Do you remember that scene in Wall-E where Wall-E shows off his finds to Eva in his home (which my husband likens to a tracked amphibious assault vehicle)? It is one of those “look at this stuff, isn’t it neat” moments. Wow, that’s a lot of plastic silverware. While it is just a movie, there are many small steps to protect the earth we can take in everyday living. The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home and can be the heart for eco-friendly changes.
15 Eco-Friendly Kitchen Items
Bonus: Most of these can be ordered from Amazon so you can get to getting green in the kitchen after that 2-day delivery.
1Reduce Every Day Water Bottles
These reusable tumblers and coolers from Reduce Everyday make your eco-friendly kitchen fun. They will help you toss those store-bought bottles of water (hopefully in the recycle bin) and start moving you towards a more environmentally conscious home. These 20 oz Waterweek water bottles are made from BPA-free Tritan, are leak-proof, and have a large mouth opening for ice. The best part? You can fill up 5 at a time and have water for the whole family ready to go in its own convenient pull-out fridge tray.
The Coldee Tumbler for kids is a great alternative, too. This tumbler looks just like one mom might use, but also comes with a leak-proof lid and straw. It keeps drinks cold for up to 6 hours and can fit in most cup holders (perfect for those long PCS drives).
Mom and Dad need something for themselves too. This two-tone barware cooler keeps beer or wine coolers cold without condensation. It also doubles as an insulated cup if you want to pour it all in. Mom can even keep her wine chilled for hours with the insulated wine cooler. Both are perfect for those fire pit nights in base housing!
With Reduce Everyday, everyone in the family will be well on their way to a more eco-friendly kitchen and home.
Bring literal green into the kitchen with a container garden that can sit on your counter or windowsill. Get herbs within Seed Sheets. The seeds come in weed-protecting cloth, with the seed pods within the correct spacing to allow for healthy growth, and – drumroll please, once you register your product, there are text messages to guide you with your garden. Yup, that’s right – you receive text help on how to appropriately plant the seeds, and when you can harvest. This brings green in the kitchen when you harvest and promotes growing your own food. This is a win-win.
3Reusable lunch bags
Decreasing single-use plastics is easy with reusable lunch bags and paper sandwich bags. Looking for a snack or sandwich size for children’s lunches? Lunchskins makes appealing designs that are earth-friendly and BPA-free. The cloth bags come in sizes up to gallon for snacks on the go in style! You can wash them in the top rack of the dishwasher for quick use, or hand wash and dry on that bottle drying rack.
Use the paper sandwich bags when you have to bring a sack lunch. The paper sandwich bags come in cute patterns like apples and sharks *cue Baby Shark tune playing in your head*. Keep track of whose snack or sandwich is whose with writing in the notes section. And once the contents are eaten, the sack and paper bags go straight into the recycling! It’s the circle of recycling!
4Metal Bento Box
Lunch box packing is made easier with bento boxes that are separated into neat little compartments (so all that food does not touch, Mom!). The eco-friendly, durable stainless steel lowers plastic use. The steel container will not break even if your kiddo drops their entire backpack on the floor. The individual containers mean that there is no spillage. The use of metal means that it will last for years. They can be recycled when it is time, thinking of you Mother Earth!
Bonus: The bento boxes are gender-neutral, and can be used by adults as well.
Read: less dishes
Like a bento box, these adorable and colorful bento cups from EcoLunch Boxes are topped with a colorful, non-toxic, silicone lid to seal even liquidy noodles inside while keeping everything totally separate. The trio allows for a total of 5 cups of food to be packed for lunch and snacks throughout the day. When the meals and snacking is done, the cups can be nestled into each other to be brought home. All parts are dishwasher and oven safe, so they can be reused over and over.
6Reusable produce bags
Both for produce storage in the kitchen and for food shopping, these produce bags from Colony Co. are a smart, eco-friendly choice. The bags are made of biodegradable natural cotton which eliminates the to use single-use plastic bags at the store. The tare weight of the bag is brightly labeled on the bag so it can be deducted from the weight of the produce purchases at the store. Deducting the weight depends on your grocery store – our local commissary currently does not provide this option.
If you need to warm up food at work, glass Pyrex dishes are great ways to cut out single-use plastic that could melt in the microwave. This is an eco-friendly option for adults bringing meals to work! The glass can be used in the microwave and oven, stored in the freezer, and washed in the top rack of the dishwasher! There are even cute designs if that is your thing.
SipWell Stainless Steel drinking straws are made of scratch-proof, rust-proof steel allowing them to be used, and re-used for all your hydration needs. There are even extra-long sizes for use with larger cups. Buy the multi-straw kit on Amazon and it comes with a cleaning brush so you can continually use the straws for years to come. State legislation in California has changed the availability of plastic straws, so if a straw is necessary, consider purchasing your own reusable straw.
Wrap up leftovers, cheese, or bread with Beeswrap. Made of cotton and beeswax, this natural alternative to cling wrap can be washed with cool water and reused over and over. When its usefulness is done, it can be placed in compost or used as a fire starter to that pre-PCS bonfire (we won’t blame you).
If you are on the sparkly water bandwagon (who isn’t?), then making carbonated water at home will be much cheaper in the long-run for you. Consider the Soda Stream to make sparkly water at home to enjoy. The beauty of using the Soda Stream is you can determine the carbonation level, and even add flavor syrups if desired. If you find you hydrate better when drinking fizzy water, and would like to lower your impact on single-use products – this is the machine for your kitchen! By far the best price is on Amazon, unless you have a plethora of still valid Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons.
Green Pan is non-stick ceramic cookware made from natural materials. The beauty of ceramic is that it heats quickly, even at a lower heat, which can save energy. Available varieties include frypans, sauté pans, grill pans, and casseroles. The parent-favorite Tar-jay even carries them, so you know they must be worthy. Ceramic cookware also goes beyond the stove-top with options for bakeware too.
Another healthy and long-lasting option is cast-iron. Cast iron pans were the pans to have on the Oregon Trail—they would survive cooking on the campfire and on a stove, meant to last for the years to come. The beauty of pre-seasoned cast iron is that the part of their care is cooking bacon. Mmm, bacon. Check out Lodge Cast Iron multi-use pans like the reversible grill/griddles for the single burner and double burner, two pans in one means fewer pans to pack when another PCS is in the plans. Sign up for email alerts and get a discount coupon as well!
13Ball Mason Jars
Glass jars are great ways to transport salads to and from work or on adventures, smoothies for breakfast, and for storage in the fridge. There are stackable options, and jars with designs. Glass jars can take hot or cold items, and bonus usually fit in cup holders in the car if you want to take lunch on the go.
14Natural Cleaning Products
When cleaning your counters or stove, consider using baking soda or vinegar as a non-toxic cleaner. No, it probably won’t cure the hard water stains in your bathtub, but this is what your grandmother used. Well, that and some elbow grease!
Bonus: These two products are something you probably already have in your home!
Bamboo is a natural wood that is durable. Read: will survive multiple PCS moves. The natural antimicrobial hardwood decreases cross-contamination. Cutting boards with deep wells collect run-off and can be cleaned easily. Bamboo utensils can be used when camping or living in the house waiting for your HHG. Consider a bamboo dish rack to dry dishes to embrace the eco-friendly movement. Or if entertaining is more your thing, a bamboo cheese board. Bamboo is utilized in many products today and is a perfect first step to making an eco-friendly kitchen.
An eco-friendly kitchen does not mean you are a tree hugger. Making steps to using sustainable, recyclable items in your kitchen will reduce waste. It can be fun, colorful and enjoyable.
One last added bonus: Lower that HHG weight with fewer, reusable kitchen items! It’s the little things.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out 10 Tips to Grill Like a Pro!
Photo Credits: Heather Walsh, Stock Photos