5 Really Easy Eco Friendly Kitchen Swaps
Updated: Jul 5, 2020
So you’ve made the decision to include more eco-friendly and sustainable products in your life, but the task of re-kitting out your house and home seems daunting, you look around and suddenly feel surrounded by plastic. Where do you start? The key thing to remember is that there is absolutely no need to ‘kit out’ your entire home in one go. The whole point of being kinder to the planet is to make the most out of the products that are already in our homes. The trick is to replace things as you go, seek out the alternatives in advance and then next time you run out of that particular product, you’ll have an eco-alternative ready to slip into place. So, here are 5 of the easiest eco friendly kitchen items to have ready for the switch.
1. Compostable Cleaning Cloths
When you think of plastic, the last thing that comes to mind are the sponges in your kitchen sink. But here’s the thing, nearly ALL kitchen sponges out there are made up of entirely synthetic materials that won’t decompose. Switching to a natural and compostable alternative is one of the easiest things you can do to prevent more of these ending up in landfill. And honestly you won’t even notice a difference. Compostable sponges feel just like the synthetic ones. You can pop them in the washing machine, they last ages and then when you’ve finished with one you can compost it. I’ve been putting mine in a home compost bin and I can see that they are starting to decompose already.
2. Reusable Scrubbies
Who knew how useful coconuts could be?! I used to buy those awful bacteria-housing yellow and green scourers and, no matter how hard I tried to make them last, after just a few days they would inevitably end up in the bin, to be replaced with a fresh one. They are cheap and cheerful, you can buy them by the dozen in the supermarket. But therein lies the problem, they are virtually single use. I was amazed at what a difference it has made switching to a coconut fibre alternative. And there are lots of different eco alternatives to try. There are some lovely hand made , natural scourers, our supplier at Sew Sustainable makes some unique re-usables with hessian- they are so effective and you can pop them in the washing machine on a high temp and use them over and over.
3. Reusable Kitchen Wipes
I have three children, so I totally understand the absolute necessity of having a roll of absorbent paper towels to hand at all times. I suppose what I hadn’t really considered was how easy it would be to have a little pile of reusable towels to hand instead. I have my pile of clean ones and I use a produce bag to gather the used ones and just pop them in with my next wash. So simple, who knew? Yes, they were a bit more expensive than a budget roll of kitchen towel, but I haven’t had to buy a kitchen roll in my weekly shop for about 18 months now so, as they say, you do the math 😊
4. Beeswax Wraps
Now this one may take a little longer to get used to, but again, such an easy switch to make. I would recommend initially using these alongside the clingfilm you probably already have in your cupboard, but I guarantee, eventually, you’ll end up not replacing that clingfilm. I started out using beeswax wraps for packed lunches (I love how a lunchbox looks with its little neatly folded wraps, they look like mini presents!) but now I use them for almost everything. You can still use silicone or clingfilm for tricky items in the fridge such as raw chicken etc. but most things can be replaced with wax wraps. Yes, they are more expensive, but they will last ages and you can re-set the wax and re-wax them too to keep them going even longer.
5. Eco Friendly Cleaning Products
Cleaning is something we do without even thinking about it, it’s part of our daily life. But go and take a look under the kitchen sink. Count the number of plastic bottles under there. Then think about the fact that every other household probably has a cupboard just like yours, and over the year those bottles will likely be replaced a few times. Changing our habits is not easy. But, as with most things once you make the effort to change it doesn’t take long to adapt to a new norm. When you think about it, it’s logical. More than 80% of the solutions in those bottles are made up of water, something we ALREADY HAVE IN OUR HOME! So why not just buy a plastic free concentrated sachet, like our lovely Iron & Velvet cleaning sachets, and add the water ourselves at home?! It uses 80% less packaging, and it means that the same amount of solution can be transported with just 20% of the Carbon Footprint. In theory, you only need one bottle and that bottle could potentially last you decades- think of all the bottles you’ve saved from landfill then!
So it’s about making yourself aware of these products, and having them ready to replace your existing products as an when they are needed. It’s also important to remind yourself that habits don’t change overnight, but over time. If you’ve made the decision to have a go at living more sustainably and buying eco-friendly products then you’re half way there already, so keep going!