Ready to make the switch to reusable kitchen products for a more sustainable home? Here are five simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
(This post contains affiliate links.)
I recently read that 18 billion pounds of plastic flow into our oceans every year. We’re by no means a plastic-free home, but I’ve been switching over to as many reusable kitchen products as possible since learning more about the waste.
I’ve found more than a few tools to love since initiating the switch. In case you don’t win my giveaway, I linked to each of them on Amazon throughout the post.
5 Ways to Reduce Single-Use Plastic in Your Kitchen:
1. Instead of Plastic Sandwich Bags, Use Reusable Silicone Bags
I love these bags from Stasher. Like really love them. I no longer buy plastic sandwich bags, and I’ve also noticed that my produce stays fresh way longer. Even my halved avocados are green for hours!
You can cook with Stasher bags, too. Use them to marinate tofu or meat, steam vegetables, microwave leftovers, or try out sous-vide cooking.
I still have some plastic sandwich bags left at home. As long as I didn’t put anything too messy inside, I’ll wash them in soapy water and reuse.
2. Instead of Plastic Cutlery, Use Bamboo Utensils
If you travel or pack a lunch for school or work, you need a set of these bamboo utensils from To-Go Ware! Reusable utensils eliminate the need for plastic forks at food trucks, the office, and fast-casual restaurants. They also make everyday meals on the road feel a little more special.
These bamboo utensils also come in a handy carrying case. They’re lightweight and great for camping, too!
Wash plastic utensils in soapy water and reuse. Stock your desk drawer with a set of utensils from home.
3. Instead of Plastic Wrap, Use Natural Beeswax Wraps
I’ve been looking everywhere for a plastic-wrap replacement and recently found these breathable beeswax wraps from Abeego. The search is over! I use beeswax wraps to cover half-used fruits and veggies or a plate of leftovers in the fridge. The warmth and pressure from your hands is all you need to mold sheets into place.
I like these wraps because they’re available in a variety of sizes. The small sheets are great for wrapping produce and larger ones cover plates and bowls in the fridge.
If you don’t have reusable wraps, store chopped produce in glass containers (see #4), or put a clean plate over your bowl of leftovers.
4. Instead of Plastic Food Packaging, Use Glass Jars
Glass jars are the workhorses of a low-waste kitchen. I have a combination of sizes. Small jars (repurposed from capers or olives) are perfect for bulk spices. Larger salsa and sauce jars work for cooked grains, chopped veggies, and leftovers. I also like these flip-top containers from Le Parfait for mason jar salads, chia pudding, trail mix, and bulk pantry items.
Shop (with reusable produce bags, see #5) in the bulk section to cut back on waste from food packaging. When you get home, transfer your goods to jars and pop them in the cabinet. Bonus: Clear jars make it easy to see ingredients when you’re cooking, and these ones from Le Parfait are pretty enough to store out in the open, too!
You don’t need to buy brand new glass jars to cut back on waste. Opt for foods stored in glass next time you’re at the grocery store, and begin to wash and reuse food containers once they’re empty.
5. Instead of Plastic Bags, Use Cotton Produce Bags
You know those plastic bags hanging in the produce section of every grocery store? You don’t need them in your life! I have a bunch of these reusable cotton mesh bags from Enjoyee. I also like their muslin bags for bulk items like grains and seeds. I keep a few in the car so I’m always prepared for an unplanned farmers-market stop.
Reuse plastic bags whenever possible or toss fresh produce directly in your cart sans bag. (Wash before you eat!)
More Eco-Friendly Kitchen Tips:
- Avoid individually-wrapped portions (besides the diet-lingo, here’s another reason to shun those lame 100-calorie packs)
- Choose local and seasonal fruits and vegetables — check out my guides for summer, fall, winter and spring produce here
- Eat more plants — I’ve got tons on vegetarian recipes for inspiration
- Freeze leftovers or cook freezer-friendly meals
- Only buy as much fresh produce as you feel confident you can eat—keep frozen/canned fruits and veggies on hand for backups
- Make homemade broth with produce scraps and use the entire vegetable whenever possible (you can eat carrot tops and beet greens!)
- Order your cold brew sans straw and sip from the cup or use a reusable stainless steel straw instead
- Fill glass spray bottles with DIY cleaning spray (70% vinegar, 30% water, and a few drops of essential oils)
(Closed) Giveaway: Win a Starter Pack Filled with My Favorite Reusable Kitchen Products!
Want to win the reusable kitchen products featured in this post? Head over to my Instagram page anytime this week to enter!
Giveaway ends 7/31 and is open to contiguous U.S. residents only. Learn more by clicking on the image below. Good luck!