Are you concerned about the toxins, chemicals and hormones that surround us every day? Are you also looking for ways to be a better consumer and find eco-friendly alternatives in your home?
One area I think we can all make a big impact is the kitchen. The food we eat, the tools we use and the way we clean.Are you concerned about the toxins, chemicals and hormones that surround us every day? Then look for ways to create an eco-friendly, green kitchen. 15 Changes to make now... #GoGreen #environment #ecofriendly Click To Tweet
Years before I became a mom, I did a pretty good job of being ‘green’ as they say. I used natural products and was extremely aware of where all of my food was coming from.
Now that I have a family, I want to make this even more of a priority.
The problem: When there are more people to feed and expenses are higher it can be a little more difficult to be green. Let’s face it, organic and all natural products cost more.
As moms, we have less time and are looking for easy ways to keep on top of dinners, mess and life!
Saying all of this, the kitchen is an important place to start when it comes to making your home more eco-friendly. Making thoughtful decisions impacts the health of our families and the health of our planet, which is why it’s so important to be conscious about making some important changes.
Here are 15 ways to ‘Go Green’ in your kitchen, starting now!
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Be a Conscious Shopper
This means you must be aware of the packaging you are using when going to the grocery store.
1. Buy produce with no packaging, if possible. If you have the choice to buy peppers that are wrapped in plastic vs. peppers that are not, so for the package free option. The same goes for any packaging – if you can buy a product with no packaging this is best.
2. Don’t use plastic bags at the store, instead bring your own bags. You can purchase bags from your grocer and use eco-friendly mesh produce bags for your fruits and veg. These mesh bags are fantastic and also come with a swaddle sheet to keep veg fresh for longer in the fridge.
3. Buy in bulk, which is great for your wallet and the environment. Also, ask your local bulk food store about bring your own containers. As always try and go for plastic-free containers.
4. Eat less red meat. Did you know that methane gas is one of the biggest causes of pollution on our planet? Well, methane gas is gas from belching cows! Eating less red meat means there won’t be as much of a demand on reproducing more and more cows. This means reduced methane gas. It’s really a simple math equation!
By the way – ask your kids what they think the biggest polluters in the world are and they’ll be shocked about cows!
Understand food labels and when to buy organic
5. Have you heard of the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15? Organic produce can be expensive, so it’s important to understand which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residue and which have the least. As consumers, we can then decide which produce to buy.
6. If you can afford to buy organic chicken go for it, but if not try and get ‘hormone free’ and ‘humanely raised’ chicken. I read a book called Eating Animals a few years ago and I’ve never looked at chicken the same way again. This book is eye-opening to say the least, but a must read to be a conscious shopper and have a clear mind. You can pick up the book here.
7. Go to farmer’s markets. This way you are supporting local growers and not the larger food industry shipping produce from 1000 miles away. Just keep the dirty dozen and clean 15 list in mind even at the farmer’s markets. You can also ask the local growers if they use pesticides. Many farmers actually run organic farms, but they can’t call it that as it’s not officially ‘certified’.
Opt-in for Eco-friendly Food Storage
8. Who doesn’t love glass jars and containers? Well, it’s time to get rid of your plastic and replace with mason jars and glass airtight storage containers. You can also reuse glass pasta sauce jars and all other glass jars you might be thinking of disposing.
9. Get rid of all plastic straws. I’m sure you know how harmful straws are but here are some astounding statistics from Go-Green-Now.com
In the US 500 Million straws are used every day.
It takes up to 200 years for a straw to decompose.
Every year, 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine animals die from plastic ingestion.
Use Eco-friendly Cleaning Products
10. Use natural dishwashing soap and dishwasher tabs. This is important so you are not adding toxins and chemicals to your dishes. Makes sense right?!
11. Make Your own all-purpose cleaner. Here is a great DIY recipe from a blogger I love: DIY All-Purpose Cleaner.
12. Reduce paper towel use and ultimately give it up. I agree this is a hard one, however, it’s easy to replace paper towel with cloth napkins and use tea towels for your spills.
Be prepared with green ‘to-go’ options
13. Have a good quality water bottle and don’t buy plastic bottled water. This is one I try and stick to most. I have travelled a lot and all over the world I have seen beautiful beaches littered with thousands of bottles of water. Sad. Here are two of my favourite water bottles:
- S’Well Vacuum Insulated Double Wall Stainless Steel Bottle – These come in so many cool colours and patterns, but the best part is they keep hot drinks hot for 12 hours and cold drinks cold for 24.
S’ip by S’well Vacuum Insulated Double Wall Stainless Steel Water Bottle – Made by the same company as above but these bottles are a little smaller, so perfect for kids too.
14. Never, I repeat, never use plastic cutlery! Put proper steel cutlery in your kids lunch bags. If you are concerned they will lose all your cutlery, you can go for this compostable cutlery. Also, if you are ordering food delivery to eat at home, ask them not to include cutlery.
Last, but not least Recycle!
15. Understand what can be recycled and how to do it properly. Recycling may seem obvious, but I think at some point we are all doing it wrong. There are items that have the recycling symbol on them, but your city might not recycle that item, so it’s best to check your local city rules around recycling and then stick to those rules. Also, make sure that all containers are food free.
Creating a greener kitchen in your home is good for the health of you, your family and your planet. Let’s join forces, become more conscious about our actions in the kitchen and live a greener life 🙂
What do you think is the hardest thing about being eco-friendly in the kitchen?
Also, what are you working on to be greener in your kitchen and home?
Share in the comments section below…
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