Does your heart break just a teeny bit every time you throw some cling film in the bin? Can you just picture the landfill growing to the size of a mountain when you drag your non-recyclables wheelie bin to the curb? Yeah, me too. Luckily, it’s getting easier all the time to find reusable swaps so we don’t have to chuck as much in the bin. Here’s 9 things that could help make your kitchen just a bit greener.
- Teflon baking “paper”- I swear by this stuff. It’s the only thing I ever use to line cake tins. It’s brilliant because no cake batter ever sticks to it, AND you can wack it in the dishwasher when you’re finished. Use it hundreds of times and avoid cutting down trees for single use baking paper (which FYI, is not recyclable).
- Wax wraps – lot of these are bees wax, but there are vegan options out there. Look, cling film is a pain in the behind! And it’s atrocious for the planet. So swap out for easier to use, prettier, better for the planet wax wraps. Use them for everything from wrapping up sandwiches for a picnic, to covering up a bowl of leftovers in the fridge. Never battle with cling film again.
- Silicone cupcake trays – Here’s one I bang on about frequently! Genuine question: who invented paper cupcake liners? and WHY? They literally serve no purpose. Even without a silicon tray you can just bake your cakes direct into your metal muffin trays. Of course, silicone is non-stick, much easier to clean, and can literally be used millions of times without any damage… Can we all just agree to pretend that paper cupcake liners don’t exist? K, thanks.
- Reusable piping bag – Why use plastic when you can get a cloth one and use it a million times? Enough said. Considering most of us only use a piping bag on a rare occasion, we all just need one cloth that can go in the washing machine after each use.
- Glass or stainless steel food containers- Sure, reusing the plastic tubs from your last Chinese take-away is great! But we both know these tubs have a handful of uses in them before cracks appear and they end up in [shocked gasp]… THE LANDFILL! Reusable glass or stainless steel food containers are the way forward. They last way longer than plastic alternatives and even if they do eventually get thrown out, the impact on the environment is considerably less.
- Kitchen roll – A simple google search for “unpaper towels” will serve you up loads of beautifully patterned towels specially designed to replace the single-use kitchen roll. By all means, go ahead and purchase one of these. OR just use an old bath towel or tea towel. You can cut them to size and neatly roll them up exactly as you do with kitchen roll. Then just throw them in the washing machine when they are dirty. Easy-peasy eco-squeezy!
- StrawsActually, my reusable straws are mostly kept in my handbag rather than my kitchen. Plastic straws are no more and the paper ones are terrible. So get yourself a reusable set; whether they’re stainless steel or bamboo you are doing the planet a favour and making your drinking experience so much better. Particularly a must-have for those of us with toddlers.
- Dish sponges – I’m on the fence on reusable versus compostable sponges. Either way, better than the standard ones you chuck in the bin. And let’s be honest, we never threw out those old sponges often enough, so they just sat damp on the edge of our sinks and spread more germs around. Yuck! Much better to have a washable one that can be efficiently cleaned in the washing machine when necessary.
- Cleaning/ spray bottles – At some point in like 2017 I bought a bottle of Fairy liquid. Since then I’ve just been taking it to my local refill shop and topping it up with washing up liquid. You can do just the same with literally all of the cleaning products you use in the kitchen. Not only are you saving on the plastic packaging, but chances are the stuff you get at your zero waste shop is less toxic to the Earth too.
The most important thing to remember is: you don’t have to be perfect. Even if you make just one of these eco-swaps, you are making progress that is helping to protect the Earth for future generations. Celebrate that. Congratulate yourself! Brag about it on your socials. Go on – I give you permission to be the smug green-warrior in your feed today. When you do, tag me on instagram @treehousebakeryuk.