You’re doing your part to help create a more sustainable future with your energy and lifestyle choices, now what about your kitchen? The cool thing about sustainable home gear is that it can make your life easier, too. From their usefulness as adaptive tools to reusability, here are our top pick for the five sustainable kitchen gadgets you need to make 2023 a cleaner, easier year at home
Reusable food bags
These days, you can get plastic alternatives in a whole range of materials to make reusable bags one of the most convenient kitchen gadgets out there. Some come in silicone and look just like a Ziploc bag, some are mesh for buying produce (if you bring your own reusable grocery bags to the store, don’t forget produce bags, too).
You can also find cloth zipper bags with waterproof lining or biodegradable plastic bags. The options for reusable food bags are extensive in 2023, so we hope you find the perfect reusable bags for your kitchen this year.
Biodegradable single use plastics
Styrofoam is toxic and so is most single-use plastic. What can you use for tasks around the kitchen like storing leftovers or taking disposable silverware for a bag lunch? Biodegradable plastics are now easily found in your grocery store or online, and they work exactly the same as single-use throwaway plastics. The difference? Most plastic products won’t degrade in landfills for 11 generations.
Yes, really: think about how much plastic is piling up since the invention of the substance, which is more recent than 11 generations ago, which means that ALL the plastic ever made that hasn’t been designed to be biodegradable is still sitting there. Or floating in the ocean.
Biodegradable plastic tools can range from kids silverware to picnic paper plates. Much of it is made of corn-based bioplastic at the moment, but every day there is a new material to source bioplastics from, so check labels and don’t feel guilty about throwing away plastics anymore. They will work as long as you need them to, and when you throw them out they break down within about a month. Some you can even compost at home.
Speaking of compost, you can throw a combination of kitchen veggie scraps (no animal fats or it will turn rancid) and yard leaves in a pile in your back yard or in a compost bin and make your own garden soil. Composting can be tricky in small spaces, but if you live in an apartment, your city might pick up compost separately.
Ask your city or trash pickup service what is available in your area. And if you can’t get compost pickup, that’s just as well if you have the space. Because compost is gardening gold, and it’s completely free if you make it out of half and half raked leaves or grass clippings and kitchen veggie scraps. Happy gardening!
Don’t want to spend a bunch of money? Just use a Tupperware container on your kitchen counter to collect scraps and then throw them on the pile out back. If it attracts bugs or molds, just add more dry leaves to keep the pile from getting too wet, and turn it over occasionally to encourage the scraps to turn to a rich dark soil. OXO also makes a kitchen compost bin that’s fairly compact if you want to close in the stink and keep away fruit flies.
Low-energy cooking appliances
If you want to save energy in your home, low-energy consumption kitchen appliances are a great place to start. Most refrigerators and ovens are much more sustainable and energy efficient than a few years ago, and you can stock up on small appliances if you don’t have space: an InstantPot can cook a meal in just a few minutes, saving you tons of energy on cooking and cleaning dishes.
Look for third-party certified labels on how efficient or sustainable your kitchen appliance is, and ask salespeople in appliance stores for help. You might be surprised how much energy your old refrigerator is drawing.
You know how in a power outage it takes a lot of battery power to keep the fridge running with a generator or battery? That’s because your old fridge is a Miyazaki No Face monster that gobbles up all available electricity and sets you up with a high electricity bill. Your next stove could also switch from gas to electric, which reduces emissions and saves energy.
Sustainable dish soap
You don’t need to sacrifice convenience for sustainability in the kitchen: sustainable biodegradable non-toxic dish soaps are here. And did you know dish soap can be used to clean windows, counters, bathtubs and much more? It’s a fantastic basic soap to have in the kitchen for all surfaces.
Brands like 7th Generation are a great place to start. Keep an eye on the labels for greenwashing, as many companies claiming to create sustainable soaps are only removing one harmful ingredient, but retain a base full of ingredients that are suspected carcinogens or environmental pollutants.
Sustainable soap ingredient lists look like a basic saponified oil, maybe a few other ingredients to stabilize the soap or give it a natural scent, and some moisturizers for your skin. That’s about all you want to see.
What’s your favorite kitchen gadget?
Have other ideas to add? There are so many other sustainable kitchen gadgets out there we don’t have space to cover. Leave your favorites in the comments. From reusable food covers to reusable paper towel rolls, there are many ways to make your kitchen convenient, healthy and sustainable.
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