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    Updated on Jan 30, 2019. Posted on Dec 21, 2018

    23 Small Ways To Make Your Kitchen More Eco-Friendly

    "If you love something, let it go." —you re: all that disposable plastic you used to use so much of.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Unfurl a Baggu at the grocery store to avoid using plastic bags. These cuties fold up, so they can easily be stored in your purse, car, wherever, just in case.

    amazon.com

    Did you know it can take plastic 1,000 years to decompose? Welp, that's the upsetting truth. For more on this and extra inspo to cut down on your plastic bag use, check out "15 Facts That Will Make You Never Use Plastic Bags Again."

    Promising review: "This is my second Baggu purchase. I have previously purchased one other standard nylon Baggu as well as the baby Baggu, which I frequently use to carry my lunch or for small shopping errands. I love that the Baggu of any size is so lightweight and can be folded up neatly into a pouch to drop into a purse, trunk, wherever. I keep one in my handbag, office desk drawer and car, and have found it much easier to avoid unnecessary usage of plastic shopping bags. It also takes up a lot less space than my other reusable bags, which makes storing them convenient and easy. Finally, the best part is that the Baggu is washable, which means no worrying about getting it dirty over time. Overall, this has been a great product that I would recommend to anyone looking to reduce plastic bag usage with a much more reliable and convenient carry option." —MFarrington

    Get it from Amazon for $9 (available in 31 colors).

    2. Learn about the exciting world of composting! Compost is decayed organic matter that turns into rich, nutritious fertilizer. Simplified into pop culture lingo, it's what Tom Haverford would rebrand as "future soil."

    fix.com

    Check out Fix for more information on how compost is nature's real "black gold."

    In general, things that are ok to compost include: fruits, veggies, eggshells, coffee grounds, yard trimmings, cotton, newspaper, and even HAIR! That's SO much stuff that you would normally throw away and can instead turn into compost.

    3. Using your new compost know-how, instead of trashing organic food waste, toss it in a compost bin. Google the location of your local compost site and drop it off so it can slowwwwly but surely transform back into soil. Compost piles are garbage's form of heaven.

    Tom Vellner / Via BuzzFeed

    BuzzFeed writers and Amazon reviewers alike (over 1,000 five-star reviews!) are loving this bin. Check out our full OXO compost bin review for more details!

    Promising review: "First-time composters over here, and this bin has made the experience simple and enjoyable. I love the small, simple design that allows it to sit on the kitchen counter without bringing too much attention to itself. The lid seals securely but also opens easily with the side of your finger so that you can easily throw in your remains as you cook. The handle makes it effortless to carry out and dump into the compost bin. I can be a bit nit-picky about cleanliness but this washes out so easily and is a smooth non-porous surface that has yet to stain. The top is uncomplicated to remove, and the inside is seamless and allows for a perfect rinse without any chunks left behind. I would recommend this product to anyone looking for a simple and aesthetically pleasing way to collect your compost goodies." —erica summers

    Get it from Amazon for $19.94 (available in two colors).

    4. Rethink your relationship with paper coffee filters and get a reusable one for a pour over or traditional drip coffee maker. Now you can brew cup after cup without wasting filter after filter.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Used coffee grounds can easily be added to your compost pile. If you don't have one, learn how to start one below *or* check out these 34 (!) unexpected uses for coffee grounds!

    Promising review: "I love these organic hemp filters! I feel so much better about using them than paper filters. They are easy to use — just compost the coffee grounds, rinse out, and let them dry. I have two and alternate using them, but they dry quickly and can be used multiple times a day. I have used them both for months now, and they show no sign of wear. The coffee still tastes great, too!" —Jessie Hallowell

    Get them from Amazon: $8.95 for the pour-over filter and $5.99 for the drip filter.

    5. Or use a French press to make coffee and tea with #nofilter. This one is made of glass and wood, meaning NO plastic was used in the making of this coffee.

    amazon.com

    Don't forget to add these grounds to your compost, too!

    Promising review: "Fantastic item — it is everything it is marketed to be and more!!! I don't know how we ever drank coffee without the french press. It is so easy, tastes awesome, and doesn't waste all that plastic like some other coffee makers do." —Deena H.

    Get it from Amazon for $13.97 (available in two finishes).

    6. Switch out plastic wrap for beeswax wrap, which keeps food fresh *and* is washable, reusable, and compostable. Any job plastic wrap would normally do, beeswax wrap has it ~covered~.

    instagram.com

    Promising review: "My Bee's Wrap products have been amazing, and when I use them instead of disposable plastic wrap or plastic bags, I feel even more amazing for being eco-friendly. They work BETTER than plastic because the Bee's Wrap sticks to itself and can be molded around the product so there is less air in contact with the food. For example, when I cut up a cucumber and only need half, I would usually put it in a plastic bag and put in the fridge. When it came time to use the other half, the first inch or so of the cut side would be dried out and gross. So, I would have to cut that part off and throw away, causing both plastic and food waste. But with Bee's Wrap, because there is a seal around the end, the produce stays fresh and there is no need to cut off extra food to be wasted. I will be giving these out as gifts as well later in the year because they are so awesome. I would highly recommend." —Stephanie

    Get a set of small, medium, and large sizes from Amazon for $18.

    7. Or DIY your own beeswax wrap by melting a thin layer of beeswax onto a cotton sheet. Ahhh the sense of accomplishment that comes with banishing plastic wrap from your kitchen with your own two hands.

    Nifty

    See Nifty's full video on how to make your own beeswax wraps for more instruction!

    What you'll need (a lot of which you probably have!): parchment paper ($7.20), beeswax ($8.19), a microplane ($9.38), jojoba oil ($10.99), an iron ($16.99), and cotton fabric ($8.03; all products on Amazon).

    8. Replace disposable plastic sealing bags with silicone Stasher bags. They're reusable, dishwasher-safe, and — most importantly — airtight, meaning you get the same level of freshness and versatility you're used to.

    amazon.com

    Stasher bags have so many uses! They are obviously great for storing and transporting food, but they can also be used to sous vide, marinate, and microwave. And they are — I cannot stress enough — DISHWASHER-SAFE!

    Promising review: "What's not to love about Stasher bags? They are so versatile, colorful, and easy to care for. Bonus: you are keeping plastic out of landfills! I use these for meal-prep and kids' lunchboxes. Easy to open and, again, so easy to clean. Stop browsing for environmental alternatives, and order these today!" —Drea_reviews

    Get a sandwich-sized bag from Amazon for $11.99 (also available in snack and storage sizes).

    9. Save any vegetable scraps, bones, and leftover herbs in the freezer until you have enough to make your own broth. Here are some easy ideas if you're just getting started, but any collection of scraps you have on hand should make a mighty delicious, aromatic broth.

    SheKnows / Via sheknows.com

    Head to SheKnows for more kitchen tips and hacks. Also check out Tasty's recipe for veggie stock from food scraps!

    10. Upcycle any empty glass jars to use for...well, anything! But of course they're great for airtight food storage, packing lunches, and overnight recipes.

    BuzzFeed

    Check out Tasty's overnight oats recipes for more sweet deets on the goodness above!

    Don't have any glass jars lying around? You can get a pack of 12 on Amazon for $17.25 and use them for a loooong time to come.

    11. Pack your lunch in a metal bento box as a more sustainable way of ~sustaining~ your energy through the day!

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    This lunchbox is made of 100% stainless steel and is BPA-, PVC-, phthalate-, and plastic-free!

    Promising review: "I pack my lunches everyday. I have been using plastic containers for years, but I am frustrated by using plastics so much, as there are a lot of studies about leached chemicals from plastics being in our food. So, I LOVE the Bento boxes. There's no plastic, cleanliness is super easy, and if I forget to clean them for a day or two, there is no worry about some lingering aroma of rottenness because they are metal and they clean right up. The stackability is great! I packed a bean burger the other day and put the frozen burger in the bottom with the metal little oval box filled w BBQ sauce, mustard and pickles, and then in the upper box I put a brioche bun and some slices of cheddar cheese. Everything was all separated so it did not get gooey. I might get some for holiday presents for all the lunch-packers I know!" —Felice M. Pierce

    Get it from Amazon for $30.95.

    12. Decline plastic silverware when ordering carry-out. If you still need to-go silverware, opt for your own set, optimized for easy travel.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review (of metal set): "I am trying to minimize single-use plastics in my life, but my job often requires me to eat on the run. While I am trying to carry my own food more, when it is not practical, I carry these and stainless steel straws to cut back on my plastic waste. This set is a convenient and compact package to carry in my purse and have ready to avoid grabbing those plastic utensils. The silverware is your basic stainless — nothing fancy — but the neoprene pouch is well-made and handy. Very pleased to have this option to help me move toward a minimal-waste lifestyle." —R. Koenig

    Get them from Amazon: the metal set for $9.99 or the bamboo set for $12.07.

    13. Resist the urge to reach for those flimsy plastic produce bags at the supermarket and bring your own reusable ones instead! Produce bags are NOT recyclable curbside. Even the soft *crinkle, crinkle* of their movement sounds evil.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I've been using these for a few months now, and am impressed with their durability. I've been really working on reducing the amount of waste I produce with my lifestyle, and this has helped a lot. Much less plastic being used unnecessarily! Canvas bags are step one, and these are step two to green-ifying your grocery routine. The bags are see-through enough that grocery store checkers can tell what's in them, which is also great. The size is good too — just slightly smaller than the typical plastic produce bag." —stormymonday

    Get a set of five for $12.

    14. Pop fruit and veggies into a produce saver to keep them fresh longer and avoid unnecessary food waste. YES these are made of plastic, but look at how happy that second berry looks. I think it's a worthy trade if it makes you EAT THE PRODUCE.

    Natalie Brown / Via BuzzFeed

    Not quite convinced? Check out BuzzFeed's review of the produce saver for more details!

    Get a large produce saver from Amazon for $11.79, a three-pack of varied sizes from Walmart for $22.98, or a two-pack from Target for $19.99.

    15. Hit the farmer's market for tons of package-free produce, flowers, and even eggs! Need somewhere to put all those loose eggs (lol)? Try a cute ceramic container.

    crateandbarrel.com, amazon.com

    These are also great for anyone who has their own chickens, which lmao is something I have done. They're great! You give them your food scraps and they give you free eggs?! Little planet-savers.

    Get the container on the left from Amazon for $17.99 or the one on the right from Crate and Barrel for $19.95.

    16. Educate yourself and your household on what you can actually recycle. Definitely look up specifics for your area, but start by committing the EPA's top 10 recyclables to memory...or low-key just get a tattoo of them.

    EPA / Via epa.gov

    You can find your local recycling rules through Keep America Beautiful and more general information through the EPA. Learn more about one BuzzFeeder's journey to recycling know-how in "How The Heck Do I Start Recycling Correctly?"

    17. Use a tea infuser and loose leaf tea instead of paper tea bags. It may only be a teensy bit of paper, but every bit counts! Also, loose leaf just feels very sophisticated *and* you can make your own blends.

    amazon.com

    When selecting loose leaf tea, try to to buy in bulk from a local store or find tea packaged in reusable and recyclable containers such as Harney and Sons ($7.25 on Amazon). Paris is my personal favorite flavor of theirs. It's delicious and makes me feel like a grown up. Keep an eye out for it at your local grocer if you want to save the packaging from shipping.

    Promising review: "This product is fantastic. I use it almost daily and I even leave the tea leaves in sometimes overnight. It hasn't rusted or discolored in any way. It's easy to clean and dry off. I especially love the little tray to set it in. Very handy! It looks a little small, but it holds plenty of leaves for a normal cup or even a larger cup." —Amostee

    Get a two-pack of tea infusers from Amazon for $8.99.

    18. Switch to biodegradable trash bags for all the things you can't compost, recycle, reuse, or upcycle. Nothing worse than the thing you use to carry trash also being trash.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I've always been bothered by using plastic bags. While traveling abroad recently, I stayed at a house that used compostable bags and I decided to give them a try when I returned to the states. We've been using them for a few months now. No breakthrough messes. No stench. We really fill our bags because we try to minimize the amount of bags used, and we compost our food. These bags fit our trash can well and hold a lot. We'll never go back to plastic." —Cheryl Passalaqua

    Get a 50-pack from Amazon for $15.95.

    19. Wean yourself off of paper goods by getting cute, durable fabric towels and napkins. If you always have some on hand, you'll always have time to clean the dirty ones. And less money spent on paper goods = less money in the literal garbage.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "Nice weight and they wash up very well. We don't really use any paper products (plates, cups, napkins, etc.), and it really is no trouble to throw some napkins in the wash. If I was having company, I would probably iron them really quickly, but for everyday use they are fine to smooth and fold by hand. Once you get used to having a real cloth napkin at your meals you won't use paper anymore. Food tastes better and looks better on real dishes using real forks and napkins. I ordered the white ones and am very happy with them. Also, the shipping was fast!" —Jd chester springs

    Get a 12-pack of towels on Amazon for $21.99 and a 12-pack of cloth napkins from Amazon for $16.99 (available in seven colors).

    20. Try to buy in bulk whenever possible. It can be hard, but use resources like Litterless to find grocery stores near you that offer zero waste options. Just try not to spill everything everywhere.

    NBC

    Litterless tells you exactly what's available in bulk at each store. From grains to baking supplies to cooking oil, almost all of your basics are somewhere out there waste-free!

    Bring your own reusable bags and jars that you've ~preferably~ upcycled! But, if you need a few starter jars, you can find some on Amazon for $17.11 for a dozen mason jars or $20.25 for two gallon-sized ones (I also use these for large-scale pickling, and they're GREAT to have around!)

    21. Actively choose products with less packaging. There are often both a packaged and unpackaged option for *the same produce* at stores, and it takes very little effort to reach for the unpackaged one. That way you can also get exactly how much you need, reducing the chance of food waste!

    Rachel Dunkel / Via BuzzFeed

    Don't forget your produce bags!

    22. Repurpose citrus peels to make a scented, all-purpose cleaner. This trick makes use of food waste and *also* saves you from buying a plastic bottle of cleaning product! Double win.

    Gina Eykemans / Via thekitchn.com

    Simply steep citrus rinds in vinegar for a few weeks, strain, and voila! You have a natural, all-purpose cleaner. You can either thoroughly wash and reuse an old plastic bottle or get some glass spray bottles from Amazon for $11.98.

    Check out The Kitchn's breakdown of this DIY solution for more details.

    23. And after you order all of your reusable goods, don't forget to reuse or recycle the PACKAGING THAT IT CAME IN! It's great to do your best to shop local and package-free, but sometimes we just don't have the time or energy. Try to live that Prime life as sustainably as you can.

    Amazon

    Head to The Kitchn for more on the best way to recycle these bad boys.

    You can always save Amazon boxes for when you need to ship something yourself, but if you have boxes stacked up to your ears, try some of these fun DIY projects!

    Have fun challenging yourself to make your kitchen more ~waste-free~! And don't forget:

    Warner Bros.

    The reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

    Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed

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