For those of you looking to make your lives a little greener, a good place to start is the kitchen, the heart and hub of our homes, where so much of our time is spent. Making your household more sustainable means you create less waste, use less energy, and produce less pollution. Plus, you’re able to support Fair Trade workers, change your carbon footprint, and save money over time. You might say that takes time and effort but achieving an eco-friendly environment comes down to the simple choices we make every day: it’s all about changing our habits a little and finding a sustainable alternative.
Here’s a selection of innovative gadgets that not only work great but help reduce the ecological footprint in our home. From reusable tote bags and sponge made of natural fibres and recycled materials to plastic-free food storage, including cute bamboo bowls and cutlery, these simple suggestions will turn you into a greener gourmet in no time.
When it comes to a kitchen eco-friendly makeover, sponges aren’t usually the first thing to come up to our mind. Often containing synthetic fibres, they can actually end up contributing to landfill waste. The best thing to do is to swap your sponges (and cloths) for sustainable alternatives. Earthbits, in particular, has an environmentally-friendly range made with renewable resources, natural fibres and recycled materials. We love their reusable dish sponge that comes in a funky distinctive design. Fully biodegradable and made of cotton and natural fabric, they are ideal for wiping surfaces or washing breakfast cups, or plates after a meal. The internal lining is bamboo, renowned for its antibacterial properties; one side is organic cotton, suitable for delicate surfaces, the other is made of hessian fabric, perfect for scrubbing away the dirt on crockery and cups. Ideal for wiping surfaces or washing breakfast cups, or plates after a meal.
Stylish reusable bags
One way to reduce the number of plastic grocery bags in a landfill is to use reusable totes which are finally being used by more and more consumers. In fact, most stores are now charging a fee for plastic and paper bags, forcing shoppers to bring their own. Look for those made of cotton, hemp, or other natural cloth or mesh and opt for veggie-saving bags to keep your leafy greens and carrots fresh for longer in the fridge. We love mesh Credobags, made from organic and recycled cotton and linen they allow us to easily identify the contents of the bag. Offered in convenient combo packs, they also help keep food crunchy for double the amount of time. Plus, they come with drawstrings so you don’t have to worry about losing the occasional tomato or potato.
Cute and practical bamboo utensils
If you are looking for the best utensils for your kitchen, you might want to consider bamboo utensils. They have proven over time to be reliable: durable, affordable and stain-resistant, they can make your kitchen look better too while on display. We love Jungle Culture coconut bowls. Vegan-friendly and reusable, they come in a simple and cute style or in a creative hand-etched range of patterned husk bowls. Perfect for ramen, salad, porridge and more, every set of 3 comes with an upcycled wooden spoon. Most of all, they are all ethically sourced in Bến Tre, Vietnam.
“We have created an ethical supply chain, powered by small farms, craft workshops and transparent factories – explains co-founder Jamie Skinner-. Part of our philosophy as an ethical business is to empower and support developing communities by working together to create environmentally friendly, unique plastic-alternatives“.
Beeswax sandwich wraps
Beeswax wrap is also a great plastic alternative. Rather than packing lunch in a single-use bag or cling film, these handy packaging can be folded into baggies of various sizes to easily fit sandwiches, crisps, biscuits or fruit to eat later. We love Bee’s Wrap an easy, all-natural alternative way to store food. Made with certified organic cotton that’s coated with sustainably sourced beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin, they are also antimicrobial and anti-fungal and very practical to use: simply wrap a sheet around a piece of half-used produce and store in the refrigerator. You can use these handy wraps over and over by cleaning with a bit of cold water and gentle soap.
Clear glass storage containers
From meal prep to storing leftovers, these containers are essential in keeping our food fresh for longer. Durable, versatile (microwavable and freezer-friendly), stain-resistant, they don’t absorb tastes or odours. We love Fine Dine Airtight Glass Food Storage Containers. The 12 pieces collection features newly innovated hinged-lids technology enables the lid to flip open and shut quickly. Containers are leakproof and perfect for the gym, pool, or work. Plus, the borosilicate glass containers are thermal shock-resistant, easily transitioning from freezer storage to microwave heating. And there’s no need to sweat cleanup; they’re dishwasher-safe.
For iced coffee, shakes, or smoothies, reusable straws are great for kids as well as adults. They come in a variety of materials; silicone (a bendy material that can be easily compressed for carrying), stainless steel (firm, they won’t lose their shape use after use), bamboo (the most natural alternative). We love the OXO 4-Piece Reusable Straw and Brush Set with Case. Comfortable to sip and easy to clean, they come with a carrying case and a cleaning brush. The silicone top extends from about 8 to 10½ inches, so you can adjust the length depending on the cup you use. We also like that you can get the OXO straws in a variety of colours and in sets of two or four.
If you feel a bit uncomfortable at the idea of ditching plastic gadgets, think that once you’re in the habit, you’ll hardly notice a difference and you’ll be doing your part to help our environment and in particular, save marine life.