Swap out wasteful disposables for durable, reusable kitchen products that are budget-friendly, eco-friendly and much nicer to use.
Picture a typical kitchen that’s set up to deal with all the food and all the mess that comes along with a crazy, busy life. There’s a drawer full of plastic wrap and baggies, a cupboard bursting with plastic containers, a pile of disposable sponges, and a roll or two of paper towels ready for action.
Not long ago, this was my kitchen. Maybe it’s yours too.
Over the years I’ve converted most of my kitchen supplies from disposable to reusable – and I like it much better that way. Here’s why:
Why Switch to Reusable?
There are 4 simple reasons I switched to reusable products in my kitchen.
- Better for the planet – Think of all the waste your kitchen produces. Then multiply that by all.the.kitchens! It’s kind of mind boggling to think about all that plastic and all that garbage. I truly believe that reducing our personal waste makes a difference.
- Saves money in the long run – Sure, you’ll spend a bit for a high quality, reusable product, but it will last for years and eliminate the recurring expense of disposables.
- Safer materials – Most disposable products are made from plastic, which can leach toxic chemicals into your food. Ummm, yuck! Glass, stainless steel and cotton are much safer materials for most kitchen items.
- Much nicer to use – Let’s face it – well made products are much more enjoyable to use than cheap disposables. Brightly colored bowl covers put a smile on my face in a way that plastic wrap could never do!
Do we still keep some plastic wrap for times of need? Yes, let’s be real! Do we still have a roll of paper towels to use for the messiest of messes (bacon grease I’m talking about you!) – of course! We’re not perfect eco-heros with a completely waste free kitchen – we’re just trying to do our best!
Favorite Reusable Kitchen Products
Are you up for experimenting with some reusable products? Here’s my advice – don’t try to do it all at once! Pick one product category to swap at a time and see how it goes. I hope you’ll love these reusable kitchen products as much as I do!
(*affiliate links ahead)
SWAP – Paper Towels for:
Reusable paper towels – Also known as Unpaper towels, these have a fun print on one side and absorbent cotton terry cloth on the other. Snap them together in a roll or fold them up in a drawer (plastic snaps will not scratch surfaces).
Microfiber kitchen towels – These super absorbent towels will make you forget paper towels even existed. Plus they dry quickly – so there’s less risk of mildew and bacteria build up.
Rags – Make your own rags out of old t-shirts, dish towels or bath towels and keep them under the kitchen sink.
SWAP – Plastic Wrap for:
Reusable bowl covers – Made with food-safe laminated cotton and stretchy elastic edges, these covers can be used to cover anything in a bowl! They are machine washable too.
Silicone bowl lids – These food-safe silicone lids create a tight seal on bowls and are both microwave and dishwasher safe.
Bee’s Wrap – Beeswax is what gives these sheets of organic cotton material its sticking power. The warmth of your hands helps you mold the wrap around food, bowls or plates. Washable and reusable over and over again.
SWAP – Cheap Sponges for:
Reusable kitchen sponge – Also known as an Unsponge, these can be tossed in the wash when dirty. Made with printed cotton, terry cloth and a filler that won’t mildew.
Nylon pot scrubbers – Made out of nylon netting and woven into a cute flower shape, these scrubbers won’t scratch and can be safely washed in the laundry or dishwasher.
Wool scouring pads – 100% virgin, undyed wool that is hand knit and felted to create a safe and effective scrubber for stainless, cast iron, glass and more.
SWAP – Plastic Bags for:
Reusable food storage bags – Made from food-safe ripstop nylon, these bags zip closed and are available in various convenient sizes. Insulated, freezer-friendly versions available as well.
Produce bags – Use these lightweight mesh bags for shopping as well as storing food at home.
Silicone storage bags – Self-sealing, air-tight bags made from safe silicone. It’s easy to see what’s in the bag + you can write on them with a dry erase marker.
Linen bread bags – Natural linen is anti-microbial and keeps crusty bread fresh much better than plastic.
Snack and sandwich bags – These washable cotton bags are popular for packed lunches but you can use them for storing food at home too.
SWAP – Single-use Straws for:
Stainless steel straws – These very durable straws are extra wide for thick smoothies. Set of 5 straws comes with a cleaning brush, which you need to have!
Glass straws – Glass straws are so nice to drink out of! Set of 4 comes with a cleaning brush.
Colored glass straws – No confusion over whose straw is whose – everyone gets their own color!
SWAP – Plastic Food Containers for:
Glass containers – What I appreciate about glass is that it’s easy to see what’s inside. Make sure lids are airtight and everything is dishwasher, freezer and microwave safe. (more glass food storage ideas here)
Round stainless containers – These smaller containers are perfect for lunches and leftovers alike! Non-toxic plastic lids are leak-proof and everything is dishwasher safe.
Stainless steel containers – Stainless steel has the advantage of being light-weight. Look for containers that are airtight and leak-proof.
Glass jars – Reuse jars from pasta sauce, nuts or other food products.
SWAP – Disposable Coffee Filters for:
Organic cotton coffee filters – These unbleached cotton coffee filters are healthier than typical bleached paper filters – plus better for the environment.
What are your favorite reusable kitchen products? Share in the comments so we all can learn from each other!
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