Your Guide For Ways To Make Your Kitchen More Green

If you are creating an eco-friendly lifestyle, a good place to start is in your kitchen. A lot of trash is created from food packaging, single-use items, and food waste. 

By making more conscious decisions when grocery shopping and organizing your kitchen, you can start to make positive changes to your carbon footprint. 

Read on to learn how to create an eco-friendly kitchen. Tips, what to buy, and how you can create a sustainable lifestyle. 

This post may contain affiliate links, which is at no cost to you. Disclosure.

7 Eco-Friendly Kitchen Tips 

Here are seven tips to have an eco-friendly kitchen:

1. Create Less Waste

Did you know that your kitchen generates the most trash than any other room in your house? Think about all the food packaging, take-out containers, and food storage waste that ends up in landfills. 

One way to cut down on unnecessary waste is to not create it in the first place. This starts at the grocery store. Take your own reusable bags, buy fresh foods that don’t use a lot of packaging. When buying packaged foods, look for reusable options such as glass. 

Also, avoid buying too much food that you end up throwing away. Food waste is…well, a waste! Only buy what you will cook and eat. 

2. Use Quality Products

When purchasing cookware, utensils and appliances, be sure to buy items that will last a long time. Avoid cheap items that will fall apart fast and end up in the landfill. 

Buying high quality items may be an investment, but it is worth every penny. Stainless steel, cast iron, bamboo, and other earth friendly materials can last for generations. Skip anything that has a limited useful life or can’t be recycled. 

3. Go Plastic-Free

Do your best to use plastic-free products when you can and always strive to be plastic-free. Skip plastic wrapped and packaged foods. Use reusable food storage containers. Ditch single use plastic baggies and containers. 

Cut down on your carbon emissions by going plastic-free in your kitchen. Here are some tips to help you find plastic-alternatives

4. Use Energy Efficiency 

When it’s time to replace appliances, opt for energy efficient. Also, look for stoves, refrigerators, and dishwashers that will last more than a decade to help save on materials and resources  from being manufactured. 

I should point out that before you buy a new appliance, be sure it can’t be repaired first. If it has bit the dust for good, look for a replacement that has an Energy Star rating. Look for simplicity and gets the job done efficiently. 

5. Recycle

When shopping for groceries or kitchenware, it can be hard to avoid packaging and waste. So, when you can, recycle. 

Know what you can and can’t recycle. Read the recycling rules for your area and make sure you don’t send anything that can’t be processed. Each city has its own specifics, so try to follow those guidelines as best you can.

Buy Recycled Items. For recycling to truly be effective, it needs to be cyclical with a movement of materials through the system. Buy recycled, recycle that item, and continue the cycle of eliminating waste and the need to extract more virgin materials. Supporting recycling means feeding this loop by not only recycling but also supporting recycled products. 

6. Buy Local and Eat Fresh

Avoid eating packaged and pre-made frozen meals as much as possible. Instead, buy and eat fresh food from the farmers market or a local grocery store. 

Here is how buying locally helps the planet:

  • It reduces food miles. By shopping locally, you are purchasing goods produced in your local community. Conversely, when you shop at the grocery store, many of the food items you buy travel over 1500 miles to reach your plate. 
  • More accessible. You don’t have to travel far to shop local. Most markets are in neighborhoods and are easily accessible by walking or biking. This helps decrease fuel consumption and carbon footprint.
  • Protects local land and wildlife.  By buying local, you are supporting local farmers and producers. Thereby reducing the chance of developers and big business producers to buy out the farm and incorporate inhumane and non-eco-friendly farming practices.
  • Low Impact Practices. Farmers selling at markets minimize the amount of waste and pollution they create. Many local farmers use certified organic practices, thereby reducing the number of synthetic pesticides and chemicals that pollute soil and water.

For more tips on how to eat local and fresh, check out How To Shop Eco-Friendly

7. Get Into Bulk

Nope, I’m not talking about huge membership warehouses with insanely big shopping carts. I am talking about bulk food that is found at health food stores are local co-ops that are sold loose in bins, with no packaging. 

It is bulk shopping that allows you to refill reusable containers and buy as much or little as you need. 

Buying food in bulk helps you reduce wasteful packaging that needs to be recycled, or worse, sent to the landfill. 

Keep some empty jars and reusable silicone baggies with your shopping bags and totes to cut down on single-use plastic bags. 

5 Rs Checklist For The Kitchen

Refuse: This is the first step to having a more eco-friendly and sustainable kitchen. Resist food packaging and disposable plastic bags. Look for options that use as little waste as possible. Buy fresh and unpacked foods when you can. 

Reduce: Declutter your kitchen and get donate whatever you don’t need. To help avoid food waste, organize your pantry with reusable jars that you can fill each week in the bulk section of your grocery store. Only by staples and what you actually need. 

Reuse: Shop for groceries with reusable containers and bags. Avoid single-use items and always opt for what can be reused. 

Recycle: Keep a recycling area in your kitchen and be sure you are updated on how to recycle right for your community. 

Rot: Compost food scraps to use in your garden or house plants. 

Putting Together An Eco-Friendly Kitchen

Here is everything you need to begin your journey towards having a zero-waste home and to be a conscious shopper:

1. Reusable Food Storage

Glass bowls or containers are a great option for food storage. This helps cut down on waste and needing to use tupperware, plastic wrap, wax paper, and other single use food storage options. 

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2. Reusable Paper Towels and Napkins

Use reusable paper towels for drying hands and dishes. As well as wrapping dry food for lunch or going to a potluck. 

Buy reusable and washable napkins and paper towels to cut down on paper waste. They are versatile, easy to clean, and last a long time.  

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3. Small Appliances 

Pressure cookers, slow cookers, and solar ovens all reduce cooking time and are more efficient. Only keep what you will use and that helps you have an eco-friendly kitchen. 

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4. Glass Jars

Glass can last for years and years and years. They are versatile and come in all sizes and shapes. They can be used for dry food storage, freezing and storing liquids, for keeping leftovers and holding to-go lunches. 

You can usually find them easily at second-hand stores, flea markets, or online. 

The jars I recommend: 

  • 500ml can be used for condiments, olives, peanut butter, honey, tea, chocolate chips, nuts and seeds. 
  • 1L can be used to store leftovers in the fridge. It cuts down on the need for plastic wrap, wax paper, aluminum foil, and plastic tupperware. 
  • 3L can be used to store flour, sugar, pasta, grains, and other pantry staples. 

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5. Utensils and Cookware. 

Using utensils and cookware that are made from sustainable materials is always best when you are in need of new items. Also, look for items that will last a long time. 

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6. Compost

A quarter of kitchen waste is compostable. Keep an aesthetically pleasing compost bin within reach where you can compost food scraps and other compostables to use as mulch in your garden or to feed your house plants. 

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7. Recycling Center 

Create a recycling area in your kitchen to sort recyclables. If you aren’t dedicated to a completely zero waste lifestyle, you will most likely still have some waste in your kitchen. Recycle what you can to have a more eco-friendly kitchen. 

Click below to find on Amazon (affiliate) and add to your cart.

16 Gallon Dual Step Trash Can & Recycle Bin, Stainless Steel

Conclusion For Creating A Low Waste Kitchen 

By following these tips you can cut down on your carbon emissions and have an eco-friendly kitchen. Every step you take to cut down on waste helps you improve your carbon footprint. 

If you are looking for other ways to reduce waste, go to my ultimate list of eco products must-haves

Follow These Tips To Have A Sustainable Kitchen

What do you do to have an eco-friendly kitchen? Share in the comments so we can get ideas from each other. 

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