You have your “go to” supplies for your kitchen, right? You know the things you don’t have to think about because you’ve already tried them out and know they work for your family?
I do too but I have started to question those “go to’s” and think about whether there were any green alternatives I could easily (key word – easily!!) swap for something I currently use. The green alternative would have to work just as well for my family and can’t break the bank.
It’s the least we can do, right? And if it works just as well for my family then why the heck shouldn’t we do it?! So, I’m asking you to consider (I didn’t say absolutely do, I said consider!) 3 easy green alternatives. Sound okay? :-/
Here are a few of the easy green alternatives that I now use in my kitchen:
The first easy green alternative is to switch from harsh, harmful cleaners to a more environmentally friendly version that is just as effective.
I didn’t really give much thought to the cleaners (dish soap, dishwasher detergent and surface cleaner) I was using in the kitchen. I figured if it smelled good and did the job, then we were good to go. Then I discovered that many dish washing soaps are made from petroleum based products and alcohols. And, many surface cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can be toxic. All of these chemicals can irritate your skin and just aren’t necessary to effectively clean your kitchen.
While researching green alternatives I found a useful tool – the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning. It’s a great, searchable database that rates tons of cleaning products on a variety of risk factors. You can search by cleaner type or specific product name.
I now make my purchase decisions by having a few go to’s from the EWG list and then by price. The prices for green cleaning products have really come down and they are much more widely available, making it no-brainer swap. I have also experimented with making my own surface cleaner from an easy recipe I found on Pinterest.
Cloth vs. Paper
The next easy green alternative is to stop buying paper towels and paper napkins and use cloth versions for both instead.
This one is pretty obvious but one that I put off for a while because I was afraid my family would revolt! Finally after reading that over 3 million tons of paper napkins and paper towels end up in landfills each year, I made the swap and stopped buying paper napkins and paper towels.
I’m happy to report that after close to a year we have survived a paper-free kitchen. Whew! Now instead of paper napkins at every meal we use cloth napkins. And on some days we can even use our cloth napkin for multiple meals since my kids are still fond of wiping their hands and face on their pants or shirt sleeves and don’t even use their napkin! Ha! 🙂 I picked up a bunch of multi-color napkins to satisfy everyone but feel free to use this as an opportunity to express your creativity or decorating ability!
We also did away with paper towels and replaced them with small dish cloths for clean-ups. If you and your family are fond of the spin and swipe of pulling a paper towel off the roll, check out this great cloth paper towel roll on Etsy. So cute!
The last of the easy green alternatives is to replace your potentially harmful cookware and bakeware with non-toxic, eco-friendly versions that work just as well.
One items I have replaced is our old metal muffin tins. I honestly had no idea what they were made of or if they were coated with a chemical non-stick coating which could be harmful to the health of our family. A safer, non-stick option is this silicone muffin pan that is made from 100% pure food-grade silicone and is 100% BPA free. In addition to muffin pans there are a lot of other silicone bakeware products available on the market.
So there you have it – 3 easy green alternatives for your kitchen that will get you heading in the right direction to green your home a few small steps at a time. These alternatives are all super easy AND will work just as well for your family as your old “go to” versions! More to come…