Over the last few years since The Eco Shop began, we've added more and more fantastic eco-friendly kitchen products to the shop, and we've also started working with specialists in the field to create our own product lines, as we can see what a difference they can make to the overall eco-friendliness of a home. The team here are so incredibly satisfied with the positive impact they have made on our own homes, we thought we would share our top 14 tips and products for an eco-friendly kitchen, along with a detailed description about the products we use and why we love them.
Thanks to these products, we are throwing away less food, we are not using wasteful sponges or paper towels, we no longer buy any kitchen cleaning products in plastic bottles, and we're making our own staple foods to minimise packaging in the weekly shop. The difference in how little we are adding to our black waste bins and recycling bins because of all of this is very noticeable. Imagine if every home in the UK adopted a similar approach? We're sure tonnes of rubbish and recycling would be avoided. Making your kitchen more eco-friendly is quite easy, it comes down to learning new habits, and switching less eco-friendly products out for their greener counterparts.
Here are our top 14 tips including an introduction to our own product GreenWrap which is due to launch in March and is available to pre-order today. Read more about switching to reusable UNPaper towels and sponges, compostable dish brushes and cloths, dishwashing soap bars, cleaning spray cleaning pods and bottles, food wraps, reusable bread bags and produce bags, stainless steel containers, zero waste food shopping bags, plus 5 ideas from our team for making your own zero waste staple foods.
We are very proud to introduce you to GreenWrap, our exciting new product set to launch in March 2020. It is available to pre-order now at a discounted rate. GreenWrap an eco-friendly alternative to cling film, aluminium foil, and baking paper. GreenWrap has 3 main functions – to cook, cover and wrap your food. We can guarantee that if we can get enough households to stock this product, single waste plastics and other wasteful kitchen items could be avoided, SIGNIFICANTLY reducing pollution, and minimising the need to draw from precious natural resources. GreenWrap is made from a food-grade silicone and is available in multiple sizes to meet your various kitchen needs. It is oven-safe, dishwasher-safe, can be hand-washed, and above all, it is so much more EARTH-SAFE than throwaway alternatives. It is designed to last and is highly durable. To find out more about GreenWrap or to place your pre-order, see here.
Marley's Monsters UNpaper Towels have been exceptionally popular since we added them to the shop. They are designed to replace paper towels which are thrown away after being used for a mere few seconds. The creation of these paper towels uses precious trees and water, and they can be entirely avoided by switching to something which can be thrown in the washing machine once used. Marleys Monsters offer a variety of designs and pack sizes, plus an option which includes a handmade wooden towel holder. You can use UNpaper Towels for many things around the house including mopping up spillages, cleaning surfaces, wiping little faces and hands, and as napkins at the dinner table. >>Shop here
OceanSaver Cleaning Pods are designed to make any cleaning spray bottle reusable. Simply add the pod to water and shake it up until it has dissolved, and you have a brand new cleaning spray! We have tried every pod in our homes and we think they're fantastic, they smell lovely and work as well as any other cleaning spray. They are also 100% vegan and cruelty-free, not something many highstreet brands can claim! Pods are available in individual packs, including multi-purpose, kitchen cleaner, bathroom cleaner, glass cleaner, and floor cleaner. Or you can get a handy starter pack of 5. OceanSaver also provide reusable cleaning spray bottles which are made from strong plastic and are designed to last. >>Shop here
The EcoLiving Dishwashing Soap bar acts as a washing-up liquid. You hold the bar under a warm tap and scrub it to create a milky coloured water, then you return the bar to your soap dish and wash your dishes as normal. One bar lasts up to 6 months. The bar creates a milky coloured water, and doesn’t generate a foam that we're used to with standard washing up liquids – but this isnt needed to clean dishes. This bar works just as well as any standard liquid. And it is made from only natural ingredients, meaning no nasty chemicals are making their way into your food or into your skin. One of our team suffers from eczma and has found this soap bar to be a complete game-changer in how her hands feel when washing dishes. EcoLiving have also created a beautiful soap dish – handmade out of leftover olive tree wood. >>Shop here
The Zero Waste Cookbook is the complete guide to how you can make your food stretch further in order to reduce your waste. From using a husk of corn to make a vegetable stock, to using lemon zest to infuse vodka, or sunflower seeds to add crunch to bread, Giovanna Torrico and Amelia Wasiliev cover over 100 simple and creative recipes that make delicious use of the food that usually goes to waste. With chapters on fruit, vegetables, bread, dairy, meat and fish, this book covers everything you need to know about how to make the most out of your weekly shop. >> Shop here
EcoCoconut & EcoLiving offer great plastic-free dishwashing utensils, including dishwashing brushes, scourers, and bottle brushes. They do contain metal clips in some of them which can be popped into kerbside recycling. The bristles and wood are made from sustainable natural materials and can be added to the compost bin. These products work so well, better than many high street plastic-based products, and are good for those with sensitive skin as the time spend with hands in the water is limited. >>Shop here
EcoLiving compostable cleaning cloths are plastic-free and are made from natural, sustainable, plant-based materials including cotton, wood pulp & flax. They are super absorbent, durable and reusable and are great for cleaning kitchens, bathrooms and all around the house. When ready to be replaced the sponge can be popped into your compost bin at home and it will safely biodegrade without releasing any micro-fibres or micro-plastic into the environment. >> Shop here
The washable sponges by Marley's Monsters and Tabitha Eve are made of natural ingredients, and they are designed to be used over and over again. When they get to the end of their use, they can either be kept as an old cleaning sponge or thrown into the compost bin. Use these sponges instead of plastic-based dishwashing sponges. You may also need to get a scourer to fight super tough dirt (see below coconut-based scourers as a great natural option), but for every day washing up they are superb. We have a variety of designs and pack sizes available here. >>Buy here
These fantastic‚ Vegan food wraps are handmade using organic cotton, and are a natural, zero-waste and plastic-free way to transport and store food at the same time as protecting it and keeping it fresh. The base for the wax is vegan, not beeswax as many alternatives are, and they work just as well. Use your hands to warm the wraps and then mould to whatever shape you need – around food, over bowels, around your fruit, etc. The wraps are reusable and last for around 12 months, when they're ready to be disposed of, simply add to your compost bin. >> Shop here
10. Produce Bags
The Reusable Produce Bags from Our Future Is Green and Onya come in packs of 8 or 5, and include a handy carry pouch with a clip – the perfect companion for your weekly shop. Use them to buy and store your fresh and dried food. You can use them at zero waste shops to fill your jars up back at home, and use them in supermarkets to carry loose fruit and vegetables. At home you can use them to organise your fridge. The bags are made from a breathable mesh fabric made from recycled plastic bottles, so buying these bags helps to remove plastic bottles from the landfill / recycling system. The bags also work much better at keeping your food fresh for longer, as they are breathable unlike plastic bags which can sweat. 1.3 BILLION plastic produce bags are used in the UK each year, and on average they're used for just 30 minutes before being thrown away. The sooner we all switch th reusable, the better! >> Shop here
The Reusable Bread Bags from Onya are very popular at The Eco Shop. Use them to buy and store fresh baked goods. The bags can be frozen, and washed in the washing machine. They come with a handy clip which creates a handle when fastened. >>Shop here
Stainless steel containers are BPA-free, so you can store your food safe in the knowlegde that it wont come close to nasty toxins. Use them for storing lunches, snacks and leftovers. Or for organising your pantry. >> Shop here
The bulk food shopping bags from Onya are so useful! Use them to head to a whole food shop or zero waste shop and stock up on nuts, dried pulses, coffee beans, grains, cereals, and whatever takes your fancy. They come with a window so that the store attendant can easily see what you're buying. Take them with you to the shop then fill up your jars back at home without having to carry all of your jars around with you when you shop. >>Shop here
14. Make Your Own Staple Foods
Another great way of reducing the amount of wasteful packaging that passes through your kitchen is by making your own foods. We did a whip around the office and pulled together our top 5 foods that The Eco Shop team make week in, week out, in a bid to ensure we're only eating fresh foods and that we're reducing packaging in our homes Batch cooking and freezing lots of portions helps it become an even easier task as you only have to cook once every 4 -6 weeks then. All of the ingredients can be purchased at whole food / zero waste shops and supermarkets in the loose veg section so you can avoid packaging entirely.
- Tomato pasta sauce - Slow cook tomatoes with herbs, garlic, onion and then blending into a lovely fresh sauce. Replaces jars of sauce and tins of tomatoes.
- Hummus - Boil chickpeas until cooked, blend with tahini, lime juice, cayenne pepper, cumin, paprika, and crushed garlic.
- Bread - Buy bread mixes or create your own using a variety of bread flours and ingredients. Use a bread maker for the really easy version - it takes about 3 minutes to put the mix into a machine with any other things you want and to add water and oil. Super easy, super tasty, and who doesn't love the aroma of fresh bread?
- Beetroot relish - Add to any lunch or dinner as a tasty condiment. Bake beetroot, blend cooked beetroot with yoghurt (/vegan yoghurt), chilli, crushed garlic, and a splash of lemon juice.
- Soup - Soups are so easy and can be so delicious. Add leftover veg and all of your favourite spices to a slow cooker with vegetable stock. Slow cook for 6 hours. Blend.