What we make healthy, makes us healthy. A greener kitchen is healthier for us, our family, friends and the air, water, and soil that gives us life.
Reducing, reusing, recycling are great ways to green our lives. Another is simply replacing items we currently use for healthier options.
These 6 replacements at our kitchen sink reduce our single-use plastic, toxic load and production of greenhouse gases:
1. BAR DISH SOAP
We love the bar of dish soap that lives next to our kitchen sink! It is kept on a soap saver in a ceramic soap dish. We just rub the top with a scrub brush, dish cloth or loofah sponge for easy cleaning. It is also mild enough for hand washing.
What to do with the still half full plastic bottle of dish soap? I keep mine under the sink. It has come in handy on rare occasions (mostly for creating a very bubbly death bath for Japanese beetles) and it looks like it will last us years!
2. DISHWASHER DETERGENT IN A CARDBOARD BOX
This dry powder dishwashing detergent, without chlorine or phosphates (you are welcome, little fish), does a great job cleaning our dishes and rinses clean and clear without the need for rinse aid.
The bonus? For sparkling clean sinks, pots and pans, sprinkle them with powdered dishwasher detergent and easily scrub away stains and stuck on food! It’s amazing!
3. ORGANIC COTTON DISH CLOTHS
Is it time to ditch your synthetic kitchen sponges that need replaced frequently to avoid bacteria overload? We happily replaced those blue throw away sponges with reusable organic cotton dishcloths to wipe up crumbs and spills. Is organic cotton really better? Read more here.
All my kitchen cloths (these dish towels plus dish cloths, napkins, tissues, and even masks) get tossed in a wicker basket in the kitchen and washed on “sanitize” cycle and hot dryer. The scrub brushes go into the dishwasher. Read below to find out what we do with the loofah sponge!
4. NATURAL LOOFAH SPONGE
We couldn’t completely let go of having a sponge, even though we have a scrub brush. So, I found an unexpected natural and chemical-free alternative to the synthetic sponge, a loofah. A loofah in the kitchen?! I only thought of these as shower sponges and personally was not a fan. However, in the kitchen the loofah is awesome!
- No plastic or chemicals used to manufacture or package
- Extras take almost no space in my drawer, as they are sold flat and dry
- Economical! I cut one sponge, while dry and flat, into several pieces and each piece seemly lasts forever.
- They have a lot of holes, dry quickly and have never started sinking or looking gross.
- They look instagram worthy next to the sink and the bar of dish soap.
- Those fibers are soft and pliable to grip but also good for scrubbing. A 2-for-1!
- When they finally look worn out, toss in the compost!
- GROW your own Loofah sponge! Really! Loofah or Luffa are actually gourds.
Did you know that food and yard waste buried in the landfill without oxygen is broken down by bacteria and those little munchers create methane? Yep, the same methane produced by coal, gas, oil and cows. The same methane that, along with carbon dioxide, is contributing to a rapidly changing climate (more hurricanes) and warming climate (sorry polar bears).
By replacing some of our landfill waste, through backyard or industrial composting, we can reduce our methane production. To compost all sorts of things that cannot go in your backyard compost (meat, cheese, compostable bags… but never pet poo).
Bonus? Composting is a closed loop system. So cool! Trash (not plastics, metal or glass) become treasure (nutrients for plants). In an industrial compost facility leaves, twigs, weeds, buffalo wing bones, apple cores, pet hair, coffee grounds, wooden popsicle and chopsticks get turned into compost that we can put back on our grass and gardens.
6. COMPOSTABLE TRASH BAGS
For both our landfill and compost waste we use compostable trash bags made from plants. Although plant-made compostable trash bags most likely won’t be broken down in our landfill anytime soon, we still use them because they aren’t made from plastic. When filled with food waste and taken to an industrial composting facility they are broken down because those large piles produce a lot more heat than a backyard compost. Industrial composting facilities will also cover piles with black plastic (sadly, plastic) so that it super heats the compost pile to break down plants that look a lot like plastic (plant-based cups, bags, straws, etc). No need to bag yard waste, it can go directly in into compost bins for city pick up.
Be sure your compostable bags say they are made from plants, as some are made from plastics that are easily broken down into micro-plastics.
Need a compelling reason, a strong motivation, your deep personal “why” to make these swaps?
A Plastic Ocean Movie Trailer (This one really did it for me!)
Now that we feel motivated to make these swaps, we need some feel good inspiration… like when needing to watch a silly sitcom after a scary movie or eat something tasty after that food experiment gone wrong? The following are sure to lift your spirits!
* All products listed are ones I personally enjoy using. I have not received free products or been compensated to endorse these products.