Easy Low-Waste Swaps to Make in Your Kitchen

Happy 2020! Many people have resolutions to be a little more green this year and what better way than to kick off every week with a new blog post on just that! Every Monday, I hope to share things that I have learned through my journey to becoming more environmentally conscious. This week, let’s tackle the kitchen!

I love being in the kitchen. The cooking, the baking, and to a small extent even the cleaning as well. Because of the amount of time I spend in the kitchen, it was a no-brainer that it was the first place I tackled when trying to reduce waste. Here are some easy low-waste swaps to make in your kitchen to make it a little more environmentally friendly (and save some money in the process!)

INSTEAD OF PAPER TOWELS, TRY SWEDISH DISH CLOTHS
Don’t underestimate these little guys! Swedish Dish Cloths are thin and light but can soak up liquids like nobody’s business! Made with cellulose and cotton, they are made to work like a paper towel to wipe up spills, dry dishes, you name it They can be disinfected by zapping them in the microwave which helps get rid of that stinky sponge smell. It is estimated that one Swedish Dish Cloth can replace up to 17 rolls of paper towels. That’s lot of paper saved from the landfill!
 
INSTEAD OF PAPER TOWELS, TRY TEA TOWELS
Tea towels have a multitude of uses in the kitchen.  Besides being your go-to hand dryer, tea towels can be used to dry salad greens too! Simply lay the washed greens along the length of the tea towel, wrap them up like a burrito, then whip it around your head! Voila – crisp, dry greens without the need for a clunky salad spinner! Tea towels are also great for storing loaves of bread and makes for a beautiful, no-waste gift wrap. This is similar to the way the Japanese utilize Furoshiki, a traditional cloth wrap, to package gifts or to transport goods. (A large tea towel makes for a perfect pie dish holder!)
 
INSTEAD OF PAPER NAPKINS, TRY CLOTH NAPKINS 
Cloth napkins aren’t only for fancy restaurants or special occasions. Knowing how easy cloth napkins are to use and clean, I am wondering why I never used them earlier! They are extremely functional and not to mention pretty to look at as well. Bonus: they make for amazing Furoshiki for small items!
Instead of Metal Scourers, Try a Natural Brush

I stayed away from cast iron cookware for the longest time because I was intimidated by its upkeep. Ultimately, I invested in an enameled cast iron dutch oven (which has been indispensable in making bread of all things!) and found the best way to clean it was using a natural brush. Made with a wooden handle and coconut fibers, it scours pots gently and effectively. Natural brushes are also great at cleaning produce. They get in every nook and cranny of root veggies so you don’t even have to peel them!

Instead of Plastic Zipper Bags, Try Stasher Bags/Snack Bags

I have replaced the use of plastic baggies with plastic or glass containers, but Stasher Bags or fabric snack bags are a fantastic, more portable option. Stasher Bags are an amazing, multipurpose tool in the kitchen. It can be microwaved, boiled, frozen or used sous-vide. It’s great for storing leftovers as it can go directly from the freezer or fridge to the microwave or oven to reheat (hooray for less dishes!). Best of all, Stasher Bags are available at Bare Market here!

Instead of Purchasing Packaged Foods, Try Purchasing In Bulk

This may a difficult option for some as I had referenced in my previous blog post. However, the “Bring Your Own Container” movement is gaining momentum making it easier to purchase food in your own containers. Bulk Barn has a fantastic BYOC program and even rewards you with discounts every so often (usually 25% off each item purchased using a reusable container).  Bare Market also sells a variety of bulk products for your kitchen like apple cider vinegar, dish soap and even dishwasher tablets! Great way to incentivize low-waste living and makes living plastic free a lot easier!

What are some other low-waste swaps you have made in your kitchen?

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