Life·12 min read

19 Products That’ll Make Your Kitchen Way More Eco-Friendly

Design: the Skimm | Photos: Food52
Apr 20, 2022

This post was originally published in April 2021 and has been updated.

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Earth Day is April 22, so sustainability is especially top of mind this month. But it should be a priority every day of the year. Especially when it comes to the kitchen items we’re so quick to reach for every day. Paper towels? Nottt the best. Plastic cleaning bottles? Thank you, next. 

There’s likely a lot of room for improvement in your day-to-day. And we’re here to help. We rounded up eco-friendly counterparts to some commonly used kitchen products. Because reducing your carbon footprint is important. And every little bit helps.

Compostable trash bags + compost liner bags for your kitchen…

Out with the old and in with the new. These trash bags are made from plants and (drumroll) potatoes. So they’re free from plasticizers, otherwise known as what’s added to a bag to make it more stretchy. There’s a 13-gallon size for larger bins and a 3-gallon size to line your compost bin. ($30, Goldune)

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And a compost bin to get you started…

Composting is not as difficult as it sounds. And it has huge benefits. Lots of emissions can come from landfills, especially from the food waste that sits there. Methane gets released into the atmosphere, which in time can cause raising atmospheric temperatures. When you compost, those food scraps are disposed of differently, and can instead become nutritious organic material to add to soil to help other plants grow. These bamboo compost bins come with charcoal filters to dilute odors. And a handle so you can carry it directly to your drop-off site. If you’re still a bit hazy on the process of composting, we’ve got you covered too. ($50, Goldune)

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A reusable and compostable sponge cloth to replace your current sponge…

Use it on windows, dirty dishes, countertops, and more. It’s somewhere between a sponge and paper towel, but it gets the job done. Instead of tossing after use, just throw it in the laundry and it’ll come out as good as new. And when it’s really ready to call it quits, each sponge cloth is compostable. Chef’s kiss. ($24, Goldune)

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And Swedish dishcloths to swap in for paper towels…

Single-use paper towels? We don’t know her. You can use these cellulose cloths all around the house since they’re incredibly absorbent and fast-drying. One can last up to eight weeks and 200 washes before being composted. Customers rave about how easy they are to use and their quick-drying nature. Many say they don’t get stinky during cleaning. ($16.95/10 pack, Amazon)

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A baking mat to replace foil and parchment paper…

No more baked-on food. This silicone mat will perfectly line your pan. It’s nonstick, dishwasher-safe, and also works as a prep board if you’re rolling dough and working with flour. Finally another reason to bake tons and tons of cookies. ($15, Food52)

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Cotton reusable produce bags to replace the plastic ones you get at grocery stores…

And then just throw out once you get home. These will help you eliminate all that waste. They come in three sizes, so you can use ‘em for fruits, veggies, and bread. Just bring them on your next grocery trip and watch your plastic use drop to zero. You can even use them to organize items in the fridge once you’re home. ($29/8 pack, Food52)

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A dishwasher detergent pod that won’t call for a pre-wash…

It’ll make your glassware sparkle and remove caked-on food from bakeware. Ingredients are mineral-based, free from dyes, and never tested on animals. Choose between unscented or lemon. Packaging is compostable with carbon-neutral shipping, and you won’t need to worry about measuring out the perfect amount. Toss a pod in and presto — clean dinnerware. ($18.75+/64 pods, Dropps)

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A multi-surface cleaner with a bottle that can be reused…

The next time your stove looks like a mess, whip out this bottle. Blueland’s formula is tough on grease, and can be used on tile, wood, and stone. And if you read the label, you’ll be impressed with what’s inside (or rather what isn’t): no chlorine bleach, no parabens, and no ammonia. You just make the spray yourself with the tablets provided (just mix the tablet with water to create the solution). So you don’t need to rebuy bottles. One is enough. You’ll get three tablets in your purchase, but you can keep buying more separately. Easy peasy. ($16, Blueland)

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Sustainable beeswax food wraps to replace plastic wrap…

The wrap is made from cotton and infused with beeswax and jojoba oil. It’s washable and reusable, but it works like any other food wrap. It’s also biodegradable and works via the heat from your hands. When you mold the wrap to food items, or bowls and storage containers, a seal will form to keep items fresh. So you can save half-eaten avocados and tomatoes. No more items going to waste. ($14.99/3 pack, Amazon)

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Stand-up silicone bags that’ll store leftovers...

A little less takeout, a little more home cooking. These standing bags can be placed right in your fridge when you need to store the rest of your meal. So no more plastic baggies that quickly wind up in the garbage. These can go in the microwave, dishwasher, or freezer. And can be used to steam and sous-vide. They pretty much do everything. ($28/2 pack, W&P)

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A Brita pitcher so you can get filtered water without plastic bottles…

Nix that 24 pack of single-use water bottles you buy at the grocery store every week. This pitcher holds up to 5 cups of water. So you can keep filling up your reusable water bottle all day long. Standard filters need to be replaced every two months, but the Longlast filter can be replaced every six. And if you’re curious, the filter works to remove copper, mercury, zinc, chlorine, and cadmium from your tap. Ahhh, refreshing. ($19.99+, Amazon)

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Silicone straws that’ll help you ditch plastic ones…

These bendable (yet durable) straws will quickly become your eco-friendly best friend. They’re easy to sip through, can handle thicker liquids, and are fast to clean. The pack of 10 comes with tiny carrying cases, plus little squeegees to make sure you reach every nook and cranny. And if you’re on the fence, silicone straws (as opposed to glass or stainless steel) are unbreakable and temperature-safe. ($25, Food52)

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A silicone muffin pan to replace paper liners…

And to make muffins (and egg bites) easier to get out of the pan. We’ve all experienced broken tops. And after all your hard work, watching them fall apart at the last step is very frustrating. The heat-resistant silicone is flexible, so once everything is cooled, you’ll be able to easily pop out your creations. No liners needed. And when cleaning, just flip the cups inside out to get crumbs left in the bottom. ($12.49, Amazon)

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A French press so you can brew a cup of coffee every morning…

Without relying on K-cups or coffee you buy from your local chain. So you can save a bit of cash and reduce waste. It’s simple to use: add your ground beans to the bottom, pour in your hot water, set your timer (we usually wait four minutes), and then press the lever down once it’s ready. The filter works to collect the grinds at the bottom, making sure you have a delicious, smooth pour every single time. Psst...we’ve used this French press before and find it very reliable and sturdy. ($26.95, Amazon)

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A set of lids so you can store food in bowls you already have…

These glass and silicone lids will stretch to fit over bowls and cups of all sizes, eliminating the need for plastic wrap and storage containers. Let’s get real— rifling through your unorganized storage-container drawer or cabinet is always a headache anyway. You’ll get two sizes made with absolutely zero plastic (huzzah). An added bonus: you’ll be supporting a women-started small business when you add to cart. Psst…customers love that they take up so much less space in their cabinets. ($29.99/2, Amazon)

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A travel cup that collapses before your very eyes…

Made out of BPA-free silicone that collapses down to just 2 inches, this cup will quickly become your favorite for sipping coffee or a smoothie during your morning commute. It’ll keep hot drinks warm and cold ones chilled, plus it’ll save you from throwing away all those single-use paper coffee cups. It comes with a handy straw and is dishwasher- and microwave-safe. Plus there are many pretty pastels to choose from. ($20, Amazon)

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A set of kitchen towels made from recycled bottles…

These patterned microfiber towels will soak up the messiest of spills, and then dry super quickly. When they’re looking a little worse for wear, just toss them in the washing machine and they’ll come out like new. They’re available in ten vibrant designs that will look great hanging in your kitchen via the convenient little loop on each one. ($32/2 pack, Food52)

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A fluffy hand towel that actually saves water…

They’re made from organic Turkish cotton, which uses less water in production and no toxic chemicals. But they’re still highly absorbent and soft to the touch. They come in three neutral colors and work just as well in the bathroom as they do in the kitchen. When they’ve soaked up all they can handle, just throw them in the wash. ($24/2 pack, Pact)

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A roll of paper towels if you just can’t give them up…

If you can’t let go of your trusty roll, we get it. Just reach for this sustainable version — made of bamboo and sugarcane — instead. They’re completely tree-free, but you won’t have to sacrifice absorbency or sturdiness when tackling a mess. Customers say there’s no difference between these and traditional paper towels. Plus we love that they’re select-a-size too. ($6.95/2 pack, Public Goods)

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