For many, the kitchen is the heart of the home. But have you ever considered the amount of waste your kitchen produces? Daily food scraps, chemical cleaners, and single-use plastics can end up in the ocean and our landfills, causing harmful gasses to be released into the environment.
Here are some quick, easy, and eco-friendly steps to keep your kitchen clean for your household, while protecting our environment.
1. Create Natural Cleaners. With common kitchen items like lemons, baking soda, and distilled white vinegar, you can create natural cleaners for your countertops, stove, and other appliances. If you can’t make your own, be sure to choose a natural or organic cleaner, which will reduce your negative impact on the environment.
2. Opt for Compostable Garbage Bags. On average, the American family takes home nearly 1,500 plastic shopping bags each year according to Penn State University research. In Hawaii, single-use plastic regulations have been put in place to help limit the impact of plastic on the environment; however, garbage bags are often still used for larger trash bins. Try using old or excess paper grocery bags or compostable trash bags to line your cans instead.
3.Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. If you must buy plastic items, be sure to properly recycle, reuse, or dispose of these items. Find creative ways to reuse the containers, like storing leftovers or starting plants. For tips on how to reuse plastic containers, check out our article on 5 Ways to Recycle Used Containers.
4. Minimize Food Waste. Be sure to make meal plans and only purchase what you need. Then research some fun recipes that will allow you to use all of your leftovers. By planning your meals in advance, you making sure that you will use all of the food you buy, which helps eliminate waste. Meal planning will not only help reduce food waste, but also keeps you on budget!
5. Set Up a Compost Bin. Rather than throwing away fruit and vegetable peels, apple cores, rotting veggies, and other organic products, start a compost bin to create organic fertilizer, which helps prevent harmful gasses from building up in the landfill. Visit our DIY Compost Bin article to learn how to make your own!