18 Sep Products for an Eco-Minimalist Kitchen
As we all make an effort to become more conscious in our daily lives, I’ve decided to minimize when it comes to what I actually need in my kitchen. My goal to take a kitchen cluttered with excess and turn it into an eco-minimalist dream: from committing a year to not buying any new gadgets, to cutting out impulse purchases at the grocery store…I’m trying to rethink what I actually need in my kitchen and what I can do without. I LOVE to cook, but I’ve been finding that all of the must-have stuff and knick-knacks were getting in the way of my zero-waste goals. I’ve compiled a list to help you let go of what you don’t need and embrace some new ideas for an eco-minimalist kitchen.
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1) Beeswax Wraps– Bee’s Wraps are the perfect alternative to harmful plastic wrap. Bee’s Wrap sustainable food storage was founded in 2012 by Sarah Kaeck. Her goal was to eliminate plastics in the kitchen “in favor of a healthier, more sustainable way to store our food”. The solution…infusing organic cotton with beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin to make a reusable, compostable alternative to plastic wrap. All fabric and printing is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard and the beeswax is sourced from sustainably managed hives in the USA. These awesome wraps come in a variety of sizes and they have partnered with National Geographic to launch their explorer line, perfect for those on the go!
2) Homemade Zero Waste Dish Soap– Making your own dish soap is easy and is so much better for the environment than most of the alternatives out there. This soap only contains 3 ingredients and is incredibly easy to make! Get a large bottle of Castille Soap (I like Dr. Bronner’s Pepermint Soap) and I buy the biggest bottle to lessen my environmental footprint.
Mix into a glass dispenser:
1/3 cup Castille Soap
1-2 tablespoons of Baking Soda
1.5 cup water (to fill your dispenser)
Helpful hint: add more baking soda to your pans to scrub off any hard to remove food.
I love putting soap into these amber bottles from Starside to keep your kitchen looking pretty and your soap smelling fresh.
3) Reusable Washcloths, Napkins and Towels– forgo the traditional paper towels and sponges and try some reusable washcloths and towels. It’s easy to make your own from discarded clothes and old towels. However, if don’t have the time, try some pre-made reusable towels. They make a cool addition to any minimalist kitchen and do away with waste. I love Bamboee Reusable Towels made from sustainably sourced bamboo.
4) Glass Jars for canning, storing, freezing. Get rid of those harmful plastic storage containers and try glass instead. Weck Jars come in a variety of sizes (there is even an assortment pack) for multiple needs. Weck even has a Juice Jar combo pack for your homemade cold-pressed juices and nut milks. You’ll never need to buy plastic storage containers again.
5) Get a Cast Iron Skillet. I can’t say enough about my Le Creuset Cast Iron Skillet. Traditional non-stick pans release a plethora of toxic gases into the air and into your food when they are heated too high or begin to break down over the years. Cast Iron Skillets are versatile, non-coated with harmful chemicals and can be used for almost any type of cooking. Use them to cook anything on top of the stove to inside high heat ovens. Trust me, they are much healthier for you and your food than the alternative. From making quiches to the perfect stir-fry, a cast iron skillet fulfills the need for almost any pan.
6) Pack your lunch for school or work and invest in a Thermos. I love this eco-friendly version from Stanley. Made from stainless steel and BPA-free, it will keep your food hot for 15 hours so there is no need for a microwave! By doing food prep in a crock pot and packing your lunches for work or school, you will save time and money, as well as a ton of wasteful packaging!
7) Get rid of your N’espresso machine and try making your coffee and tea in a Stainless Steel French Press coffee pot. A french press has a reusable filter and makes a great cup of coffee by simply boiling water in an electric kettle or stove teapot. Nothing to dispose of except for the coffee grounds, which can be composted or used in your garden as a natural fertilizer.
8) Keep a set of re-usable shopping bags on hand at all times. Store a few in the kitchen and a few on your bike or in your car. Having good bags in various sizes will help you to remember to bring your bags with you to the store. The various sizes will help you to keep your bulk items and produce separate and leak proof.
9) Invest in a good set of Knives. When you have a good set of knives, you don’t need much more. A good set of knives will come with a sharpener and will omit the need for slicers, dicers, shredders, choppers, etc. Four good knives can take the place of most kitchen cutting tools. In my opinion, the four knives that are essential to a minimalist kitchen are: a chef’s knife, a paring knife, a utility knife, and a serrated bread knife. With these four knives and a proper sharpener, you can pretty much do any task.