10 Eco Friendly Alternatives For Your Favorite Kitchen Products
7 Minute Read
Did you know that your kitchen is the #1 place where you create waste? It’s also where you unintentionally invite the most toxins into your body.
Cooking, eating, cleaning up, and storing food are parts of our daily routine that open up the flood gates to packaging and food waste, toxic chemicals, and a slew of health hazards. Which is the last thing we’re hoping do when we’re trying to nourish our bodies. But instead of buying the first thing we see at the grocery or the top product on amazon, we can take a closer look at the products we use in the kitchen to make sure we’re choosing the most sustainable option. And the one that’s best for our health. So I wanna share 10 eco friendly kitchen products that are great alternatives to what you’re already using, so you can prep, cook, and gorge yourself without sacrificing convenience, time, or your health.
Here are 10 Eco Friendly Alternatives for Everyday Kitchen Products:
Reusable Cloth Towels
(instead of paper towels)
Anytime you can opt for a reusable version of something, go for it. It uses less resources over time and creates less waste, which is why reusable cloth towels are a no-brainer.
I know there are a few situations, like cleaning up after your furry friends or finding something to soak up all that cooking grease, where paper towels make the most sense. If you have an earnest need for paper towels, you may want to keep an emergency roll of paper towels in your pantry. If possible, try to opt for an eco friendly brand like Seventh Generation or Marcal.
(instead of Plastic Tupperware)
There are countless studies and articles showing that plastic is the last thing we want near our food. And since plastic is primarily made from nonrenewable resources like crude oil, which has a slew of environmental issues on its own, it’s best to get rid of plastic in as many places in our lives as possible.
With that said, glass tupperware is the perfect alternative for leftovers, keeping produce fresh, and storing items in your pantry. The only negative is that they’re a bit heavier than plastic. This isn’t an issue if you only need it for storing things at home. But if you use tupperware to take your lunch to work, you can opt for something that’s a bit lighter, like a stainless steel bento box.
(instead of mainstream all-purpose cleaner)
Would you put something in your body that you knew could cause cancer, mess with your endocrine system, and make it difficult to breathe? Didn’t think so. Then why would you put such a thing all over your house?
Most mainstream all-purpose cleaners, like Lysol, contain ingredients that are proven to have harmful side effects. Yet for some reason, the government doesn’t see it as an issue. So until they recognize the underlying health issues associated with those household cleaning products, you can opt for a non-toxic, all-purpose cleaner like Dr Bronner’s. Or, if you’re feelin’ crafty, you can easily make your own with a few ingredients you probably already have at home.
Wooden Dish Brush and a Metal Scrubber
(instead of a sponge)
As I mentioned in my post about eco friendly alternatives to sponges, most sponges have plastic in them. And since wet sponges are a breeding ground for bacteria, it’s recommended that you throw out your sponge every single week. Sounds super wasteful …
But by switching to a wooden dish brush with plant-based bristles, you can ditch the bacteria and use a product that’ll last you wayyyy longer than that grimy sponge you’ve been using all this time. And for jobs that need extra scrubbing power, you can use a metal scour. It will literally get anything off of anything!
Bamboo Cutting Board
(instead of a plastic cutting board)
Ever used a plastic cutting board and noticed that it started to flake off over time or as you cut into it? Doesn’t seem like the best thing to put your food on. Instead, you can opt for a bamboo cutting board, which is naturally antimicrobial. You can also use it as a serving platter if you’re having people over, so it replaces 2 items instead of one. #bonus!
Stainless Steel Cookware
(instead of non-stick cookware)
Non-stick cookware seemed like the best thing since sliced bread when it came out. I mean, who wouldn’t wanna cook an egg that slid right off the pan? But with so much research proving how toxic it can be when exposed to heat, and when used over time (like exposing us to heavy metals and other toxins that can lead to cancer, infertility, and hormone disruption), I’ll take my chances with the getting that egg off the pan in other ways.
Stainless steel cookware is the safest and most sustainable option for you. Period.
And it’ll last you a lifetime. So even though it’s more expensive than non-stick cookware, you’ll never have to buy a replacement. Plus, you can avoid those expensive medical bills from the health problems you won’t have (which probably aren’t covered by your insurance either).
And because I get this question a lot, you should know that most ceramic cookware isn’t much better than other non-stick options. The substances that are used to coat the ceramic are also pretty toxic. Who thought this was a good idea exactly? If I’ve peaked your interest, there’s a full analysis on cookware and which brands to avoid at Mamavation.com
Eco Friendly Dish Soap
(instead of mainstream dish soap)
Like your all-purpose cleaner, there’s a bunch of ingredients in your dish soap you don’t want touching your body or your dishes, or making its way to our waterways via your sink. So the best solution is to opt for an eco friendly dish soap that uses non-toxic ingredients. Companies like ECOS are really transparent about their ingredients. Plus, they also package their products in recycled plastic and have a zero-waste facility, which really shows their commitment to our planet.
Metal/Wood Cooking Utensils
(instead of plastic cooking utensils)
I don’t know about you, but I’m always trying to avoid toxicity in as many areas of my life as possible, especially when it comes to things that I put in my body. This is exactly why I try to keep plastic utensils out of my kitchen. Plastic spoons, ladles, and spatulas all leech chemicals into our food … which we then ingest. #NoBueno
Switching to metal or wooden utensils is much better for our health, and they last a lot longer than plastic utensils, so it’s a win-win. Plus, that metal spatula will come in handy when getting that fried egg off your stainless steel pan?
Reusable Coffee Filters
(instead of disposable coffee filters)
As I mentioned above, any time you can opt for a reusable version of something, it’s always the more sustainable choice. There are mesh coffee filters you can buy online, but most of them are made of plastic, so I’m not too confident that they’re much better than the disposables. I’d say, the best option is to go for a reusable coffee filter made out of organic cotton, which can easily be cleaned in your laundry and used indefinitely.
Reusable Silicone Bag
(instead of plastic Ziploc bags)
If there was ever an invention that was the epitome of our disposable culture, it would be the Ziploc bag. It’s designed to be used once, is difficult to clean, and offers a nice slice of plastic leeching.
With that mic drop, these silicone stasher bags are the ultimate Ziploc replacement. They’re lightweight, transparent so you can see what’s inside, and you can even cook in them. You can use them in the microwave, the oven, a pot of boiling water, or with a sous vide machine (its ok it you don’t know what a sous vide machine is … I didn’t until recently). These stasher bags are made of food-grade silicone, so they won’t leech anything into your food or do anything crazy when exposed to heat.
If you’ve been on the hunt for some eco friendly kitchen products, you’ve now got a head start. But I always recommend not replacing things until you have to. Throwing out something that’s perfectly useful just creates more waste. So once you’re ready to tackle that battered pan or finish that roll of paper towels, you’ve got everything you need to make the swap.
So here’s my challenge to you:
Go to your kitchen right now and look at the products you’re using. Is your dish soap running low? Could you replace it with a more sustainable option? Do you have a few Ziploc bags you could replace with silicone once you’ve used up your current stock? Does your non-stick frying pan have any scratches that may be exposing you to some unwanted health benefits? Take a hard look at what you’ve got and find opportunities to switch to more eco friendly kitchen products. They’re better for your health and for the planet 🙂