No, you can’t save the environment all on your own. You can, however, reduce your home’s carbon footprint and live more sustainably by making a few small changes. One of the easiest places to start is the kitchen, with the amount of disposable items we use for shopping, storing, prepping, and cooking our food, many of which can now be replaced with greener, more sustainable alternatives.
Mrs. Meyers Dish Soap
While there are plenty of options in eco-friendly dish detergents, many we’ve tried required a lot of elbow grease when removing actual grease during cleaning. This one makes it just a little easier by cutting through grease as well as any regular dish detergent, all while using completely plant-derived biodegradable ingredients, so everything that goes down the drain is completely safe for the environment.
Stasher Reusable Silicone Bags
An alternative to resealable plastic bags, these bags are offered in a variety of similar sizes and come with a resealable opening that will lock in food with an airtight seal. Instead of being made from disposable plastic, though, it’s cut in platinum silicone, allowing it to easily clean by simply doing a round in the dishwasher. Doing traditional resealable bags one better, it’s microwave-safe, so you can get bring it straight from the freezer to the oven to reheat your food. Heck, you can even put it in boiling water and a regular oven up to 435 degrees Fahrenheit. Comes in a generous selection of sizes, from 4oz to 104oz.
Earthwise Reusable Mesh Produce Bags
When buying fruits and veggies at the grocery, we usually tear off a plastic bag and fill it with our choice of produce before getting it weighed. These reusable bags allow you to do the same thing without having to use any plastic, weighing just a third of an ounce so you don’t pay for any extra weight, while the mesh construction means you can wash the produce under running water without taking stuff out of the bag. Each bag measures 11 x 13.5 inches and comes in packs of nine.
Wegreeco Reusable Bowl Covers
If you use disposable containers to store leftovers and prepped food in the fridge, you can switch to using a regular dish and simply top it with these fabric covers, whose elastic edges keep it secure around bowls and plates. Granted, we won’t use these for food we’d like to keep fresh for longer periods, but it should work fine for leftovers you plan on reheating for dinner tomorrow. It’s machine-washable, too, so you can easily clean it if food gets on the material. This set comes with three: one small, one medium, and one large.
Airnex Biodegradable Sponge
Like traditional kitchen sponges, this sustainable option comes with two sides: gritty coconut fiber on one side and soft wood cellulose on the other. It should also fit snugly in your favorite sponge dish. Unlike them, it’s biodegradable, so you can throw it in the compost with the rest of your organic refuse and turn it into soil you can dump in the garden instead of rotting away in a landfill like typical sponges. It cleans just as well as regular sponges while retaining their natural colors, making them very usable for quite a long time. Just make sure to soak them in water first, as it helps soften the coconut side, which starts out really, really stiff.
Swedish Wholesale Swedish Dishcloths
If you rely on paper towels for a lot of cleanup work in the kitchen, trading them in for a reusable alternative can eliminate a large chunk of the garbage your kitchen produces. These multipurpose cotton and cellulose cleaning cloths are incredibly absorbent, allowing them to absorb 20 times their weight in liquids, while being easy to wring completely to keep it from dripping. When dry, its diamond textured patterns are gritty enough to scour dirt off various kitchen surfaces, then turns soft to the touch once it gets wet. It’s machine-washable, too, so you can just throw it in the washer when it gets a little too grimy for your liking.
Food Huggers Reusable Food Savers
This disc-shaped lid is made from stretchy silicone, allowing it to create an airtight seal around objects of a roughly similar size. This allows it to cover exposed sections of half-consumed vegetables and fruits, allowing you to use them for later without having to wrap the produce in plastic. They come in different sizes, allowing them to wrap around everything from bananas and tomatoes to bottles and small jars. This set comes with five lids of different sizes.
Rezip Reusable Stand-Up Bags
Similar to Stasher, these bags replicate the function of Ziplocs using reusable silicone, allowing you to store food in an airtight package without the waste. Except, they have an entire line of bags of different sizes, all with flat bottoms, allowing you to store them upright in the fridge or freezer without tipping over. This set gives you three of those stand-up bags: 8oz, 16oz, and 32oz. Do note, it’s not rated for heat performance the same way as Stasher bags, so you won’t quite be able to use it in microwaves and ovens the same way.
Bees Wrap XXL Roll
Plastic wrap is great, allowing you to seal food during storage them to keep them fresher for longer. However, they not only create a lot of waste, they create plastic waste, making them a major ecological concern. This sticky reusable wrap can do everything plastic wrap can do, from covering bowls and pans to wrapping bread and veggies, keeping all food inside just as fresh. Unlike plastic wrap, each one can be reused, although you’ll have to clean it to make sure bits of food from the previous use don’t get on the next one. Most of the time, all you need to do is rinse it in the tap to do that, although you will occasionally need to scrub it if a good amount of food sticks around. Just make sure not to use hot water, as it tends to melt the wax that makes the paper sticky. It’s biodegradable, too, so if a sheet gets too worn from too much use, you can just throw it in the compost instead of creating more waste. While they offer these wraps in various pre-cut sizes, we prefer the versatility of this large roll, which allows you to cut any size of wrap to your exact liking. It measures 14 x 52 inches (width x length).
Food Huggers Lids
Food huggers also makes lids for larger items. Except, instead of being made entirely from silicone, it combines stretchy silicone edges with a flat glass material on top. Similar to the small Food Savers, it can create that airtight seal around larger containers like bowls and jars, while the glass top allows you to safely stack other containers above it. It’s dishwasher-safe, by the way, so it’s very convenient to clean, regardless of what food item you kept under it.