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I don’t know about you, but I feel like the majority of the trash I produce usually comes from the kitchen. From all the food packaging to cleaning supplies, to food scraps, it all adds up pretty quickly.
A lot of kitchen items are mostly plastic and single-use, but there are many sustainable swaps that you can make to replace these items! It will save you SO much waste AND money since the majority of these swaps are reusable!
These changes can be incorporated slowly over time as the things you already have need to be restocked. So, for example, if you are using a plastic sponge right now, don’t throw it out and buy a biodegradable one. Instead, use it until the end of its life, and then buy the sustainable version!
As with most things in life, it’s okay to start slow, but just start somewhere. As you start to make small changes, the rest will come easier. Trust me. 😉
Most of the products I linked on this post are from Earth Hero. I like shopping from there because they use recycled packaging that is also recyclable again to ship their products, and I trust that they are sustainably sourced and made. It also tells you a good bit of information about each product that other places don’t usually add, like what it’s made from, where it’s made, what it’s packaged in, and what to do with it at the end of it’s life.
And just an FYI- you can also use my discount code ‘farahaljallad’ for 10% Earth Hero products. 😊
- 1. Loofah Sponge
- 2. Dish Soap Bar
- 3. Reusable Sandwich Bags
- 4. Glass Storage Containers
- 5. Reusable Kitchen Towels
- 6. French Press
- 7. Grocery Bags
- 8. Produce Bags
- 9. Wax Wrap
- 10. Silicone Oven Mats
- 11. Cloth Napkins
- 12. Pot Scrub
- 13. Silicone Cupcake Wraps
- 14. Compost Bin
- 15. Metal Vegetable Peeler
- 16. Glass Straws
- 17. Reusable Cup
- 18. Dropps Dishwasher Detergent Pods
- 19. Silicone Ice Cube Tray
- 20. Compostable Bottle Brush
- 21. Refillable Cleaning Bottle
- 22. Compostable Trash Bags
- 23. Reusable Coffee Filter
1. Loofah Sponge
This was actually one of the first swaps I made in the kitchen! I knew that there had to be another alternative to the plastic sponges we’re so accustomed to using, and after some quick searching, I found a loofah sponge!
Let me tell you, after making this switch, I don’t ever see myself going back. It works just as well as a normal sponge, but it’s WAY better because it’s biodegradable and you can compost it! Absolutely zero waste.
2. Dish Soap Bar
Switching to a dish soap bar has saved me so much money on dish soap. I’ve had the bar I’m using right now for about 8 months and I’m barely half way through it, it’s amazing.
It also saves so much plastic since almost all (if not all) dish soaps are packaged in plastic bottles.
If you’re getting a soap bar (this goes for any soap bar, not just the dish one) It’s recommended to get a dish for the bar to keep it on because if it stays in the water, that will cause it to melt.
3. Reusable Sandwich Bags
Good news, you can finally ditch those plastic ziploc bags because there are SO many replacements! Specifically, you can swap the plastic ones for Stasher’s reusable sandwich bags!
4. Glass Storage Containers
I only recommend replacing your storage containers if the ones you have need to be replaced or are broken. If you are looking for new containers though, I recommend glass ones! They are super durable and of course, more sustainable.
These are the ones that I have and they are great! Never leaked and have no cracks. Plus I can use them in the oven for my baked oats (If you haven’t tried baked oats, seriously do it).
5. Reusable Kitchen Towels
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how wasteful paper towels are, but it’s true! Good news though, because there is a great replacement for them: reusable towels! (I’m sure that wasn’t that hard to guess haha)
6. French Press
A french press is great to reduce waste when making coffee. It’s also super useful for tea drinkers also! You can make zero-waste tea by using loose leaf tea in a french press. You could also use a strainer.
7. Reusable Grocery Bag
Bringing your own reusable bags to the grocery store is a great way to save on plastic bags! They are much more durable too so you don’t have to worry about them ripping when carrying your groceries!
8. Produce Bags
Just as you’re replacing plastic grocery bags, another great swap is the plastic produce bags! I like to keep mine in my reusable grocery bags so I won’t forget them. These are the ones that I have. There are plenty of them and it comes in 3 different sizes, which is super helpful for the different types of produce you’re buying!
9. Vegan Wax Wrap
Like I said, there’s a lot of unnecessary plastic in the kitchen and plastic wrap is one of them. Reusable wax wrap is a great replacement if you use plastic wrap. Otherwise, I like to just use tupperwares whenever I can since I already have them and I don’t need to buy anything else.
10. Silicone Oven Mats
I use these for baking things like cookies so I can save on parchment paper. I tried using them for other things like baking potatoes, but they don’t do too well at higher temperatures so be wary of that.
11. Cloth Napkins
An easy replacement for single-use napkins is cloth ones! They are reusable, save you money, and look super fancy. 😉
12. Pot Scrub
I use this when there is something in a pot that is hard to scrub off. It’s made with a bamboo handle and palm fiber bristles. It’s also 100% compostable!
13. Silicone Cupcake Wraps
If you make cupcakes often, silicone cupcake wraps are a great swap for single-use ones.
14. Compost Bin
A compost bin is a perfect swap for your food scraps. Instead of throwing them in the trash, where they will cause harm to the environment, they’ll be reused back into the Earth! Food waste is actually very harmful to the environment and emits enormous amounts of methane and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere while in a landfill because it can’t properly breakdown.
I use CompostNow for my composting and I absolutely love it. You can compost so much and I’ve never had a problem with them. For a few more ways on how to compost and some more information on why you should compost, check out my post How To Compost in an Apartment in 6 Different Ways.
15. Metal Vegetable Peeler
I don’t know about you, but I’ve only ever had or seen plastic vegetable peelers. It’s definitely not something I’d ever thought of swapping because I feel like it’s so random, but if you need a new vegetable peeler, why not get it plastic free? Everything counts, even this swap! 😉
16. Glass Straws
I love my glass straws. I use them every day, literally. I was worried they would break when I first got them, but they’re actually extremely durable. I’ve dropped mine multiple times (I’m super clumsy haha) on the hardwood floor and I’ve never noticed a single crack. These straws are the first set I got.
I also have a few straws from Simply Straws and love those as well. I got customized ones for me and my siblings that have our names on them. They are so cute and I’m very happy with them, so if you’re looking for a gift idea as well, I’d recommend Simply Straws!
17. Reusable cup
Reusable cups are mostly for going out as when you’re home you’re probably using glass cups, but they can still be useful at home! Especially if you’re making something and need to take it to go like coffee, tea, or a smoothie.
This is also a great bottle to use for water! It’s made out of recycled glass and is packaged in recycled and recyclable contents!
18. Dropps Dishwasher Detergent Pods
Even the small things we don’t normally think about pollute the planet, like detergent pods. These are 100% plastic-free and compostable! They are also biodegradable, non-toxic, and shipped plastic-free.
19. Silicone Ice Cube Tray
If you freeze your own ice cubes and need a replacement tray, silicone is the way to go! Ice cube trays are also great for freezing leftover coconut milk or even herbs that are about to go bad (just pour it in some water or oil and freeze).
20. Compostable Bottle Brush
If you need a bottle brush, why not get a compostable one? Works just as well and doesn’t hurt the environment! Win-win.
21. Refillable Spray Bottle For Cleaning
Replace those toxic plastic-packaged cleaning supplies and make your own! Store it in a reusable glass spray bottle. This will definitely save you money and waste. Another alternative is to invest in Blueland.
They give you the bottle and pods that go into the bottle when filled up with water. And then you can start cleaning right away! All you have to do is buy the bottle once and you can refill it for life!
22. Compostable Trash Bags
Replace your trash bags (that never fully breakdown) with compostable ones! Plastic trash bags take about 500 years to breakdown in landfills. These bags are great for composting but can also be used to throw your trash out.
Unfortunately, it will be harder for them to break down in a landfill because of the lack of oxygen flowing through the air. These compostable bags are still a great alternative to plastic because plastic does take fossil fuels to make and still never really go away.
23. Reusable Coffee Filter
And last, but definitely not least, ditch the single-use coffee filters and replace them with a reusable one! It’s made from organic cotton and can be composted at the end of its life. This would also make a great gift for someone who drinks a lot of coffee!