The kitchen is the heart of the home. This space is a great place to start your Eco kitchen journey by swapping out your conventional ways and by replacing them with Eco-friendly alternatives.
Reducing your carbon footprint is not as complex as we think. A great way to start your eco kitchen journey is by making simple swaps and changing the way you function in your kitchen.
Simple swaps like changing the products you use, the appliances, and eating less meat can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
The more environmentally friendly your kitchen is, the more it benefits your family and our planet.
Given that the kitchen is a major activity hub, it’s fitting to start with the kitchen for the start of your Eco-home journey. You don’t need to be an Eco-warrior to make a greener Eco kitchen, so start with these great tips:
Creating an Eco Kitchen doesn't have to be expensive
With the current climate crisis, it's important to do our bit to help the planet. If given the choice to recycle a plastic bottle for example, most people would opt to recycle rather than throw it away. A lot of us have an intuitive nature to want to help the planet in any little way we can.
There tends to be a perception that being Eco-friendly is expensive and creating an Eco kitchen will require you to invest in fancy appliances and products. This really isn't the case, usually sustainable products last a lot longer and you get true value for money. Creating an Eco kitchen using simple hacks can save you money in the long run.
We often think that sustainable items are expensive because we probably associate it with something that's handmade using the finest natural non-toxic ingredients.
Yes, this can be true, but there are also a lot of products that are coming out with so many affordable sustainable products. Plus there is so much information online where you don't need to buy products to have an Eco kitchen. Making Eco-conscious choices with our function in our kitchen makes a lot of difference.
1. Use kitchen napkins instead of kitchen towels
Did you know that paper kitchen roll is not actually recyclable? Many people seem to confuse this with the fact that it is made of paper therefore it can be recycled but unfortunately not.
This is mostly due to the fact that the kitchen roll is normally used to clean up water, oils or food. So once it's contaminated it can't be recycled, unfortunately.
Also, it is assumed that because it's made of paper it's more eco-friendly, but in fact, a lot has gone into producing that kitchen towel.
From the cutting down of trees, the factories that use fossil fuels to produce it, and also the use of a large amount of chemicals and bleach used for the product.
Kitchen roll contributes to waste that could end up in landfill. Even though it will decompose, it will release carbon, adding to the greenhouse gas emissions.
The use of kitchen roll is not all doom and gloom. Kitchen rolls are great for composting but then again, it has to not be contained with anything like oils or foods as it can disrupt the bacteria in your soil and also attract vermin.
A great eco-friendly alternative is to switch to cloth kitchen towels. These can be reused over and over and when it's dirty just hand wash them or put them in the washing machine. These are also a great way to reduce our kitchen waste and also they come in some amazing colors and designs.
2. Switch to bar soap and brush.
Many washing-up liquids that are popular supermarket brands contain a lot of toxic and harmful chemicals that flood our drains and disturb aquatic life.
Some washing-up liquids contain water and unnecessary transportation of water increases their carbon footprint. Some use palm oil as an ingredient which is harmful to our environment. And can contribute to deforestation if it isn't sustainability produced.
As well as the contents of the product, washing up liquid is reliant on plastic bottle packaging. Many people believe that all plastics are recyclable, but you will be surprised that not all of it is. There is even no guarantee the bottle will actually be recycled and will not end up in a landfill contributing to even more waste. In some cases, a lot of our plastic waste gets shipped to other countries, particularly in the global south.
Switch out your washing-up liquid for bar soap. Bar washing soap tends to have a lot less toxic ingredients than what you find on the shelves. They are palm oil free and come in plastic-free packaging. They also last for a very long time.
3. Get a water filter in instead of bottled water.
It’s time to switch up how we drink water and invest in a water filter. The use of single-use plastic on the environment is devastating. A lot of bottled and sachet water uses plastics that contain BPA which has been linked to illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and brain development in children.
Plastic pollution is a huge issue globally and in most cases, it’s non-biodegradable. These single use plastics end up in our landfill. Plastic left in landfills also releases harmful toxins, therefore contributing to increasing our carbon footprint. Plastics can also deteriorate water supplies and marine life, destroying entire species as more bottles and sachets are dumped in the ocean.
Today eco-friendly water filter systems are made from glass or other safe eco materials. So the product itself, when you are done with it, all the components of the filter are fully recyclable. Many of the water filters are also refillable, saving you money and also the planet.
4. Go to a farmers market shop local.
Buying produce from your local farmers market can offer a range of sustainability benefits. Instead of buying your fruit and veg from your supermarket a great alternative is to shop and support the local farmer.
Supermarket produce is normally shipped or transported, packaged and placed in a supermarket with overheads. Why not buy directly from the farmer to cut out all that unnecessary carbon footprint.
Farmers markets offer the opportunity to buy fruit or veg that is in season. As well as fruit and veg you can get other things like eggs, jams, honey and other things.
Farmers markets are important as they promote sustainable agriculture. Sustainable agriculture is a type of agriculture that is environmentally friendly and focuses on long-term sustainability. This means using practices that protect the environment, such as reducing pesticide use, promoting biodiversity, and using renewable energy sources.
When you buy from a farmers market, you help to support the farmer by continuing sustainable farming. Sustainable farming is crucial for the future of our planet.
5. Don't use plastic bags, invest in trolley dividers.
I don't know about you but when I pop to the supermarket I always leave my bag for life at home. Bags for life are available at all supermarkets but still, it uses plastic. How many bags for life do you have in your kitchen, I bet you have loads.
As an alternative these trolley bags are amazing. Plastic-free alternative, They also help with the organization of my shopping and they look great. These are great in supermarkets where you can scan as you shop and also get ahead of those quick checkout staff ( cough, cough, ALDI).
6. Cut down your red meat consumption
Did you know that the majority of meat that is bought in supermarkets is produced in industrial factory farms? These farms are all part of a destructive system of mass-produced dairy and meat. The industrial meat industry requires a huge amount of land for grazing and energy to keep the factories running. Forests in South America are being deliberately burned down for the production of feed. This animal feed for industrial farming factories is crucial to keep animals fed.
It's all a vicious cycle. The more animals we eat the more land required for grazing that gets destroyed. I'm not saying cut out meat completely, but if we could just eat more plant-based foods it would make a huge difference to our planet. Globally livestock emissions are around 14% of all man-made greenhouse gasses including methane.
7. Switch from oven to air fryer
Switching from an oven to an air fryer requires half the energy that you would use if you were to use an oven. Not only is an air fryer energy efficient, but it's also a cost-saving appliance, especially in this cost of living crisis.
Air fryers also cooks your food way faster than they do in a conventional oven. You can also cook some delicious recipes in an air fryer.
8. Make your own kitchen cleaner
A lot of kitchen cleaners on supermarket shelves contain harmful chemicals and toxins. Why not make your own kitchen cleaner with all-natural ingredients that you can probably find in your kitchen cupboard. White vinegar, grapefruit, and essential oils are a great base for any cleaner for your kitchen. The best thing about making your own cleaner is that you know exactly what ingredients are in there. It saves you money and also you can reuse the same bottle reducing your waste.
9. Make sure you recycle properly. Not everything is recyclable
Make sure you know what is recyclable and what isn't. Sometimes we assume that all packaging can be recycled.
It’s important to read the back of your packaging, which gives you information as to what components of the packaging can be recycled and what cannot. In a lot of cases, you may find that some parts of packaging are not recyclable. For example, a bottle cap may not be recyclable but the bottle can be recycled.
10. Kitchen composting
Get into composting. This is a great way to reduce your food waste and use a great fertilizer to grow crops in our garden. You can even grow a small kitchen veg or herb garden. There are great small composting bins that can even sit on top of your kitchen counter if you don't have an outdoor space. Do be mindful that electronic compost bins kind of defeat the purpose of a sustainable product.
11. Switch to glass storage
Switch your plastic container to a glass container. Glass containers are 100% recyclable and can be used over and over again. Even if they break they can continue to be recycled and used for something else. You can get a glass container that can be used for multiple purposes.
Some glass containers give you the ability to store food in the fridge, freezer and even cook with it in the oven. As well as glass containers being multipurpose, they also add a great aesthetic to any kitchen when storing dried produce.
12. Buy organic
Organic produce has so many health benefits that conventional fruit and veg that you find in the supermarket don't offer.
Organic produce is nutrient-rich, tastes better, and supports a healthier lifestyle. As well as these benefits for the body buying organic also helps with having a better planet.
Non-organic food is plagued with pesticides, so it kills everything around it but the crop itself. This isn't good for the overall health of the soil and also for biodiversity.
13. Buy in bulk and refill If you can afford it.
Bulk buying saves you trips to the market. Buying in bulk helps to reduce your packaging and food waste. Buying in bulk removes the need for unnecessary packaging and single-use plastic, so you’re only buying the food, and not the extra packaging. By making the switch to buying in bulk, you will make a drastic impact on your weekly household waste. Plus, it will encourage you to be more mindful about what you buy as a consumer.
Creating an eco-friendly kitchen doesn't have to be expensive or overwhelming. By making simple swaps and changes in our daily kitchen routines, we can make a significant impact on reducing our carbon footprint and helping the planet. By incorporating these eco-friendly tips into our kitchen habits, we not only benefit our own families but also contribute to a healthier and more sustainable planet for future generations. Let's start creating our eco kitchen today and be a part of the positive change toward a greener future.