9 easy swaps for a more eco-friendly kitchen

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When it comes to doing swaps to create a more sustainable home, it makes sense to start in the kitchen. Grocery stores, grocery prep, and cooking offer many small ways to be more environmentally conscious about whether to try to reduce the amount of junk you produce, minimize food waste across the supply chain, or use less energy in your cooking habits. Here are nine points that can help you meet your green goals.

1. Misfits Market

Misfits Market boxes contain products with minor defects that would otherwise be wasted.

You may have heard how much food is thrown away before it even hits grocery stores – Misfits Market is doing its part to reduce that waste. They sell products (and other groceries) that have been rejected from grocery stores for visual reasons: they are a little misshapen or otherwise considered not good enough for traditional retail.

Misfits Market allows you to build your own box and have them delivered to your home, all for a significantly cheaper price than the supermarket. We loved this service when we tested it because it made us want to get creative in the kitchen.

Try Misfits Market from $ 22 a box

2. Compost bin

The stainless steel Epica compost bin is the best inner bin we have tested.

Composting is a great way to get food waste out of the garbage cycle. Many cities have companies that will collect your compost weekly or bi-weekly at an extremely affordable price. If you have an outside area, you can also set up your own composting system.

Either way, you need some kind of compost bin to live in your kitchen. The best indoor compost bin that we tested is the 1.3 gallon stainless steel Epica compost bin. We love it because it’s easy to clean, it’s durable, and doesn’t let out the odors often associated with compost.

Get the Epica 1.3 gallon stainless steel compost bin on Amazon for $ 21.95

3. Plastic-free sponges

Old biodegradable sponges can be tossed in the compost when it is time for new ones.

The average sponge is made mostly of plastic, but there are tons of biodegradable alternatives out there, including the actual sea sponge. A good option are these McDils Natural Scrubber sponges made from cotton fiber, coconut shells, wood pulp, and vegetable cellulose. Plus, they can go straight into your compost bin when they’re past their prime.

Get the 8-pack of McDils Natural Scrubber Sponges on Amazon for $ 12.99

4. Reusable tea towels

Simple tea towels like these can make your kitchen greener.

If your only tea towels are the cute kind you hesitate to use for anything other than drying clean dishes, it’s time to rethink your strategy. A dozen or so affordable cloth tea towels can eliminate 90% of your paper towel usage without breaking the bank.

Here’s a tip to keep them clean: keep a bucket filled with a mixture of OxiClean and water under your sink or in a kitchen cabinet and throw the towels in when they’re dirty. When you’re ready to wash, just toss the whole bucket in your washing machine.

Get the 15 pack of Zeppoli Classic Kitchen Towels on Amazon for $ 19.99

5. Biodegradable dishwashing detergent

Choose between odorless or fresh lemon flavor for your Dropps Dishwasher Detergent.

Dishwashers, especially newer ones, are often more water efficient than washing hands (which is good news for those of us who refuse to wash dishes). Many dishwashing detergents, especially the bowls, contain microplastics that pollute waterways. When you switch to a sustainable detergent like Dropps, you’ll feel even better about running your dishwasher as often as necessary.

Get the 64 count from Dropps Dishwasher Detergent for $ 25

6. Detergent concentrate

Etee has the option to log in so that you can automatically refill your detergent.

If you’re already buying your detergent in bulk and pouring it into a glass or metal squirt bottle, you are well on your way. Increase the price by reducing the packaging even further: Etee packs its detergent concentrate in sustainable beeswax trays. All you have to do is add water.

Get Etee Unscented Liquid Dish Soap Concentrate for $ 19

7. Pressure cookers

The Instant Pot Ultra is our favorite pressure cooker overall.

Pressure cookers – often simply called Instant Pots thanks to the popular brand – use pressure steam to cook quickly. This device is very energy efficient and often uses less water than traditional cooking methods for things like beans, noodles and chicken broth. The best pressure cooker we’ve tested is the Instant Pot Ultra, which we love because it’s intuitive, easy to clean, and perfectly prepared.

Get the Instant Pot Ultra on Amazon for $ 139.99

8. Toaster

The Breville Smart Oven Pro is the best toaster we tested.

If you’re only cooking for one or two people, using a toaster can be more energy efficient than using a large oven because its small size means it heats up much faster. The Breville Smart Oven Pro is the best toaster we tested because it is convection capable, has a slim LCD screen, and cooks food super evenly.

Get the Breville Smart Oven Pro on Amazon for $ 279.99

9. Silicone food bags

Silicone bags are becoming increasingly popular with sous vide connoisseurs.

Disposable plastic bags are incredibly useful, which is why we recommend swapping out these sturdy, dishwasher and microwave safe, non-toxic silicone bags from Stasher. If you’re a fan of Sous Vide, Anova, a brand we love, recently partnered with Stasher to bring out silicone sous vide bags for a greener cooking experience.

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