If you are anything like me, I know without a doubt I can be doing A LOT more to reduce waste in our home, in particular plastic waste. But, also the use of chemicals in our home. I will share some tips on that later this week, but today it is all about Eco Friendly ideas for reducing the amount of trash we take to the curb every week!
A few weeks ago one of many wind storms whipped through our area. In our travels through the area one day, we drove past our local landfill site and what I saw made me sick. There were thousands of plastic grocery bags, produce bags, milk bags that had escaped the landfill and were stuck up against the fences and in ditches and trees that bordered the area. I have never seen anything like it. I wish had taken a picture. And, this was a day or two after the storm. I can imagine many more blew even further away int
We have a good recycling program in our area, but clearly it is not as effective as I thought.
I got to thinking how I could really make a difference making a better effort to go green in our own kitchen. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I have many reusable grocery bags, but more often than not I would forget them at home and have to resort to paying 5 cents per bag at the grocery store. Not to mention all the plastic produce bags we were using since we have been eating more plant based meals.
Each week I would be stuffing a lot of plastic and money into our recycling bins! It was time to take action.
Going Green In The Kitchen – 5 Eco Friendly Ideas
The first thing I did, which didn’t cost me anything was to move our reusable shopping bags from the closet to the car. Now, each time we bring the groceries in and unpack them, the bags go immediately back to the car.
If you don’t already have reusable grocery bags, most stores sell them for around a dollar and it is easy to pick up a few each shopping trip until you have about a dozen or so.
I think this is one of my favorite Eco Friendly ideas! For the small investment made it has become a real work horse when it comes to and cost saving!
I am not a coffee drinker by far, but my husband is. Each shopping trip we would be spending a small fortune on disposable coffee pods. While a few of his favorites came in compostable pods, most did not. In fact, most were not even recyclable and ended up in the landfill. To be honest after seeing all those bags blowing around that had been put out for recycling I was beginning to wonder how much of our recyclables actually made it to through the process!
I really didn’t want the expense of a regular coffee maker, nor did I have the counter space to spare! After doing a bit of research I bought a french press for under $20, and a couple of bags of gourmet coffee beans from the bulk store.
We purchased this 8 cup Bodum French press, which is an extra cost saver, because I can brew enough to full a thermos for Tim to take to work too! No more stopping at the coffee shop every day! Extra cost and waste saver!
We have been brewing this way for several months now and he couldn’t be happier with the taste and quality of his morning cup of coffee! I couldn’t be happier with all the money I am saving and the reduction in garbage going to the curb.
Bonus benefits of a French coffee press
- I have also used it to brew loose leaf tea
- Coffee grounds and tea leaves are composted in the garden
- All the parts are dishwasher safe for easy thorough cleaning
Ditching the plastic food containers and replacing them with glass. We should have done this years ago! Not only are the more Eco Friendly and safer than plastic food storage, but they also replace all the zipper food storage bags we used to use.
Perfect for leftovers and packing lunches, I have this 18 piece starter kit of Glasslock containers. They come with sealing/locking BPA free plastic lids This starter pack has a multitude of sizes. These oven safe containers go from the fridge to the oven which eliminates the need for extra dishes to wash! That is a win right there!! Since we are a family of adults, I also use them for packing a waste free lunch. If you have younger children, this stainless steel Bento box is a great choice for a safe waste free lunch!
Another inexpensive glass food storage idea is good old Mason or Weck jars! We have them in 3 sizes. Little ones for packing salad dressing in lunches, regular sized for making and storing salad dressings, soups, and other liquids that need to be refrigerated, as well as large 64 ounce size for storing dry beans and lentils and other pantry items. You can often find a case of jars on sale during the summer canning season. In fact, I have even used them for canning our dilled green beans!
Nothing makes me cringe more than the plastic produce bags that were filling my shopping cart each week. Our local farmers markets even resorted to using them for produce. Each week we were probably stuffing 10 of them into the recycling bin. I tried hard not to use them for things the larger items such as cauliflower, bananas and such, but with all the smaller produce they were unavoidable.
Later this week I will be showing you a quick tutorial on how to make your own washable, re-usable produce bags, but if DIY isn’t your thing, this set of 100% organic cotton, breathable, washable drawstring bags should do the trick!
I haven’t tried this eco friendly product yet, but I cannot wait until my order arrives! I have read great reviews and I am looking forward to testing it out for myself! What is it that I am talking about you ask?
Bees Wrap! If you haven’t heard of it yet, Bees Wrap is made of organic cotton and sustainable harvested bees wax. While I think it is a little spendy at close to $20 for three sheets, it can be hand washed and dried and will last up to a year. It eliminates the need for plastic wrap, plastic sandwich bags, tin foil and wax paper.
While we still have a way to go, and don’t anticipate we will ever be able to be completely trashless, I have already seen a reduction in what we are putting out for both garbage and recycling, while we are now filling 2 composting bins with organic materials that go to our regions composting facility and not the landfill.
I truly believe that every little bit helps! It is better to start small than to not start at all. With more and more retailers (and even countries) banning the use of plastic bags it makes me happy to do my part in keeping our eco system healthy!
I am always keen to learn to ideas to reduce waste and would love for you to share your best Eco Friendly ideas in the comments!
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Until next time…..