I have a vision of a beautiful toxic-free and eco-friendly kitchen.
Usually, I live on autopilot as I think most people do. We do what we were taught and what we grew up doing. After some research, I have started to implement these 17 eco-friendly kitchen practices.
How can I make my kitchen more eco-friendly? Here are 17 EASY changes to be more environmentally friendly.
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1. No More Plastic Dishes
Recently I have read some articles on how bad plastic is for us to eat hot food off of. When the plastic gets heated up, the chemicals get released into our food.
Microwaving food on plastic plates is the worst! “So what to do? To reduce unnecessary risk, experts advise everyone to microwave food in glass or ceramic and replace plastic housewares labeled “microwave-safe” if they have been scratched or if the color has changed.” says Time.
We had a lot of plastic dishes since we had kids and I have a fear of broken glass.
The solution is Corelle Dishes! They are hard to break or chip. Yes, they can break, but we have dropped ours a lot and only ever broke one dish.
2. Non-Toxic Pans
I have also realized how bad it is to be cooking on Teflon pans, especially if they are scratched like ours are!
“Some experts are concerned about what happens when Teflon gets too hot. “When pans are overheated, that PTFE coating begins to disintegrate,” Fenton told Live Science. As Teflon breaks down, it releases a host of toxic gases,” says Live Science
We decided to switch to Green Pans. These are ceramic nonstick pans that do not require the use of toxic chemicals like PFOA or PFAS during the production process. They work great and the food does not stick while cooking.
I also love cast iron pans for the majority of my large meals. They are easy to cook with and are hard to scratch or break.
3. Ditch Plastic Utensils
After learning how bad plastic is to heat up we switched to stainless steel and wood utensils for stirring our food.
There are benefits to stainless steel, you don’t have to worry about it melting on the side of the pan.
4. Glass Storage Containers
A few years ago I decluttered 90% of my plastic storage containers.
Moving to glass storage containers. My reasoning was we are likely to heat food in the container and it’s better to be safe and go with glass.
This was a very easy switch to make considering most of my plastic containers were cracked and worn out.
5. Less Plastic Waste
To ditch plastic wrap, I have made my beeswax wraps (see the simple tutorial here). This way we don’t have the expense or waste of plastic wrap anymore.
This is a quick change with a huge impact.
6. Bring Your Lunch
When you go through a drive-through think of all the wasteful containers your food comes in.
Bringing your lunch to work will save you a lot of money and will be very eco-friendly. My husband brings his lunch every day and we put his sandwich in a stainless steel container
He uses a reusable water bottle and packs everything in a cooler.
7. Stop Paper Towels
Ditch the paper towels! We found some super absorbent kitchen towels for drying our hands and dishes with.
Save your old junkie towels for cleaning up messes and then you won’t need paper towels for anything.
8. Cloth Napkins
We made the switch to cloth napkins. This was easier than I thought.
I bought 2 sets of cloth napkins and started using them at each meal.
Every time I do a load of washing I throw them in and they are just like new again.
9. Wood Cutting Board
Ditch the stained plastic cutting boards. We switched to sustainable wood-cutting boards and never looked back.
Bamboo is a very sustainable wood choice.
They don’t stain and can be oiled with coconut oil.
10. Plastic Water Bottle No More
Get a water purifying system to use at home. There are a lot of affordable options out there.
We bought everyone in our family a reusable water bottle. Every time we go out we bring our water bottles and we refill them wherever we go.
It is shocking to remember we bought one-use plastic water bottles for so long! We also stopped buying soda and other drinks that come in plastic bottles.
11. Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
I like to make my cleaning products or choose eco-friendly products. Currently, I use old rags to clean and cleaners from concentrate.
I use them for my kitchen, bathroom, floors, and dusting.
Here is an excellent 2 ingredient recipe to make your stain remover!
“16 billion paper cups are used for coffee every single year, which leads to 6.5 million trees cut down, 4 billion gallons of water going to waste, and enough energy to power 54,000 homes for a year also goes to waste,” says Green Match
Bring your coffee to work in a reusable cup. This will save so much waste and money.
13. Reuse Fruit and Veggie Shopping Bags
I found some reusable produce bags for when we buy fruit and veggies. This way we don’t have to use the plastic ones at the store.
These reusable bags are made out of mesh material and are very easy to make or buy online.
14. Shopping Bags
Reusable shopping bags cut down on plastic waste. It is shocking to think about all the years I used throwaway plastic bags to bring my groceries home.
Now I have about 20 cloth bags that I keep in my car and whenever we go shopping I just use my bags.
Even if I am shopping for something other than food I always refuse the plastic bag. I either bring my bag or I just carry my purchase to my car without a bag.
15. Stop Plastic Straws
A few years ago I would use a large one-use plastic straw every day for my smoothie!
In an attempt to cut down even more on our plastic use, we are using reusable straws and have been for over a year. This was a really simple switch to make.
There are quite a few different reusable straw options out there.
Whenever I go out to a restaurant I always refuse the plastic straw because even a small change can make a huge difference.
16. Ditch the Air Fresheners
A lot of the fragrances that are in air fresheners can be very toxic.
Instead, you could use an oil defuser or go with the natural smell of a clean kitchen.
17. Compost Your Food Waste
Start a compost pile! This will help reduce the amount of trash you make and it will help with your garden.
Composting produces nutrient-dense soil for your back or front yard.
Environmentally Friendly Kitchen Conclusion:
We are by no means zero waste, but these simple changes have cut down on the amount of waste we create.
By eliminating all the monthly one-use purchases we save a lot of money too.
With all of these small changes, I feel we are on the right path to having a nontoxic eco-friendly kitchen!
Let me know in the comments what you use to make your house more eco-friendly and toxic-free.