6 Sustainable Kitchen Solutions
Zero-waste your way to leftovers, lunch, and lots more.
Plastic is a problem.
According to the UN, there is more microplastic in the ocean than there are stars in the Milky Way. The World Economic Forum Report estimates that plastic pollution will outweigh all fish in the sea by 2050 if we don’t find a way to cut back on the amount of plastic we used.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to curb plastic use, and it can start in the kitchen. Here, we pit classic kitchen wares against their sustainable counterparts to help you keep everything from your leftovers to your water jug better for the environment.
Beeswax wrap instead of plastic wrap
In 2015, over half of the plastic trash in the world was packaging. Use these beeswax-coated fabric wraps like you would plastic wrap. They’re self-adhering and don’t have any of the questionable chemicals found in other wraps. They’re safe to wrap right around food or over a plate to keep food covered and protected (though they’re not microwave-safe like the traditional plastic wrap is). Plus, they can be washed and used again rather than their single-use counterparts.
Large glass water dispenser over single-serving bottles
Bottled water has a tremendous negative impact on the environment. Producing the bottles requires about 17.6 million barrels of oil annually, and worldwide, uses about 2.7 million tons of plastic every year. Kick the bottle habit once and for all, and stay hydrated by keeping a jug of cold water in your refrigerator instead.
Stasher Bags not resealable plastic bags
These sealable, silicone bags come in many colors and sizes, they’re microwave and oven-proof, plus, you can boil food in them so it’s easy to heat whatever leftovers you’ve stored. Freeze premeasured smoothie ingredients for a quick breakfast, pack snacks for a trash-free road trip, and even marinate a steak in them.
Stainless steel lunch containers > plastic storage containers
These sleek containers have an airtight silicone lid, so you can pack a lunch, travel snacks, and winter soups without worry. Plus, the container is oven-safe so you can reheat leftovers in it.
Stainless steel straws rather than plastic straws
It can take up to 200 years for a plastic straw to decompose, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up straws for good. These stainless steel ones are lightweight, dishwasher safe, and are easy to keep in your bag. Which means you have no excuse not to BYOS whenever you’re out to dinner, grabbing an iced-mocha-whatever from the drive-thru, or slurping up your morning smoothie.
Water-only cleaning cloths beat out paper towels
According to the EPA, paper product waste is one of the largest contributors to municipal landfill waste in the U.S. Cut down on your paper towel use with these reusable cleaning cloths. They contain tiny microfibers to help ensure a great, goo-getting, gunk-busting clean on surfaces and dishes with hot water alone. When they’re dirty, just throw them in the laundry and they’re good as new. You’ll save money, plastic, and paper by forgoing paper towels and plastic-bottled cleaning solution.