The kitchen provides a lot of opportunities for going green. You can replace old appliances with newer, energy-efficient models and learn to cook in ways that don’t use as much energy. Another way you can go green is to cut out certain items for your daily regimen. Here are some the things you can remove from the kitchen to be a little more environmentally friendly, as well as some recommended green replacements.
Replace Paper Towels With Reusable Options
For many households, paper towels in the kitchen are as much a necessity as a refrigerator. If you think about it, though, paper towels are a huge waste of resources. You use a handful of them one time and then toss them out. The good news is that they’re biodegradable, but it also takes a large number of natural resources to make them. Some estimates suggest that as many as 51,000 trees are cut down each day to supply the world’s paper towel usage. Instead of paper towels, try using dish rags or napkins and wash them after usage. Sure, it requires additional labor to wash them, but it’s a small price to pay when you think of the resources you’re preserving.
Replace Ziploc Bags With Reusable Containers
Replace Ziploc bags with jars and lids, or zippered cloth bags. You can buy food-grade steel containers for packed lunches and store leftovers in washable containers.
Replace Plastic Wrap With Foil
Plastic wrap is a big waste of resources. You can just as easily cover food with aluminum foil when placing in the freezer or refrigerator, and if you’re only going to need to cover food for a short amount of time, you can simply cover the food with another plate or bowl.
Replace Paper Napkins With Reusable Options
You can just as easily use cheap, cloth napkins and ditch disposable paper napkins. The benefit is the same as ditching paper towels—it saves trees.
Stop Using Sponges
Kitchen sponges don’t necessarily put the kind of pressure on natural resources as paper towels do, but they are notoriously gross. Studies have shown that as much as 82 billion bacteria can hang out on a single square inch of a kitchen sponge, so consider replacing those with a simple washcloth or steel scrub pad. Avoid burning food when cooking and you shouldn’t have any issues cleaning up your pots and pans.