With Earth Day coming up next week, I've been thinking a lot about ways to create a greener kitchen.
It can seem overwhelming to think about all of the changes we need to make to protect the environment, but remember – you don't have to do it all at once!
I'm a big believer that the small things add up. Choose one area of your kitchen to work on first and go from there.
Here are 5 of my favorite eco friendly tips to turn your kitchen green!
1. Ditch the disposables
When thinking of Earth Day tips, this one is certainly at the top of the list! Disposables are lurking everywhere though. It's worth taking some time to analyze everywhere you use them. Here are some good ones to start with:
- Instead of disposable sandwich bags -> try reusable silicon bags
- Ditch the plastic wrap -> use reusable food wraps or cloth bowl covers
- Avoid plastic produce bags -> bring your own (or leave a note to your Instacart shopper to skip the plastic produce bags for items like onions, oranges, etc. that don't really need a bag)
- Limit paper towels and napkins -> try cloth napkins and towels instead
These products are from one of my favorite sites, Food 52, but I've seen similar eco-friendly products at Trader Joe's and Target!
2. Try composting
Many people recycle these days, but composting is still spreading slowly. If you don't live in an area where compost is picked up by the city, you can easily compost at home.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), food and yard scraps make up almost 30% of what we throw in the garbage. Composting can make a real difference in working toward a greener kitchen!
3. Minimize water use
Not all faucets are created equal when it comes to water use.
Don't worry though, you don't have to get a whole new sink to reduce water waste. If you do not have a low flow faucet in your kitchen, you can simply add a low flow aerator to reduce the speed of water flow.
These are super inexpensive and reduce water wasted in things like washing your hands and doing the dishes. This is such an easy thing you can do to reduce your environmental footprint!
4. Use eco friendly cleaners
Some cleaning products can negatively effect both air and water quality, not to mention expose your family to potentially harmful chemicals!
Fortunately, there is an increasing number of effective, yet natural, cleaning products available. Trying to find eco-friendly cleaning products can admittedly be a bit overwhelming in the beginning, but sites like Thrive Market make it a lot easier. You can filter to see only non-toxic cleaners in biodegradable packaging to make sure your cleaning products are safe for both you and the environment.
Purchasing cleaning concentrates is also a great way to help the environment by reducing unnecessary packaging.
5. Shop the bulk bins
You can avoid so much plastic and packaging through shopping the bulk bins! Bring your own bags to fill and you can stock up on staples like nuts, quinoa, dried beans, etc. without all of that unnecessary waste.
Bonus – bulk bin items are often more affordable!
Bonus Earth Day tips
If you're looking for more ways to shrink your environmental footprint, here are some super quick wins you can do today!
- Talk to your kids: Make sure to share all of your hard work help the planet with your little ones if you have them. Just taking a few minutes to explain why you're trying a new eco friendly cleaner can help them become environmental advocates in the future
- Post on social media: Share this post or simply post your own favorite Earth Day tip to help your friends remember to do their part.
- Shop local: Whether it's checking for produce grown nearby or buying locally crafted goods, remember that the environmental impact of shipping really adds up.
- Replace lightbulbs: Ditch inefficient light bulbs in favor of CFLs or LEDs
- Pack your lunch: Avoid all of the disposables associated with takeout. Not sure what to pack? We can help with that! Try my Southwestern Steak Salad or Pecan Crusted Chicken Collard Wraps and you won't miss takeout one bit!
- Donate a tree: Did you know you can donate a tree if you don't have time to plant one yourself? Every dollar donated to the Canopy Project equals one tree planted.
Looking for more tips to reduce waste? Check out our post on eliminating food waste!
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Do you have any great Earth Day tips? I would love to hear them! Share your ideas and pictures for a greener kitchen on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram as @prepdish in all 3 places, or leave a comment below.