Eight reusable essentials for your kitchen | The Optimist Daily
Today’s Solutions: July 15, 2024

Most of us recycle, and many of us compost our food waste, but there are still so many single-use products we feel we can’t avoid using and then chucking in the garbage once we’re done. We want to live sustainably, and the kitchen is a great place to do this, yet our trash cans still fill up those paper towels and coffee filters. 

No worries, though, as even these have sustainable alternatives, along with many others. Here are eight reusable essentials for your kitchen. 

Linen coffee filters

If you don’t use a French press or stovetop percolator, if you like the drip machines or have your own pour-over, you can replace your hundreds of single-use coffee filters with a reusable one made out of linen, hemp, or cotton. If you want a coffee filter you can wash and reuse, check out CoffeeSock.

Reusable produce bags

There are grocery stores that offer biodegradable bags for produce, but you can go even greener than this. Try using fabric or mesh bags next time you go shopping for produce. Not only are these reusable, they actually help keep produce fresher by allowing for more airflow. 

Reusable spray bottles and kitchen cleaner

Those heavy-duty, all-purpose cleaners may get the grunge off, but then you have to buy another bottle. Try instead holding onto the old one or get a reusable spray bottle from a local hardware store, and refill it with your own homemade cleaning solution made from vinegar and citrus peels. Check out this past article and how to make your own cleaner. 

Good old rags

Does that shirt have a hole or a big rip? That’s great because now you can cut it up into strips, and you’ve got your own new stack of rags. These are way better than paper towels because they’re more absorbent and you can just chuck them in the laundry when they’re dirty. Check out these other ways of upcycling old clothes. 

Lasting sponges and brushes

Instead of using sponges that need to be tossed after only a week, try E-cloth Washing Up Pads which are reusable, can go in the laundry and can last up to a year. It might also be worth switching to a scrub brush. 

Reusable storage bags

Single-use plastic bags are a very common essential for storing food but try switching to reusable silicon versions such as Rezip Bags which are reusable and very easy to clean.  

Food and bowl covers

Plastic wrap and aluminum foil are useful, but they are also not worth the waste when there are better options out there. Try stretchy silicon covers from The Earthling Co. or you can get creative and upcycle shower caps. 

Storage Jars

Having a good set of Tupperware is essential for minimizing food waste, but you don’t have to shell out money for a nice set when you can easily reuse food containers. Glass or plastic jars of pasta sauce, pickles, peanut butter, or other foods can be saved from the recycling bin and put to use in the refrigerator.

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