Between microplastics, PFAS, and all the single-use “solutions” to be found, curating a green kitchen can feel like quite the task. We’re here to help cut through the noise with our top picks for sustainable kitchenware.
When you’re choosing a material that’s holding your meals, you want it to be safe and sustainable. So ditch the plastic Tupperware and swap it for some stainless steel containers. Our pick is ECOlunchbox. Not only are they B Corp certified, but their stainless steel is medical grade. So your favorite foods are sure to stay clear of BPA and other unsafe chemicals.
That’s right- even the products we trust to clean our homes aren’t as “clean” as they seem. The properties many soaps and cleaning products are touted for (like cutting through grease and oil) are also the reason many contain PFAS, also known as Forever Chemicals.
But this is an easy switch. Hardworking, 100% natural ingredients like baking soda and lemon juice can clean just as well. Next time you need a refill, stock up on MADE SAFE certified dish soap, kitchen scrub, and cleaning sprays from Meliora.
Still using plastic wrap? There’s a zero-waste kitchen solution for that. Not only is plastic wrap single-use, it also typically harbors unsafe chemicals that you don’t want touching your food.
Enter beeswax wraps: Made from cotton fabric coated in beeswax, these wraps can be used to cover bowls or wrap food, just like plastic wrap. The beeswax coating creates a seal that keeps your food fresh and protected, minus the waste. Beeswax wraps are reusable for years and can be easily hand-washed. And we’ve seen this handy hack innovate for the better over the past few years. Now, look for beeswax rolls that can easily be cut to the size you need. And, even reusable snack bags that replace flimsy ziplock bags.
Plastic-Free Sponges and Brushes
While eco-friendly cookware is often at the top of the list for sustainable kitchen goods, we want to shed light on the clean-up. Most sponges and dish brushes are made from plastic, which sheds microplastics that can end up in your food and (almost certainly) in our water systems. Plus, studies show that traditional sponges harbor bacteria and are dirtier than the average toilet (ew). Even so-called “eco-friendly” options often use nylon bristles, lacquers, and unknown adhesives.
Send those bacteria-ridden menaces and Greenwashed “solutions” packing. It’s time to welcome a plant-based solution. These sponges, scrapers, and brushes are 100% plant-based and biodegradable. Not only will you eliminate plastic from your home, you’ll also ensure a clean, circular life cycle for your products.
Say bye to single-use straws of all kinds. Plastic straws are a menace to ocean wildlife. And even the so-called eco options pose a threat. A recent study showed that many paper straws (and even some bamboo) contain high levels of Forever Chemicals, too.
Make a switch that’s as safe as it sounds. When you add a pack of these 100% USDA Organic reusable bamboo straws to your sustainable kitchen, you’ll be covered for years to come. Not only is this swap $10 or less, you’ll have a solution that’s washable and always PFAS-Free.
Can’t function without your cup of joe? We get it. But that’s no reason to toss a plastic K cup in the trash every morning. Get your caffeine fix almost as quickly with this stainless steel, Italian coffee maker. Simply add in your grounds, a few cups of water, and let it brew through to the top, ready for your coffee mug in a few short minutes. This simple system is dishwasher-safe and a durable fix that’ll work like new, even 10 years down the road.
Want an even simpler fix? Try this Chemex pour-over set with a reusable stainless steel filter.
It seems strange to worry about plastic in your kitchen towels, doesn’t it? But that’s just what microfiber is. While these durable towels are a favorite for cleaning surfaces and drying dishes, their environmental impact is not favorable.
Ditch the plastic fiber and welcome in some upcycled content instead. MEEMA kitchen towels are uber-absorbent, attractive, and made entirely from upcycled denim and cotton.
P.S. Hate paper towel waste, but love the convenience? Try reusable Swedish dishcloths!
Cast Iron Or Carbon Steel Cookware
The dangers of traditional non-stick cookware are real. When you cook with pots and pans that have PFAS in their non-stick coatings, your food will be contaminated with chemicals that have been linked to cancer, lowered immunity, and other serious health problems.
Investing in a few trustworthy pieces of eco-friendly cookware is one of the biggest aspects of greening your kitchen. And, although many sustainable brands would have you think otherwise, these items can be found for a relatively cheap price. That’s because cast iron is one of the safest and most durable cooking materials. And cast iron pans can be found at second-hand stores for a fraction of the price.
If you’re willing to spend a bit more, carbon steel is a newer option that offers the health benefits of cast iron, minus the weight. This mid-sized pan from Made In is a tried and tested favorite.
Most of us know that certain nonstick pots and pans contain toxic chemicals. But eco-friendly cookware is often forgotten. However, plastic spatulas and spoons can also tarnish your food. Not only does this material impart an unpleasant taste, it also melts when exposed to high heat. When plastic melts, it begins to break off into small pieces. Which ends up in your dinner.
That’s why organic bamboo utensils are an essential sustainable kitchen swap. But, not all are created equal. Make sure you choose utensils that are made out of a solid piece of bamboo and finished without glues or lacquers. Not only will it keep your meals pure, but these utensils will also last for years without splintering or cracking. Well-made, organic bamboo utensils are ultra-lightweight, durable, and easy to use. This makes them the perfect product to start a sustainable home transformation!
A Compost Bin
Ready to take your zero-waste kitchen to the next level? A compost bin is one of the best ways to reduce waste and carbon emissions that your home emits. Instead of throwing your food scraps in the trash, you can compost them and turn them into nutrient-rich soil for gardening.
Composting not only reduces waste but also helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By composting your food scraps, you are diverting them from the landfill where they would produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Composting is easy and can be done in any size kitchen. In fact, many cities now offer commercial composting bins, which makes the process even more straightforward.
If you’re composting at home, simply collect your food scraps in a compost bin, add some yard waste or other organic materials, and let nature do the rest. Before you know it, you'll have rich, dark compost that can be used to nourish plants and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers.
Our kitchens are one of the places we spend most of our time in. And with a few tweaks, a sustainable kitchen is entirely achievable. So tell us, which kitchenware swap are you adding first?