Sustainability is a broad topic that can cover every part of our lives. To me, the kitchen is a place that can easily be a source of more waste than any other part of the house. Food waste, disposable containers, and plastic bags slowly add to the environmental problem.
While I don’t have a perfectly sustainable kitchen, I am slowly swapping out products where I can. Like most people, we can only spend so much of our budget on a sustainable lifestyle. The most important thing about sustainability is that we are never perfect- only continuously striving toward a better life, a better home, and a better world.
Here are some of the tips I have amassed after working to have a sustainable kitchen for the past couple of years.
- Buy products in cans or glass jars when you can. You can then recycle the cans and reuse the glass jars! My husband and I like to buy Classico pizza and pasta sauce because the full size jars fit the regular size Ball lids. We happen to have plenty of lids at our house because I can what we can get from the Farmer’s market. I love to reuse jars for keeping bone broth or sauces or even planting something in them!
- Use dish towels and dish rags over paper towels. Most spills can easily be soaked up with a dish towel and then wiped down with the dish rag. If you have a spill that you consider grosser than most, have a basket of rags in the kitchen so you don’t ruin your cute dish towels. We were able to find reusable paper towels (pictured) at an Asian store and they have been fun to use in place of disposable ones.
- Thrift! There are so many great things you can find at the thrift store. I have found a new pizza stone, a big cookie scooper, and plenty of great containers (like in the picture) at our local thrift store. It’s a great feeling buying something for cheap and knowing it is still good quality. (Of course there are not-so-great things at thrift stores, but the search is part of the experience!) Supporting your local thrift store also helps the community- my favorite thrift store is a non-profit that donates everything to organizations that support the family and protect people against abuse. I would recommend a quick google search to find what’s local!
- Go to your farmer’s market. Not only is it a great experience, but you can support your community and buy delicious, high-quality products. During the summer months, we try to buy all of our produce at the farmer’s market. I also like buying honey, flowers, and products at the farmer’s market. Since we don’t have a garden or space to make one, the farmer’s market is the next best thing for us.
- Use reusable containers when possible. We love our snapware and jars. They don’t leak and are perfect to stack together. Our reusable bags are great for quick snacks and sandwiches. We also use paper bags and Lunchskins for packing lunches. They are recyclable and easy to use for lunches on the go when a container won’t work.
And there you go! Five of my tips for a more sustainable kitchen. If you have anything to add, please let me know! I hope these tips help you on your journey to a more sustainable life.