Greening up your life isn’t something most people do overnight. If you’re just putting your toes in the water, take it a step at a time. Even baby steps are a step in the right direction and will make a difference for your family and the environment. Here are some easy green kitchen ideas to help you green up your house today.
- Start using cloth napkinsfor meals. You can find them online or you can easily
make your own out of scraps of cute fabric.
- Use stainless steel mixing bowls instead of plastic. They will last forever and you won’t have to worry about yucky chemicals leaching into your food.
- Install a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system to purify your tap water into healthy water. A good water filtration system will remove heavy metals like lead and mercury as well as herbicides, pesticides and industrial solvents (yikes) that make their way into your drinking water supply. This is the most expensive thing to do, but is so worth it. My husband was a little doubtful when we installed ours and was skeptical that it was significantly better than our Brita filter (it is). We installed it ourselves…very easy…and a year later, he doesn’t know how we’ve lived without one for so long! We have the Aquasana one pictured above.
- Use glass containers for storing leftovers. You can get some great ones online that nest for space saving and you can also repurpose your recycling, such as old glass spaghetti sauce, peanut butter and jelly jars. One of the benefits is that glass containers will go straight from the fridge to the microwave as opposed to plastic bowls, which are not microwave safe. So you’ll save yourself the time of having to dump your food into a microwave safe dish by having glass storage containers. They also don’t stain, need to be throw away from overuse, or start flaking off on you.
- For an accent of class and a fun accessory, get some stainless steel straws. Yes, they sound odd at first, but once you try them, you’ll want to drink out of these fun and trendy straws all the time. Every time someone uses them at our house, they want some!
- Put your old plastic pitcher to the curb and repurpose it for watering plants outside and use a glass one for serving beverages to family and friends.
- Have you ever thought about how a coffee maker works? Hot water filtering through plastic components do not make a great combo. Full-bodied, earthy undertones with a hint of berries and chemicals? Not how I want to describe my lovely morning coffee. Use a BPA-free coffee maker, or better yet a french press, to enjoy coffee sans nasty BPA. I for one would like my coffee free of BPA, thank you.
- Use non-toxic cleaners, like Seventh Gen, Mrs. Meyers, BabyGanics or make your own. (I’ll be posting recipes for making your own soon.)
- Store sandwiches and lunch items in reusable sandwich bags, like Lunchskins, PlanetWise or SugarBooger.
- Replace plastic hot beverage containers for coffee and tea with stainless steel. (This is also a terrific gift idea for others that almost everyone will appreciate.) You can find some great ones with BPA free lids by Contigo (found at most major retailers).
Recycle or repurpose your old stuff rather than just tossing it in the trash. Donate to a charity, sell on Craigslist or eBay or give it away to someone in need who can’t afford to buy their own.
While most of these ideas do involve replacing something you probably currently own, you can find a lot of these items at garage sales or on Craigslist. You can also subscribe to your local Freecycle.org and list things you’re looking for and you may just get lucky and get some of these for free. (Just remember not to be too picky if you follow this route.) Don’t forget that most of these also make great items to put on your Christmas or birthday list.
Remember that going green doesn’t have to break the bank and it doesn’t happen over night. Do a little at a time and you’ll be amazed at how quickly the changes add up!