The 10 Best Sustainable Kitchen Products for a More Eco-Friendly Home
Updated: Oct 21, 2022
There are small steps you can take in the right direction of living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. One such way is to pay close attention to how you shop for, prep, cook and store your food and beverages. There are a slew of eco-friendly kitchen products that can go a long way in making an impact. We’ve rounded up a handful of our favourite eco-friendly switches that we’ve made over the past year. P.S. These are genuine recommendations and there are no affiliate links in the article.
1. Reusable Wash Cloths
The eco-friendly benefits of reusable cloths or rags is (like the name implies) how you can use them over and over again, reducing paper waste by literal tonnes every year. They were here before paper towels and looks like they should stay for longer than them as well, since you can make them out of pretty much any old piece of fabric that’s lying around your house, or buying one made out of recycled materials such as Birdseye cotton.
Our current favourites are these eco friendly and sustainable biodegradable cellulose sponge cloths from Green Dodo.
2. Reusable Produce Bags
If you think you might be using too much plastic, there's a good chance much of it is coming from your weekly trip to the grocery store. Stocking up on fruits and veggies usually means tearing off several plastic bags per visit — and that can have a negative impact on the environment. But if you're looking for a more sustainable, eco-friendly alternative, reusable produce bags offer an easy and convenient solution to plastic produce bags.
We love these Onya reusable produce bags. These award winnings bags are an easy alternative for single use plastic fruit and vegetable bags when shopping.
Crafted from special rPET fabric, these produce bags are made from recycled plastic drink bottles. Weighing in at only 10 grams per bag, the reusable produce bags barely register on a scale and the see through mesh bags allow shop assistants to know exactly what is inside your produce bag at a glance. The bags let water/air flow through so you can use them to wash your produce and then simply take your washed produce out, dry it off, and place in a storage container to pop into the fridge or store on the benchtop, and simply hang your bags to dry.
Traditional single use plastic bags can also cause ‘sweating’ making the life cycle of your fresh produce much shorter. The open nature of the mesh bags allows your bench top produce such as apples and oranges to ‘breathe’ which gives it a longer life compared to plastic bags. The bags can be washed simply with a cool water handwash when the need arises, or they can be put on a cool gentle cycle in the washing machine.
3. Compostable Bin Liners
A compostable bag is an alternative to the more notorious plastic bag, which we now clearly know has a disastrous impact on the environment both in its raw material extraction and afterlife when its discarded.
The idea of a compostable bag is that it will naturally break down into organic nutrients once it’s been used. These nutrients will then be used to enrich soils with zero harmful side effects for the environment. Most compostable bags are made from plant-based vegetable materials, such as potato and corn starch. This makes them a much more sustainable way to deal with food waste disposal and reduce our reliance on plastic. Despite this good news for the environment, it’s not always so simple in reality.
We love these Green Maker Bin liners. They are a biodegradable bin liner – will degrade into smaller particles over time, but not necessarily a short time! They are extra strong, leak-proof with gathered base. They are 100% biodegradable and compostable, made from corn starch.
4. Eco Friendly Food Containers
Almost everyone has a cupboard full of random plastic containers used for freezing food or even just for storing random bits and bobs. Some of these containers we’ve bought ourselves and some are remnants from a long forgotten takeaway meal. They’re incredibly handy to have. The problem with them of course is that they’re plastic and at some point they’ll end up in landfill or possibly the ocean. So when they’ve finally come to the end of their useful life make sure you replace them with more eco-friendly food containers.
There are several alternatives available when looking for eco-friendly food containers, from stainless steel to glass and even bamboo. Or a combination of those materials with a bit of plastic thrown in. A Slice of Green is a wonderful website to search for a wide range of practical and innovative products, including eco friendly food containers.
5. Silicone Cake Cases
Silicone cake cases are a brilliant reusable alternative to single use paper cake cases. Just like paper cases, they withstand extremely high heats and hold our mixture in place with ease. Plus, when it came to the really fun part (by that of course, we mean the eating), no wrappings were left stuck to our moist creations and we could tuck in a hell of a lot quicker.
They’re also dishwasher-proof and stain-resistant, meaning the next time we used them there was no residual flavour from old batches. They come in a handy pack of 12 (a standard baking batch size) and the range of colours ensures that our bakes look as good as they taste. Peace of mind and a piece of cake, what’s not to love? We love these colourful cases from Kitchen Craft.
6. Stretchy Silicone Lids
Stretchy silicone lids are not only eco friendly, but also SO much easier to use than cling film or foil. They come in a range of sizes – from small jam jar to large dinner plate – and have become the answer to all our leftovers troubles. They keep food fresh by creating an airtight, leakproof seal, meaning you can store meals away in both fridges and cupboards without worry. They’re also freezer- and microwave-proof, so heating up leftovers is no trouble, and they can be washed either in your sink or the dishwasher.
Without question, they’ve made batch-cooking easier than ever, and we know we’ll be using them for years to come. Check out The Original stretchy food lids for all lid needs.
7. Compostable Sponges
Making sustainable switches shouldn’t stop once the cooking’s done. In fact, when it comes to washing up, we could all afford to be a bit greener. We love our compostable sponges from UK-based EcoVibe. EcoVibe is a Leeds-based online store providing sustainable everyday essentials and, like us, it believes that sometimes even the smallest switches can make a big difference.
The brand’s sponges are 100% plant-based – made from cellulose, which is a natural wood fibre – yet are still just as durable and absorbent as any traditional sponge. They resist bacteria much better than your average plastic version too, as they contain enzymes that prevent bacterial growth. And while we wouldn’t advise scrubbing away at burnt bits on pans, these were amazing at wiping away almost all stains. We can’t see any reason not to invest.
8. Reusable Cleaning Product
Cleaning products are another major perpetrator of single-use plastic waste. To avoid that, Blueland has created cleaning products that basically last forever. Start with one (or all) of their Forever reusable bottles and refill with the cleaning tablets (packaged in recyclable paper) dissolved in water whenever you need a restock.
The brand currently sells everything from multi-surface cleanser to hand soap—all crafted from cleanly-formulated ingredients that help to prevent the addition of toxic chemicals into the environment.
9. Reusable straws
As we become increasingly aware of the detrimental effects of single-use plastic on the environment, we're always looking for ways to cut down. While some of us have stopped drinking from straws altogether, many people still like to use them, for reasons including dental hygiene and taste. If you're someone who can’t live without straws, there are plenty of more eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastic ones.
We love these Joie Reusable Straws. We know the alarm bells might be ringing and yes these are made of plastic, the very thing we are trying to avoid, but hear us out... Not only do these straws have by far the best mouth-feel of all those we tested (in other words, they’re the right size, shape and feel in the mouth), they're also incredibly durable.
10. Reusable Utensils
Finally, reusable utensils is a kitchen accessory which, to be honest, we don’t quite know how we lived without before. We brought ours from Pure White Lilies. These reusable utensils are made from wheat straw. Wheat straw is a by-product of growing edible grains, so there is no additional farming or harvesting procedures required. It is biodegradable, so will take less time to break down naturally. Wheat straw plastic is very versatile and can be used for many applications. Because of the heat resistance of up to 100° Celsius / 220° Fahrenheit, it can be used for reusable travel sets. It is a great way of reducing single-use plastics.
Do you have any recommendations to add to our list of the 10 best sustainable kitchen products for a more eco-friendly home? Have we inspired you to make any purchases? Or do you already own some? Let us know @zerosmartuk.