If you’re like most people, the desire to make healthier eating decisions has probably crossed your mind from time to time. Improving your diet can be a difficult goal, but once you’ve found your groove, you might start to wonder about the next steps you can take to continue creating a healthier kitchen.
What better place to start than by modifying the way you shop for your food and prepare it? We’ve got the tools you need to help make grocery shopping, prepping your food, and cooking a little more eco-friendly.
How you shop for food can be as important as the food you buy. When picking out fresh fruits and vegetables, reaching for a plastic bag to hold that produce is pretty much second nature. Those who make the effort to shop locally at farmers markets may also find that their haul is pretty difficult to carry around if they’re not prepared. Skip the plastic waste—and make carrying your groceries a little easier—with these sustainable shopping tools.
Whether you typically shop at an outdoor market or in your local grocery store, keep those pesky plastic bags where they belong and bring your own reusable bags. This kit is a great starter pack that contains both a tote-style bag and an over-the-shoulder mesh bag.
If you buy fresh produce often, you’ll find that these mesh bags will help you cut down on plastic waste. They’re designed so that they won’t affect the weight of your produce when it comes time to check out, and since they’re see-through you can leave your items in the bag!
Whether it’s because you don’t live super close to the store or you just have multiple stops to make, there are times when you’ll need to keep your cold items chilled. Prevent your food and your money from going to waste with an insulated bag that’ll keep your items cold during the journey home. They can even be used for hot items, since they come in a set of two.
Creating a more sustainable kitchen doesn’t end with the food you purchase. Believe it or not, you can make greener choices even when it comes to the items you use to prep your food, from cutting boards to pans.
Washing your fresh produce is one of the first things you need to do before eating it, and it’s important to find an option that you’re okay with ultimately putting in your body. This fruit and veggie wash from ECOS will get wax and dirt off your produce—and it’s biodegradable, plant based, and completely natural too. Spray it directly on your produce and wipe away, or add some to a bowl full of water to let your produce soak. For things like potatoes or apples, you can also use this ergonomic scrub brush to really get the grime off.
Have a backyard garden? Don’t throw those banana peels and carrot skins away—get a countertop composting bin to help your backyard produce thrive. It’s the perfect size to leave out without taking up too much counter space, and it’s also designed with a charcoal filter to keep odors trapped inside. If composting isn’t your thing, you can always give these biodegradable trash bags a shot to help reduce your plastic waste.
Every kitchen needs a cutting board, and most people reach for one that’s—you guessed it—plastic. If you’re looking to upgrade in both appearance and material, opt for this organic bamboo board. It’s more Earth-friendly than plastic, and it’s made from beautiful organic bamboo that’s both strong and durable. You can also try this rice husk cutting board, which is both super durable and biodegradable.
Teflon pans might work well for making sure your food doesn’t stick while cooking, but there are concerns about its safety. Fortunately, though, there are great non-stick pans coated with toxin-free ceramic that provide all the same benefits of your standard Teflon-coated pans. This is also great news for those who’re trying to cook with less fat, as you won’t have to add as much oil or butter to keep your food moving during cooking.
Once you’ve prepped your meals for the upcoming week, the biggest challenge is making sure your food doesn’t go bad before you get to eat it. Create less waste and make sure you’re eating your money’s worth by storing your food properly in one of these reusable, eco-friendly options.
When it comes to storage containers, glass is the way to go. Yes, it’s a little more expensive than the usual plastic containers, but glass can also be more durable and doesn’t run the risk of leaching chemicals into food. This Pyrex set comes in a variety of different shapes and sizes, perfect for packing snacks and meals alike—you can also reheat your food in them without worrying about melting plastic.
Most of us throw away plastic sandwich and snack bags without thinking about how much money we’re throwing away along with them. These reusable Stasher bags are made from a more durable silicone material. They’re thick and sturdy and can be used over and over so you’ll save money and produce less plastic waste.
Plastic wrap is another kitchen item that we use and discard, roll after roll, without a second thought. Make a more sustainable choice with cloth wraps coated in beeswax. When you use your hands to warm the wraps slightly, the beeswax becomes soft enough to mold around a container or piece of food and then cools to create a water- and air-tight seal. The wraps can be used for up to a year, at which point they can be composted.
You can also try these stretchy silicone lids, which will cover containers up to 10 inches wide, protecting your food without generating waste.