Transitioning your home into a green and healthy living space usually also means switching out the products you use and changing the way you shop. To prevent feeling overwhelmed, plan to tackle separate areas of the house, one at a time. The kitchen is a great place to begin, and by simply replacing disposable products and packaging with reusable items and materials, you’ll already be well on your way to creating a much greener home.
Here are four great ways to make the transition, and help keep disposables out of the landfills.
1. Reusable food containers and bags: Frustrated with having to navigate through dozens of mismatched Tupperware containers? Try replacing plastic food storage items with reusable glass containers, like these Snaplock Lid Tempered Glasslock Storage Containers. Doing so can save you an average of $120 each year!
When grocery shopping, skip the disposable plastic produce bags and bring your own reusable bags. There are many places here in Birmingham that allow shoppers to bring their own bags or containers to buy produce, nuts, and other food items. At Earth Fare, patrons can bring reusable bags to use for purchasing bulk food items like nuts, pastas, and other grains. Chico Bag produce bags come with their weight printed on them so that it can be deducted from the total weight of the purchase at check out. For containers that don’t have their weight already marked, simply ask to have it weighed before filling up so it can be deducted from the total during check out. Don’t forget to bring reusable bags to the farmer’s market too!
2. Un-paper towels and napkins: These practical alternatives to paper towels and napkins are made of cloth, typically with a stylish cotton print on one side and a terry cotton fabric on the other. They come in a variety of colors and patterns to match every kitchen. After use, un-paper towels can be thrown into a kitchen wet bag to be washed and used again. Many are also able to be connected to one another with snaps or Velcro, so that after washing, they can be rolled up and put on a regular paper towel holder.
3. Bottle your own water: Many grocery stores, including Publix and Earth Fare, have filtered water bottling stations where you can bring your own reusable jug to fill with water. It is better for the environment and with prices starting at around 25 cents a gallon, this method costs much less than traditional bottled water products. You can then keep your jug in the fridge and fill up your stainless steel or glass water bottle for fresh, clean water on the go.
4. Reusable straws: Another great way to help reduce waste in the kitchen, reusable straws are available in many different materials from glass to bamboo. They’re fun to use at home and easy to bring along when on the go or eating out at a restaurant.
Each of these changes can help make a significant difference toward reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills, as well as the buildup of plastic pollution in our oceans.