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Green Your Kitchen & Save Money!

seventh generation paper towelsI love any way that I can make my home more eco-friendly and save money.  Luckily, when it comes to “greening” your kitchen, you’ll find that it’s also cheaper to make the transition.

  1. Avoid using single-use food containers.Instead of putting leftovers in Saran-Wrap, foil, or Ziplocs, keep lots of reusable alternatives around the house.  Instead of Ziplocs and sandwich bags, I’m a fan of The Lucky Butterfly’s handmade cloth sandwich and snack bags.  For other food storage containers, opt for glass (like Pyrex), ceramic, or stainless steel.
  2. Make your own cleaners. You’ll save a ton of money, you can keep chemical use to a minimum, and you can reuse cleaning containers over and over again.  The Joy of Green Cleaning by Leslie Reichert is an excellent book with recipes on how to keep your kitchen sparkling using safe, eco-friendly ingredients.
  3. Use your dishwasher. If you wash full loads and don’t pre-wash your dishes, it’s more efficient to use your dishwasher.  Check out this analysis by Treehugger.
  4. Compost. Turn your food scraps into something useful!  Here are 10 fun composting facts and a Beginner's Guide to Composting!  
  5. Reduce your use of paper napkins and paper towels. While moving over to paper napkins was an easy transition, I’ll admit that we still use paper towels somewhat regularly.  But, I figure even if I reduce our family’s paper towel consumption, that can make a huge difference.   There are also many greener options for paper napkins and paper towels, such as unbleached and recycled paper towels from Seventh Generation.  Depending on what you wipe up with them, you can compost those, too.  
  6. Be aware of the food in your home. Cook from scratch when possible, to avoid things like plastic wrapping and other hard-to-recycle packaging materials.  Buy in bulk whenever possible and bring your own bags and food containers.   Support food from local farms, read food labels, and eat all of your leftovers to avoid wasting food!
  7. Grow some plants.  Maybe even some that are edible, like indoor herbs!  We love our Aerogarden.   It sits on our kitchen counter and it looks pretty, too!