Going green is easier than you think (and it’s more cost-effective, too)!

By Ariel Klein
September 04, 2020
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When it comes to caring for our planet, countless businesses and companies are making strides to be more sustainable and eco-friendly. We’re all familiar with the recent efforts to ban plastic straws, limit paper and plastic bags, and eliminate styrofoam products, but there’s so much more we can do to make a lasting impact. Living a more eco-friendly life can feel intimidating at first. You may not know where to start and the thought of changing your ingrained habits may be too much to take on. The key is starting small—try to change one thing each week. 

When I decided I wanted to focus more on being green, I broke it down by rooms in my home. Since I spend most of my time in the kitchen, I figured this was the most logical place to start. I knew I wasn’t being as resourceful as I could when cooking and meal-prepping, so I did some research and found some products that I now can’t live without. I used to buy plastic wrap, paper towels, and disposable bags almost weekly, and now I’m proud to say that they haven’t been on my shopping list in almost a year.

These eight eco-friendly products have helped my family be less wasteful in the kitchen and have even saved us a pretty penny. Go ahead, give these products a go. You know what they say, “once you go green, you never go back.”

$10, amazon.com

Stasher bags are the perfect replacement for plastic storage bags for a number of reasons. They’re made of 100% pure platinum food-grade silicone and are safe to use in the freezer, microwave, dishwasher, and can even withstand boiling water. The best part about switching over to these air-tight bags is that I’ve also noticed my produce stays fresher for longer. Say good-bye to brown avocados forever.

RELATEDThe Smartest Way to Store Foods in the Refrigerator for Long-Lasting Freshness

$31, amazon.com

Food containers are probably one of the most used items in my kitchen. From meal prep to storing leftovers, these containers are essential in keeping our food fresh for longer. If you haven’t switched over to glass storage, now’s the time! This glass set with wood tops are not only practical, but they’re aesthetically pleasing, too. Use them to store baking ingredients and display them on your countertop, then get another set meant for cooked quinoa or leftover pasta.

$18 for 6, amazon.com

Another great way to cut back on your use of plastic is with these organic cotton mesh produce bags. Before I found these multi-purpose bags, I would use about 10 to 15 plastic bags when picking out produce at the grocery store—and I rarely reused them. Nowadays, I never leave home without my Simple Ecology reusable produce bags because you never know when you’ll need them. They’re ideal for farmer’s market hauls and carrying snacks on-the-go, or storing produce in your refrigerator. You can even use them for straining homemade nut milks. 

$18 for 3, amazon.com

When it comes to food storage, it’s time to trade in the plastic wrap for Bee’s Wrap. Made from organic cotton infused with sustainably harvested beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin, Bee’s Wrap is the best product to help eliminate waste and keep your food fresher for longer. They work just like cling-wrap—simply wrap a sheet around a piece of half-used produce and store in the refrigerator. Use these handy wraps over and over by cleaning with a bit of cold water and gentle soap.

$10, amazon.com

You may not realize it, but coffee filters are extremely wasteful because they're only good for one-time use. Think: if you make a fresh cup of coffee every morning, you’re using about 30 coffee filters a month. That is not only bad for the environment—it can get costly. Consider switching to easy-to-clean unbleached cotton coffee filters. You can clean them in a pot of boiling water and they last up to 9 months. Trust me, your coffee will taste better when you’re helping to save the planet.

$68, apolisglobal.com

Reusable totes are finally being used by more and more consumers. In fact, most stores are now charging a fee for plastic and paper bags, forcing shoppers to bring their own. Since I use my totes multiple times a week for various things, I decided to get myself a new customized one from Apolis. Hand-crafted from golden jute and vegetable tanned leather, Apolis bags are ethically sourced and help to give back to the local communities that create them. Not only do these totes help support global citizens, but they’re durable, water-resistant, and probably the chicest market tote you’ll ever own.

$14 for 3, amazon.com

Trust me when I say these ain’t your average dish towels. Admittedly, I was using the same dish towels for almost 5 years and probably didn’t clean them as much as I should have. Not only are these European dish clothes durable and absorbent, but they’re dishwasher and microwave safe. What I love most about these is that they’re almost like a cloth/sponge hybrid, which makes cleaning up so simple. I’m never going back to my old dingy dish towels again.

$18, amazon.com

These multi-purpose French glass canning jars are truly a lifesaver in my kitchen. They’re perfect for canning, storing homemade jams and sauces, and pickling. I recently started buying beans and grains in bulk, and these glass jars keep them fresh for months thanks to their rubber seal and air-tight closure. Come to think of it, you can pretty much use these jars for anything—they also come in 6 convenient sizes.