According to studies, around 2.01 billion tonnes of solid waste were generated by cities worldwide in 2016. This figure is expected to soar up to 70% by 2050. Research also showed that around 5 trillion tonnes of plastic bags are used each year globally.
We all know that plastic products can harm our environment in many ways. Plastics continue to be essential in our daily living as they also play an important role in our day-to-day activities. For instance, plastic helps protect our food. It keeps food fresh and free from contamination. Fortunately, new technologies have made it possible to use healthier alternatives to plastic. We can now help protect the environment by changing to green alternatives, starting in our kitchens.
Want to make your kitchen plastic-free? Here are some ways to make your kitchen eco-friendly.
Use Wooden Utensils
Wood is a versatile material. Kitchen utensils made from wood is sturdy and can last for years. They are also soft and gentle for use in any cookware set. They do not cause scratches on non-stick coatings, stainless steel pots, cast iron, and many other cooking surfaces. Wooden utensils can withstand heat. They do not melt even when you leave them in the hot pan for quite some time. Their handles also stay cool, unlike their metal counterparts. Most of all, wooden utensils are non-reactive, which means they do not react with the acids found in certain types of food. They also do not leach any harmful chemicals into your food.
Another environment-friendly alternative is utensils made from bamboo. Bamboo tableware is lightweight, comfortable to use, and 100% biodegradable. They are also highly resistant to heat, water, stain, and odour. Like their wooden counterparts, kitchen implements made from bamboo are safe to use in any cookware set. Bamboo utensils also have a smooth finish and attractive appearance.
Compost Food Waste
Composting is beneficial to the environment. Kitchen waste, such as food scraps, make up 30% of the things we throw away. We can reduce waste disposal by composting our food scraps instead of throwing them into the bin. Composting reduces the need for chemical fertilisers, as it enriches the soil, retains moisture, and suppresses pests and plant diseases. Composts also reduce the emission of methane from landfills, thereby reducing the carbon footprint. Additionally, they encourage the production of useful fungi and bacteria that turn organic matter into humus.
Eliminate the Use of Paper Towels
Paper comes from trees, and to make paper towels for kitchen use, around 51,000 trees have to be cut each day. Paper towel manufacturers also contribute to water pollution from their factories. To make your kitchen eco-friendlier, use reusable towels made from fabric instead. Cloth towels and rags can provide easy clean-up and maintenance. They are also washable, which means you can reuse them anytime, reducing the amount of trash you need to throw away each day.
Use Glass Containers Instead of Plastic
Plastic containers are popular because they provide easy storage for food and other items. They are also lightweight and durable. However, due to their components, they may emit chemicals that can react with food acids, and these can be harmful to health. Glass containers are excellent alternatives. While they may be more costly than their plastic counterparts, they offer a healthier solution to food storage.
Go for Natural Cleaning Products
It has been a practice for many to use chemical-laden products to clean different areas of the house, such as the kitchen. To have a greener environment in your kitchen, commit to using only natural cleaning products. These cleaning implements do not emit harmful toxins and can save you bucks because they are relatively cheaper. They can also be made at home with ingredients from your pantry.
Replace Teflon Cookware
Teflon cookware is attractive to use especially because they offer non-stick characteristics for cooking. But they can be harmful, too, since they tend to emit toxic fumes when subjected to high temperature. For healthier alternatives, use cookware from stainless steel or cast iron instead.
Switching to energy-efficient appliances and using LED lights instead of the usual light bulbs are also another means to make your kitchen eco-friendly. While this may not be a viable option immediately due to high costs, you can slowly integrate these into your home and kitchen when you plan on having a kitchen renovation or full renovation of your home. The use of solar energy for appliances is also an excellent option. While these choices may seem costly, they can help you save more in the years to come.