Your house has probably had cling wrap, plastic baggies, paper towels, and dryer sheets as staples growing up and even now. Yet a lot of the things we rely on have a very short lifecycle and end up in landfills or waterways.
Here are 8 simple kitchen and laundry swaps to help you reduce your plastic and paper waste:
1. Reusable Food Storage Wrap instead of Plastic Wrap
- Use the warmth of your hands to mold the wrap around produce, bread, cheese or Tupperware.
- Made with organic cotton, sustainably harvested beeswax, organic jojoba oil, tree resin
- biodegradable and compostable
Natural antibacterial properties helps keep food fresh.
Can be reused for a year with proper care.
Wash with cool water and soap, hang dry
Keep away from raw meat and heat.
Another Alternative: Flexible Silicone Covers, Good old fashion plate on a bowl technique.
2. Reusable Paper Towels
On average U.S households consume 6.5 million tons of paper towels each year. And a lot of times those rolls are individually wrapped in plastic too.
- Wipe counters, wash dishes, clean glass, granite, stainless steel
- Can absorb 20x its weight
- Dries quickly-eliminates risk of bacteria/odors, gentle
- One can replace 15 rolls of paper towels
- Made from vegetable fibers, cotton and water based ink (compostable, biodegradable)
- Can be used for about a year if taken care of
- Wring excess water and air dry
- Disinfect in microwave or dip in boiling water w/tongs
3. Reusable Silicone Bags
- Replace sandwich/ziplock baggies
- Can store produce, food, snacks, candies, school supplies, kid’s lunches and more
- Reusable and durable unlike thin plastic baggies
- Microwave, dishwasher, fridge, sous vide safe
- Stasher Brand is 1% For the Planet
4. Cloth Coffee Filter
Organic Cotton/Linen/Hemp/Muslin Coffee Filters
- Lasts 3-4 months instead of paper filters fast life cycle
- Look for unbleached, un-dyed, organic
- Easy to wash and care for
The Organized Home
5. Plastic Free Dish Brushes & Dish Soap Block
Natural Sponges, Wooden Cleaning Brushes, Coconut Scrubber, Coconut fiber Dish Brush
- Naturally antibacterial
- Dishes, Pots and Pans
- Ethically made
Dish Soap Block (Savon De Marseille)
- No chemical preservatives, dyes, synthetic fragrances or GMOs
- Blend of natural vegetable oils (olive and coconut)
- Use for body, face and dishes
- gentle, non-irritating, hypoallergenic
June Home Supply
6. Cast Iron, Enameled Cast Iron, Stainless Steel Pots and Pans
Non-stick/Teflon is popular and cheap but the Teflon later has harmful chemicals (PFAS) that get into your food and then into your body.
Look for cookware that is non-toxic and will last you decades
Stainless steel is durable, non-toxic
Enameled Cast Iron is made non-stick from a ceramic layer rather than a plastic one (Eg. Ourplace)
Cast iron pans require more maintenance but are durable, non-toxic, heat tolerant, great for cooking
7. Wool Dryer Balls instead of Fabric Softer Sheets
100% Wool Dryer Balls
- Dryer sheets usually made from polyester are thrown out with some particles ending up in waterways
- Fabric softeners can contain harmful chemicals
- 100% Organic Wool Dryer Balls help prevent wrinkles, static, can reduce drying time, and are naturally scent free (good for those irritated/allergic by fragrances)
- Some can dry your laundry up to 50% faster, saving you electricity and money
- Can be uses up to a year or more unlike regular sheets that have more packaging and are consumed at a faster rate
- You can put drops of your favorite essential oils if you want a scent
8. Lint Brushes
- Plastic free (wood, natural rubber bristles, copper wire)
- Removes lint, dust, hair from clothes, furniture
- Cleaned by running under water and drying
These were just a few sustainable kitchen and laundry swaps but research and check our your local shops or online to discover more alternative products!
Cover Image: Passport to Sustainability