Yesterday's post was about making mindful choices at the grocery store to benefit the world around us, as well as the world within. Today, we'll be Conquering the Kitchen, Clean & Green Style! Remember, making greener choices is a marathon, not a sprint. Small changes snowball and have a lasting impact. Begin where you are, friends.
1. Prep once, and enjoy!
The first thing I do when I come home from the store is leave any produce out that I need to clean and chop. I'm more apt to eat cauliflower as prepped cauli-rice than a big ol' untouched head in a drawer; or quickly grab celery with some PB if I don't have to clean and cut it before slathering on some goodness. If you have children, this is an excellent task to outsource. Kids are more likely to eat veggies when they've been involved in the prep/cook process.
Now let's take a look at storage containers: standard tupperware containers have been shown to leach chemicals into our food, especially if microwaved. Not to mention, we've all had that one container with spaghetti sauce stains from 3 years ago...yuck.
Last year, we donated all of our plastic storage containers and sprung for some 'shiny and new' glass ones. This was a fabulous purchase for meal/lunch prep. The clip-on top stays in place and keeps liquids from oozing out if it flips over in a lunch-pail. I included the link below to our favorite ones with dividers for easy portioning. They're easy to clean, don't carry smells, durable and don't split like some of the low-grade plastics do. Of course, after we got these, I spotted some neat-O bamboo ones I've pined after. I included that link as an option to prevent a replay...thinkin' boutchuboo.
2. 'Trash' your Plastic Bags!
I shared some statistics yesterday on plastic bag usage. Trash bags have come a long way in the last few years. Most stores now carry biodegradable ones like these (made from plants!) and don't beat up your budget at $.30/bag. If you're a busy household with a lot of trash, this is a change you won't even notice, but will go in the "big impact" category.
3. The Coolest Thing Since Sliced Bread: Spaghetti Scrubber!
You read that right and wrong all at the same time! It's not what you think it is, but it is one of my absolute favorite things. Granted, one of the grossest things in a kitchen to me is a wet sponge. The amount of resting germs is impressive, not to mention the cold, dirty water if someone forgot to squeeze it out. Like a little peetree dish sitting by your sink.
Nope, not for this girl!
These fantastically unusual things are actually made from peach pits and corn cobs.
They. are. amazing.
Gentle on pots yet effective on the real tough gunk, these also don't retain water, ergo no stinky, wetness to squeeze out. They can be easily disinfected and last from 4-6 months. If nothing else, they are a great conversation piece!
4. Don't Forget to Compost!
If you're not a savvy composter, no worries! Baby steps like dumping your old coffee grounds or egg shells in the lawn or flower pot help reintroduce nutrients into the soil and continue the cycle of life. If you enjoy fresh fruits and veggies, consider searching your area for a local curb-side compost service for the scraps. The fabulously sustainable folks over at Soil Cycle take it up an extra notch with their Curb-side Bicycle Program. Not only have they diverted over 50,000 lbs of food scraps that would otherwise end up in our landfills, they also "return cured compost to subscribers to provide them a tool to grow their own food, connect with the land, and ultimately complete the cycle!"
That's what we call a win-win, my friends!
All right, how're you doing so far? The goal here isn't to overwhelm you with you choices but to introduce you to multiple options in hopes that one or two seem 'doable' for your lifestyle. Tomorrow, I'll share ways you can upgrade your Beauty Routine to be more environmentally friendly without sacrificing that pretty little mug of yours. Stay tuned!