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.
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)
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. ($40, Goldune)
Use it on windows, dirty dishes, countertops, and more. It’s somewhere between a sponge and paper towel. Aka 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)
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. We love how easy they are to use and their quick-drying nature. Many customers also say they don’t get stinky during cleaning. ($13.99+/3 pack, Amazon)
No more baked-on food. This silicone mat will perfectly line your pan. It’s non-stick, 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)
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)
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)
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, mixed with water. 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)
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 uses the heat from your hands to form a seal. Just mold the wrap to food items, or bowls and storage containers to keep items fresh. So you can save half-eaten avocados and tomatoes. No more items going to waste. ($18/3 pack, Amazon)
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. ($32/2 pack, W&P)
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)
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)
And to make muffins (and egg bites) easier to get out of the pan. We’ve all experienced broken tops. 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. When cleaning, just flip the cups inside out to get crumbs left in the bottom. ($9.99, Amazon)
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. ($23.95, Amazon)
PS: These are editorially selected, but if you purchase, theSkimm may get something in return. PPS: If something’s out of stock, oops, it was there when we published. Thanks.
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Skimm'd by Alexandra Napoli, Emmy Favilla
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