Sustainability at home – Creating a plastic-free kitchen

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What do we have here? Range, fridge, freezer, coffee machine, toaster, water boiler, blender, dishwasher, bottle warmer (had). Kitchen appliances sure use and waste their share of the energy in every household. It is worth thinking about the type of stove and the energy efficiency of all of them. But this is not always possible in real life. How can we build a sustainable kitchen if we are not the persons deciding how energy efficient all the appliances are? The landlord, spouse, or money sometimes make that decision instead of us. Here are some fabulous options we have!

There are four primary and simple things to focus on when creating a sustainable kitchen. Regardless of where and how we live, most of us do have power over these.

  1. Plastic
  2. Food
  3. Waste that includes all the trash, packaging material, food waste, and composting
  4. Behavior

Today I will bring up ideas about the plastic in kitchen.

How to reduce plastic in the kitchen?

Let’s begin with this one because it is the most straightforward task. Well, a total plastic-free system is not so simple to create but reducing is ridiculously easy. So easy that there is no reason not to give it a try.

Begin by not buying and having more plastics. Become aware of your purchasing habits and about what you already have. It is not wise nor sustainable to throw out usable items only because they’re plastic. Sometimes we get excited about all these sustainable bamboo options that we start to buy even though we don’t need them. But we will get our chance. The day you decide that those Tupperware containers whose lids have been missing for the past five years and which have absolutely no purpose in your kitchen will come. First, try to find a new life or home for those items. If that does not work out, take them to the recycling center. Now it’s time to replace them with something non-disposable and fully recyclable or compostable items or materials.
We can replace almost everything with a sustainable option – when the time comes.

Food wrappers
Beeswax wraps – they do work well and save a huge amount of that plastic material we cannot recycle curbside. Just avoid destroying the wax wrappers with hot water as I did with my first batch – remember to use cool water when washing them. These are a great option for anyone except vegans. Luckily, there are also plant-based ones. How get rid of these wraps when they have served their time? Cut them into smaller pieces and throw them into compost. Several companies do sell these! At the end of this post, I share links (and codes) of some of the companies offering these. Additionally, they pack their deliveries plastic-free!

Containers and lunchboxes
We can recycle aluminum and glass forever! So, based on the purpose, choose those. Also, wood is excellent as a material – it depends on where and what you are going to store. Plastic containers can release toxins in our food, especially when heated, so who would not prefer minimizing that risk?

Utensils and straws – and those bottles and coffee cups
When you have used or donated all your single-use plastic straws and utensils, and you make a decision that you will need more – choose paper, bamboo, hemp, or wood. And seriously, now is the time to remember to take the water bottle and coffee cup with us when we leave the house. No explanations are needed here.

Dishwasher detergent, dish soap, and brushes
We have plenty of options and alternatives here. We can easily avoid plastic and harmful toxins and ingredients, such as ammonia and bleach, phthalates and sulfates with these. And diminish transportation energy by choosing light-weighted products – why transport water ad liquids back and forth?

Hand soap
During the COVID year, I believe the members of almost every family have begun to wash their hands even more. Is your soap packed in plastic? Does it have toxins and harmful chemicals in it? Is it heavy to transport (mostly water)? Does it contain petroleum? We have an option to avoid so many harmful qualities and ingredients! Use that power!

I love unpacked soap bars – I usually buy those from Whole Foods when I visit there. Sometimes though, they can create a mess – especially with young kids – as the bars get slippery, smooshy, and foamy. At the moment, we additionally use foaming hand soap from Blue Land, even though it has one petroleum-based ingredient in it. The other sustainable features do cover that flaw for me for now. The company is very open what comes to their ingredient lists. Still, as usual, I am always seeking a better option.

Paper towels
As I want to avoid plastic, I don’t want our paper towels or toilet paper wrapped in it. And, as usual, the wrappings are the type of plastics that cannot get recycled curbside. It has been challenging to find a brand from the stores which would not use plastic, so I ended up ordering our paper towels from Who Gives A Crap. The towels have been made of bamboo and sugar cane by-product/waste. I am not a fan of the idea of the product being shipped from another side of the world. But their fabulous social mission, raw material choices, and plastic-free ideology are more important. Additionally, it is worth paying attention to paper towels’ usage – maybe less could be enough? How about the material of your kitchen wraps and wipes? Is Plastic included or not?

As you can see, there are so many choices we can make and opportunities we can take to create a more sustainable kitchen. We have so much power to take action for the Earth, let’s use it!

Are you looking for plastic-free containers, detergents and cleaning products to your kitchen?
Check here! All of these companies also pack their products plastic-free!

Bare Vida. Our bamboo straws and beeswax wraps are from them.
Blue Land. I absolutely love their dishwasher tablets! Some of their products do contain petroleum-based ingredients.
EarthHero, code FORTHEEARTHANDUS gives you 10% discount. You can find almost anything from this company. For example Dropps Dish washer detergent is available here.
Package Free, the link gives you $10 discount towards $40 of your first order. Almost everything is available here as well.
Who Gives a Crap, great paper towels and a fabulous mission.

Featured image:  Charlotte May from Pexels


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