eco-friendly in our day-to-day lives. Being green in the kitchen can be difficult, especially when more sustainable options can be more expensive and when there are picky mouths to feed in the house. But there are some simple swaps that you can make in your kitchen that are eco-friendly and will save you money in the long run. It can be difficult to know where to start, which is why we’ve made this guide on 5 small steps to becoming more eco-friendly in your kitchen - from what you buy to what you throw away, the small things can make a big difference.
Bamboo is a great option for when you need to freshen your utensil drawers. Compared to other woods, bamboo grows at an extraordinary rate, saving water and absorbing more carbon than other trees. It’s also lightweight and durable, meaning it won't need replacing as quickly as plastic or other materials. This doesn’t just go for spoons, spatulas, and ladles, but also chopping boards. Bamboo also looks stylish, so your kitchen will look great while being more eco-friendly.
You can even use bamboo in the design of your kitchen. Read more about how you can design an eco-friendly kitchen in our blog.
Turning from your countertops to your fridge, how you store your food is hugely important. Plastic food storage options such as cling film will just end up in landfills and could take decades to break down. Beeswax wraps and metal/bamboo containers are good alternatives for cling-film and plastic bags and can also look great in your kitchen. Choosing reusable food storage saves you money as well as the environment, needing just to be washed before being used again. These are often more airtight and will save your food for longer, creating less waste and making your grocery budget last far longer.
For creating a sustainable kitchen environment, it’s always a good idea to swap single-use objects, such as sponges, cloths and paper towels, with multi-use and washable alternatives, like microfibre cloths and bamboo towels. Read about our best gadgets of 2021 to help you produce even less waste.
Before you’re even in the kitchen, your food choices greatly influence how eco-friendly your kitchen is. Taking a reusable bag to the shop is a simple and easy-to-forget step, but can save hundreds of plastic bags being thrown into landfills over the years. What you put in your basket is also vital - avoiding plastic packaging is, of course, not always possible, but where you can choose loose vegetables over plastic-wrapped alternatives will help dramatically. Another factor to consider with fresh produce is the time of year. Buying seasonally will reduce your carbon footprint with the import of fruit and veg from abroad and it’s great to show your support for local farmers.
Eco-friendly cleaning products
Harsh cleaning products might be a staple of your kitchen to keep it fresh and clean of bacteria. However, there are alternatives that you can make from items in your kitchen that are non-toxic, biodegradable and are just as effective as your normal household cleaners. These include lemon juice, vinegar and baking soda concoctions - or even green alternatives from your regular shop. Homemade options are cheaper, can help to use up ingredients and provide a nicer smell than the harsh chemicals.
The aim for anyone trying to be as sustainable as possible is to produce as little food waste as possible. However, it can be difficult to use up everything that you buy. So for those food scraps you’re forced to part with, start composting. There are many online guides for what you can and can’t compost, but fruit and vegetable peels and skins are a great start. For people with gardens, homemade compost is full of nutrients and can even help you save money on bags of compost.