9 Simple Tips For A More Eco-Friendly Kitchen
Of all the rooms in your home, the kitchen has one of the biggest effects on both the environment and your health.
Every week the average American produces about 30 pounds of trash. That’s 1,600 pounds a year. And much of this trash comes from the kitchen.
Many of the modern improvements in the kitchen center around convenience. Things like prepackaged foods, disposable cutlery and tossable paper towels.
All disposable and all of which create literally tons of trash.
Even if you recycle, there are more opportunities to reduce your environmental impact while creating a healthier living space.
And best of all, it doesn’t require drastic lifestyle changes or cost a ton of extra money.
From reusable bamboo paper towels to eco-friendly dish soap, here are 9 easy tips and links to products to make your kitchen more eco-friendly:
- Don’t use disposables
This is the biggest trash culprit and possibly one of the hardest to kick. All those convenient one-use items: paper towels, plates, plastic silverware, plastic baggies, etc.
There are many reusable and more environmentally friendly options out there:
- Use stainless steel or cast iron pots & pans
Not only do they last longer, but they may be better for your health. While the jury is still out on teflon non-stick coating, some research suggests that it may release toxic fumes when heated over 500 degrees.
- Use eco-friendly cleaners and dishwashing detergent
Washing your dishes with detergents containing phosphates can contribute to algae blooms in the environment. And many kitchen cleaners contain toxic chemicals including ammonia, chlorine and sodium hydroxide.
Here are some greener options that are better for the environment and your health:
- Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Liquid Dish Soap
- Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner
- Better Life what-EVER! All-Purpose Cleaner
- Nellie’s All Natural Automatic Dishwashing Powder
- Brandless Disinfectant Wipes
Even better, you can mix up your own natural cleaners.
Baking soda is an all-around effective scourer, cleaner and fungicide. Use it on your pots, pans, sinks, countertops and more.
If you’re cleaning a cast iron skillet use salt to help preserve the flavor.
You can also use white vinegar, lemon juice, tea tree and citrus oils as natural cleaners. Here are 9 household cleaners you can make.
- Fill the sink to do dishes
If you’re washing dishes by hand, use less water by filling the sink the do dishes, both for cleaning and rinsing. Leaving the faucet running can waste as much as 40 gallons of water.
- Don’t buy prepackaged foods
Not only will you be creating less trash, you’ll be saving money. Instead of pre-packaged foods (which are often more expensive per weight) buy fresh meat and produce whenever possible.
- Take your own bags
When you’re buying that fresh meat and produce at the grocery store, take your own bags. Don’t contribute to the mountains of paper and plastic shopping bags in landfills and the ocean. Get yourself some nice reusable bags like these.
- Don’t buy water bottles
- Start composting and grow a garden
Millions of tons of food waste go into landfills each year. Instead of just throwing your eggshells, coffee grounds and food scraps into the trash, turn them into valuable compost. Then you can use it to start a vegetable garden.
- Look for the number 9
Check the stickers on your fruits and vegetables with PLUs starting with the number 9. This means it was grown organically without pesticides and synthetic chemicals.
These changes are so easy anyone can make them. All it requires is making more eco-friendly purchases.
You’ll not only be helping the environment by creating less trash and dumping harmful cleaners, you’ll be creating a healthier kitchen for you and your family.
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