Cinch Up Kitchen Waste With These 3 Green Household Products

kitchen tools at the table

Kitchen tools at the table. Image courtesy of kate hiscock.

I am an enthusiastic proponent of the idea that we can happily do without an incredible array of things in the name of living an Eco-friendly life, but of course we do still need things.

Being green doesn’t mean martyring yourself by suffering without these necessities – everything from basics like clothing, food, and shelter, all the way to the seemingly endless minutiae of random objects that makes our lives possible: pens, tweezers, mirrors, coasters, headphones.

But if we can’t do without them altogether, there are often ways we can improve how we acquire, take care of, and dispose of these necessities. There is almost always a greener option just around the corner.

A recipe for waste reduction

Kitchens can be laboratories of living but they can also be wasteful.  Put a lid on kitchen waste with these 3 green household products (replacing commonly used kitchen products).

Biodegradable Garbage Bags

Garbage bags are really bizarre when you really think about it – we buy them specifically to throw them out! Reducing the amount of household garbage you generate by ensuring that you recycle, compost, and avoid excess packaging where possible can cut down on the number of garbage bags you use each week, but the waste you do have will still need to be contained somehow.

This is where biodegradable bags come into play. Rather than being made of plastic, which will sit inert in landfills for thousands of years, biodegradeable bags like those made by US-based ReUseIt bags are made from 100% recycled plastic and state that they biodegrade in landflls within 1-2 years.

Dish Scrubbers

Did your Grandma have one of those cheerful nylon scrubbers always sitting happily inside of its froggy holder on the side of her sink, too? The simple nylon scrubber has been a staple in many kitchens for years, but Eco-friendly alternatives are ready to take its place.

From simple solutions like scrub pads made from walnut shells or coconut coir fiber-based scrub pads to elegant long-handled bamboo brushes with natural bristles the options for plastic-free scrubbing are endless. Plastic-free options reduce waste in production, and due to their natural materials many of these options can be composted after they wear out. See, that’s already one less thing taking up space in your (biodegradable) garbage bag!

Plastic Wrap

How did we ever live without it? It can be tough to imagine but there was a time before plastic wrap and disposable ziptop bags, and there can be life afterwards, too! Reusable glass containers are great for leftovers, but when you need to seal a bowl, wrap a slab of cheese, or keep the end of a cut cucumber fresh, I love to use a reusable beeswax wrap called Abeego.

I discovered Abeego at a farmer’s market in Victoria, Canada a few years ago and it has been a staple in my (mostly) plastic-free kitchen ever since. Natural cotton and hemp fibers infused with beeswax and tree-resins create a flexible, pliable, reusable sheet that can be molded to fold up leftovers, cover an open container, or hold a sandwich.  Easy to wipe clean and compostable when it wears out after a year or two, Abeego is an all-in-one solution to replacing plastic wraps and other disposable products in your kitchen.

Feature image courtesy of Bryan Lee

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Madeleine Somerville

Madeleine Somerville is the author of All You Need Is Less: An Eco-Friendly Guide to Guilt-Free Green Living and Stress-Free Simplicity. She is a writer, wannabe hippie and lover of soft cheeses. She lives in Edmonton, Canada, with her daughter. You can also find Madeleine at her blog, Sweet Madeleine.