Plastic-free July is here, and it may seem like a daunting task to try to go plastic-free for a whole month, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make any changes. There are plenty of simple things you can do to make your home more sustainable. Today we will look at 9 changes you can make in your kitchen alone that will not only be easier on the earth, but also easier on your wallet.
Plastic-Free Kitchen Swaps
1. Reusable Sponge Cloth
Instead of using paper towel to clean surfaces, wipe up spills, and dry your vegetables, opt for a reusable sponge cloth like this one from local brand Ten & Co. One sponge cloth can replace more than 17 rolls of paper towel, and when they get to be worn out, you can toss them in your compost and they will fully decompose.
2. Cloth Napkins
Think of how many napkins you go through in a month or even just one week. Cloth napkins can be conveniently washed, and it also looks much classier to give your guests cloth napkins rather than disposable paper ones.
There is so much unnecessary food waste which could instead be composted, from banana peels to paper towels. If you don’t already have a compost, I would highly recommend getting one, and if you have a garden you can use the composted contents as free fertilizer. Read more about what can be composted here.
4. Bamboo Dish Brush
Instead of plastic dish brushes that are made to be disposable, consider getting a bamboo brush. You can keep the bamboo handle and replace the brush head when it starts to wear. Since the bristles are made from plant fibres and the handle from bamboo, this product is fully compostable.
5. Vegan Dish Washing Block
Continuously buying dish soap results in many empty plastic bottles, which can easily be avoided by switching to a solid dish washing block. You can use dish washing blocks on more than just dishes — try using it on carpet and clothing stains too.
You won’t have to worry about running out anytime soon either, these dish blocks will last you months, which is much longer than a bottle of dish soap. They are also sulfate-free, paraben-free, and won’t leave your hands feeling rough and dry.
6. Refillable All-purpose Cleaner
Grab a glass spray bottle and check out Fill in Vernon or Footprints in Kelowna for an all-purpose cleaner that you can fill your containers with. You can also make your own super easily with only a few ingredients! Check out this recipe.
7. Glass Containers
Store your leftover food in glass containers, or any jars you might have kicking around the house. This will help reduce the need for plastic wrap, and will also help keep your fridge more organized.
8. Beeswax Wraps & Bowl Covers
Beeswax wraps are an amazing alternative to plastic wrap when it comes to storing your food. These wraps will mold around the shape of the object using the heat from your hands so that you can wrap it around a bowl, a leftover half of an avocado, or the sandwich you’re taking to work. Be sure to care for these delicately, only using mild dish soap and cool water to hand-wash them so that they don’t melt.
I use the wraps from Abeego, based out of Victoria, but check out Hiveology at the Kelowna Farmer’s Market for an even more local option.
Bowl covers are also a great option for covering up bowls or plates of leftovers, and can be put in the washing machine after you use them.
9. Silicone Mat
Silicone mats can be used to replace parchment paper during baking. Your baked goods will not stick to the mat, and the mat comes off of the pan so seamlessly you never have to worry about it sticking to the bottom of the pan. Simply rinse and place in your dishwasher when you’re done with it so that it’s ready for its next use.
There you have it! 9 easy swaps to make for a lower waste kitchen this month.