These eco friendly kitchen products will reduce your reliance on single use, plastic products and lower the amount of trash you generate. Less is more in this context.
As you move to a more eco friendly lifestyle, never forget the many R’s in the product cycle.
- Rethink if you actually need a product;
- Refuse whatever you don’t need;
- Reduce the amount you buy;
- Reuse what you already have;
- Repair what can be fixed;
- Restore what needs a little tlc;
- Repurpose to give something a new life;
- Recycle when you can’t do any of the other R’s;
- Rot your organic waste.
Really think about these principles when finding and buying any product.
Before getting into this list, I just wanted to share a little about my own experiences.
My parents grew up in the post-war era and so had to make do with what little they had and what was readily available. They taught me to never waste anything and many of these tips and product recommendations come from what they’ve done and still continue to do.
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Eco Friendly Kitchen Products
The kitchen is probably the single largest contributor to the waste you generate. Look at what you throw out every day and see where you can adopt these eco friendly kitchen products to reduce your trash.
1. Reusable water bottles
If your pipe borne water is safe to drink then fill up your very own reusable water bottles and ditch the plastic bottled water.
At home, reuse glass juice bottles. I’ve been using my old Lakewood juice bottles for the last three or four years. They are incredible, high quality glass bottles that can handle very hot temperatures.
For an on-the-go bottle, try LifeSky’s stainless steel water bottle. There is no plastic in this bottle – the cap is stainless steel and the seal is made of silicone.
If you are not as clumsy as I am, take a look at Yomious’ glass bottle. It comes with a bamboo lid and silicone sleeve (there is a little plastic in the lid, though).
2. Reusable straws
Did you know Americans use half a billion plastic straws every day? They all add up! So, it’s time to ditch that throwaway culture. Use reusable straws instead – paper, glass, stainless steel and silicone straws – they’re all good choices.
These silicone straws are cute!
3. Reusable cutlery
As with straws, you don’t need single use plastic cutlery. Rethink it, refuse it… Use the cutlery you have right now. Take them on the go with you. Bamboo and stainless steel ones are also great.
Cennsa’s wooden set is really nice:
4. Cast iron cookware
Forget the non-stick cookware that contains harmful chemicals and isn’t durable. Cast iron cookware can last for generations. My parents own decades-old cast iron pots and they’ve used them almost every day. You can’t go wrong with cast iron.
I highly recommend Lodge pots and pans. I’ve had mine for many years and they still look brand new.
5. Glass pots
My mom received a glass pot set as a wedding gift 45 years ago. She still uses those pots to this day. Visions pots are no joke when it comes to durability and longevity.
Ditch the plastic sponges, try these eco-friendly kitchen sponges instead
6. Silicone baking mats
Forget single use parchment paper. Try these eco friendly kitchen products instead: silicone baking mats. Adoric’s mats are made with silicone and glass fiber and are non-stick and non-slip. You can use them on your countertop and baking trays. They’re amazing.
7. Silicone cupcake liners
Paper cupcake liners are nice but they are single use. You can never reuse a paper cupcake liner. So, if you bake often why not rethink using them? Consider silicone cupcake liners. I have a couple and I adore them.
You can take a look at Selizo’s 54 liners. They can handle up to 445°F.
8. Stainless steel storage containers
We’ve seen zero waste kitchens with large plastic containers full of cereal, pasta, and other grains. They look beautiful and organized; but there are better, non-plastic options out there.
Cooks Standard has large, stainless steel containers with glass covers and silicone seals.
9. Large glass storage containers
Besides stainless steel containers, you can find glass ones too. This set has bamboo lids, silicone and metal seals.
10. Glass food containers
You don’t need plastic Tupperware or single use disposal plastic containers. Glass food containers are great alternatives for meal prep and packing lunch. I have these Rubbermaid containers – the only drawback is they come with plastic covers. But they last for years!
11. Silicone food containers
Besides glass food containers, try collapsible silicone ones. These from Drynatural are cute and functional.
12. Non plastic dishes
Forget plastic dishes, bowls, cups, and utensils. There are more eco friendly options. Paper, glass, ceramic, stoneware, fiber, leaf and wood dinner sets are all beautiful, functional and better for the planet than plastic.
For your next dinner party, consider this dinnerware set made from palm leaves.
13. Non plastic cutting boards
I must admit I’ve bought a plastic cutting board before; but it cracked within a year. Since then, I got a larger bamboo cutting board and it’s been in use for close to five years already. I wash it immediately after use and allow it to dry completely before storing it. It’s been good – no cracks, stains, mold, or anything!
This bamboo cutting board set is highly recommended.
14. Cloth napkins
Anything can be repurposed into a cloth napkin – an old cotton shirt, a t-shirt, anything. Holes? No problem – as long as it is clean. That’s how it was and still is in my home. You can use these cloths to wipe up spills or as pot holders. It doesn’t matter.
Cut them, hand stitch or professionally stitch them – there are no rules for making your own cloth napkins for the kitchen to replace disposable paper towels.
15. Brown paper bags
It’s crazy to think the world uses 10 million plastic bags a minute! We must say no to single use plastic. Instead, use brown paper bags. They may not be waterproof but they are more eco-friendly than plastic.
These are made with recycled paper and are biodegradable and compostable.
16. Cloth bags
I have a whole roundup of DIY bag tutorial videos. You can see how to make your own produce bags, cutlery pouches, every day reusable bags and even bottle bags. And you can repurpose fabric or older clothing you already have.
If sewing isn’t your thing, then check out this set with 14 reusable bags.
17. Silicone bags
Cloth bags are not exactly waterproof, but silicone bags are! They are waterproof, airtight and made of food grade material. You can use them as sandwich bags for lunch or freezer bags for frozen meals.
Tiblue has a nice 10 pack set.
18. Beeswax wraps
So, beeswax wraps are very popular eco friendly kitchen products since you can use them in place of plastic wrap. You can make your own wraps with beeswax and fabric. Or you can get Lilybee wraps and enjoy these plastic-free clingwrap alternatives.
19. Silicone lids
Besides beeswax wraps, you can also use silicone stretch lids. They are versatile, flexible and work great for bottles, jars, pots and bowls.
20. Castile liquid soap
There are zero waste soap blocks out there but I’m not sure if coconut oil-based soaps have significant antimicrobial and anti-grease properties. On the other hand, there is evidence that castile soap mixed with essential oils is effective on microbes.
The downside though is castile liquid soap usually comes in a plastic bottle. So, this recommendation will generate some waste. However, one gallon of soap can last for an entire year and, once it’s finished, you can repurpose the bottle for gardening or recycle the plastic.
Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap is the best.
21. Biodegradable dish washing pods
Common dish washing pods are coated in plastic and they come in plastic packaging too. You don’t want that! Replace them with Dropps dishwasher pods. They use plant derived and biodegradable ingredients.
22. Eco-friendly sponge alternatives
Check out my post on kitchen sponge alternatives. You’ll see all my recommendations from natural bristle brushes and tawashis to coconut fiber and natural loofahs.
Kuchenprofi brushes are my favorite.
23. Silicone bottle brush
24. Swedish dish cloth
I adore these cloths – they are magic. They are made with cellulose fibers and cotton and are incredibly absorbent. Plus they’re compostable!
25. Reusable coffee filter
Single use coffee filters? Boo! If you love your coffee, check out Delibru’s reusable K cups for Keurig 2.0 and 1.0 coffee makers. They can help you reduce waste. The only drawback is they are made of plastic.
Another option is canFly’s K cup paper filters. They are unbleached and biodegradable.
26. Reusable French press
For stronger coffee, get a French press. This Mueller French press is incredibly durable and sturdy. You can also use it to make tea, herbal drinks and more.
27. Mortar and pestle
So, my mom’s coffee grinder died recently. She couldn’t replace it since the appliance store was closed (2020 is that kind of year!) so she started using her old mortar and pestle again. Now, she refuses to replace the grinder since they are not made to last… at least, they won’t last as long as her mortar and pestle!
If you don’t have one, take a look at ChefSofi’s:
28. Manual kitchen tools
Don’t fall for the gimmicky, plastic gadgets that fall apart in a matter of months. Or electronic ones that fail after a couple years and are really difficult to repair. Instead, rethink your tools and look for manual ones that won’t ever fail you.
Graters, hand whisks, scales, and juicers all come to mind.
Here’s a manual citrus juicer that’s perfect for making summer drinks.
For electronics that you do purchase, research their common causes of failure. Sometimes, it can be cracked seals or O-rings. Other times, it can be power cord problems. With this info, you can purchase the replacement parts and repair the tools instead of throwing them away.
29. Compostable trash bags
Say no to the plastic trash bags and hello to compostable ones. These eco friendly kitchen products are heavy duty, non-toxic and are made with plant starches.
30. Stainless steel compost bin
This brings in the rot part of the many R’s I talked about at the beginning. Rotting your organic food scraps can generate your very own compost to add to your garden. Mix in coffee grounds and egg shell bits and your plants will love you!
Check out the Utopia Kitchen stainless steel compost bin.
What other eco friendly kitchen products do you use? I’d love to hear about your experiences.