Going Green in the Kitchen

Going Green in the Kitchen

Going green is something that most people think about doing but decide that it’s too complicated, too expensive, or it doesn’t work as well. I am here to tell you that none of the above is true. There are so many reasons to go green both for the health of your family and the earth.

The earth

The earth is in crisis. Global climate change is happening, the science is there to prove it, and unless we do something to fix it, we will be wiped out. So how can you take steps to help the earth in your kitchen? First and foremost is to try to conserve water. Can you imagine if you had to pay for water… like, pay what it is worth? Water is 100% the cheapest natural commodity in existence. If we had to pay the actual value of water, I know everyone would be much less inclined to use it as freely as we do now.

The earths fate in our kitchen

How does going green in the kitchen affect the earth? The most direct association comes from the creation of our kitchen products. Blame is very quickly passed to the most obvious suspects like car emissions or oil and gas. What is never talked about is the enormous demand for palm oil and how that is devastating the globe. Palm oil is in everything from shampoo to pet food to human food and cleaning products. Changing how we run our kitchens, what we use for cooking and cleaning, and looking for items that are labeled palm oil-free will help significantly.

Clean products

Below you will find the top 6 clean brands you will find in my house.

    1. Attitude is a naturally and sustainably derived company that has multiple product lines. They are EWG verified, nontoxic, and sustainably sourced and packaged.
    2. Dr. Bronner’s is another great line. This is castile soap, which is a bit different than generic soap and requires a little getting used to. This soap is heavily concentrated, so a little bit goes a long way. The same bottle of castile soap you use for dishes can be used to clean your floors, vegetables, or the family pet. It is also fair trade, nontoxic, sustainably sourced, and packaged. Not only do they follow the basic guidelines, but they are rewriting how companies process and package their goods with a reduced carbon footprint and regenerating agriculture.
    3. MamaSuds is a very recognized company and has very good reviews for its powerful formulas
    4. ECOS is a great brand for people who have skin sensitivity. They have a great scent and dye-free plant-based products. This line carries everything from household cleaners to pet shampoo.
    5. Love Home & Planet is one of my favorites. Their soap smells fantastic, and you can find it easily in Target. They are also a water and emissions conscious brand.
    6. Seventh Generation is an excellent brand that can be found in just about any store. This line uses all plant-based formulas, recycled packaging, and climate-friendly production.

To check out how your products are rated, click here.

Cost

This is the biggest argument I have with people about going green. Yes, the price tag is higher than the mainstream Tide laundry detergent, but that is not the right way to look at it. Most of us have been pre-conditioned to use too much product in general (don’t get me started on excessive use of hair products). Because of this, you see a tiny bottle of green laundry detergent next to a mammoth Tide bottle and assume you’ll get very little use out of it. Here are the facts:

  1. Green cleaners are more concentrated, so you need much less to do the same job.
  2. Mainstream cleaners are often filled with fillers that do nothing for your clothes. Some even leave them filmy, which makes you think they are still dirty.  
  3. Corporate America wants you to use an entire lid for every wash, so you have to go back and buy more frequently.
  4. In lab competitions, green cleaners always clean better than mainstream cleaners.
  5. There are several ways to save money when buying green cleaners such as auto-ship (amazon), memberships (Grove or Thrive), or bulk purchase directly from the warehouse.

If you are on the fence about whether or not you should go green, I dare you to take some time and look up each of your kitchen products on EWG and see what it says. Comment below any other favorite green kitchen products!

Single-use plastic

Plastic is the best and worst thing ever invented. It may destroy our world, but man is it convenient! What is single-use plastic? This is any item designed to be used once and thrown away, such as ziplock bags, plastic bottles, food wrappers, some food containers, and straws (to name a few). These items take anywhere from 20 years to 500 years to breakdown in the landfill.

I won’t lie this was a hard one to change. Getting used to 3-5 silicone bags and making sure that everything is compost and recycle friendly takes work. The good news is that after my initial investment, I have actually saved about $100-$200 a year by buying items I can use over and over.

Here are my favorite items:

  • Reusable bags– these silicone bags are easy to use and clean!
  • Bottles– I use mason jars for everything!
  • Food wrappers– These do take a minute to get used to but are so much better for the environment than saranwrap.
  • Straws-This pack is perfect if you are a Yeti family!
  • Glass food containers– These are hands down the best food storage containers. Glass eliminates the possibility of any chemicals leaching into your food.

Paper products  

Using less paper in the kitchen was probably the easiest change I made. Paper towels were replaced with cloth napkins and flour sack cloths for cleaning. For the paper and cardboard items, I couldn’t get away from, I found that they are actually the easiest items to recycle. If you don’t have a curbside pickup at your house, most areas have several recycle drop off centers for paper and cardboard.

Take away

My number 1 piece of advice is to start small. Start changing little things at a time so you don’t have to spend a large sum of money and you can get used to the changes. Doing it a little bit at a time will help ensure all the changes will stick. Good luck!

 

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