When it comes to living well, sometimes less is more.
Did you know that 58% of food produced in Canada is either lost or wasted each year? This percentage also accounts for 56.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions each year. Other than food waste, the use of single-use products like plastic wrap and paper towels accumulates more waste. With all of these combined, kitchens may take up the most waste in every household.
Now, there are product alternatives we can use to create less waste every day. We listed below a couple of alternative kitchen tools to achieve (or get closer to) a zero-waste kitchen.
Reusable Paper Towels
Paper towels are one of the most utilized kitchen tools. The functionality is so versatile that we end up using it for almost anything. So much so that we end up using too much of it, borderline unnecessary sometimes. To avoid this, try switching your paper towel roll with a pack of reusable paper towels. There are different kinds to choose from like reusable sponge cloths, or reusable biodegradable paper towels.
European Dish Cloth by Grove Collaborative is a reusable sponge cloth that can just as easily soak up spills and messes as regular paper towels. It’s made of biodegradable cellulose and cotton which makes it very durable and highly absorbent. Another reusable option is Wowables biodegradable paper towels. It is said to be four times more absorbent than the average paper towels in the market and it is 100% compostable. Wowables are also dishwasher and machine washable, so you can reuse them for as long as you can. They claim that one roll of their paper towels is equivalent to 260 rolls of regular paper towels.
Plastic Wrap Alternatives
I suppose the key for an eco-friendly kitchen is by switching all your single-use products to something reusable or durable enough that can last longer than a regular plastic waste would. Beeswax wrap, silicone food huggers, and silicone lids are great alternatives for cling wrap films.
Food Huggers, as the name suggests, are silicone tools that “hug” food. It’s not uncommon to cut a lemon in half for a recipe only to keep the other half in the fridge, but instead of wrapping it with plastic film, Food Huggers have the specific tool to your lemon halves fresh. However, Food Huggers only have silicone wraps specific to certain fruits or vegetables. In this case, you’re better off with reusable beeswax wraps.
Airtight Silicone Lids like this one from Food52 are also a great alternative to plastic wrap. You can use it to cover leftovers or a hot pan. The airtight seal will keep your food fresh and warm.
Other great ways to practice sustainability in the kitchen are: opting to use produce bags when grocery shopping. Instead of using those thin plastic bags they offer at the produce aisle, bring your own cotton produce bags instead. As for your bulk items, consider using mason jars. Better yet, why not reuse any glass jars that came with your pickles, jams, or mustards? Lastly, indoor composting is another eco-friendly way to reduce waste.
Running an eco-friendly household can be expensive but if you consider the cost-effectiveness each product brings, then it is worth giving these products a shot. Besides, it’s the small initiatives we do that bring impact to the betterment of our environment. So why not try.
Published by HOLR Magazine.