The kitchen is a place for family and friends and for nourishing the body and the soul so the kitchen is a great place to go green. Designers suggest using the color green on your plates or decor as it increases the appetite.
But there is more to green in the kitchen than the decor. Most of our recyclables are generated from our work and play in the kitchen. Maybe you’re already buying organic when you can, composting, reusing rinsing water for plants, using green cleaning products (See our Money Saving Tips and Recipes for Whole House Cleaning) or passing on the paper napkins. Wherever you are on your going green journey, we’ve got some ideas for going eco-friendly in the kitchen.
Wherever there is work to be done there are tools to help us get the job done and that is so true in the kitchen. Despite what many workshop enthusiasts believe, there are probably more tools in an active kitchen than in any active garage. When it is time to purchase new or replace the tools in our kitchen, we can think green. First off thinking green means really considering if we need an item or whether we already have something on hand that can be reused for the job. Another way to think green is to give second hand shops, whether it is a consignment shop or a thrift shop, the first crack at supplying our needs. That’s the ultimate in reusing and recycling and we can avoid the lines and the packaging too.
If you’re at the point that you know you need it and it needs to be new, then it is time to think outside of the box and certainly outside of the “plastic” box. It’s helpful to know what options are available to purchase needed items that are made from eco-friendly and renewable resources.
We well know that all of the plastic items from utensils to storage containers are going to spend an eternity in a landfill once they’ve outlived their usefulness. Of course since plastic stains, melts and breaks, that day does come around for plastics used in the kitchen. We are also learning that certain plastics are releasing toxins into our food and drink when they are subjected to high or low temperatures. So what are your options?
Bamboo isn’t Just for Pandas
Bamboo is plentiful, and yes, renewable, and the good news is that it is even stronger that wood! Many people have seen beautiful and practical bamboo cooking utensils but the variety of kitchen helpers now available in bamboo is surprising. Many bamboo utensils are available that are organic, durable and stain resistant.
Kitchen Items available in Bamboo:
- Common Cooking utensils
- Eating utensils, even baby sets
- Cutting boards
- Kitchen towels
- Pot scrapers
- Rice paddles
- Risotto spoons
- Slotted spoons
- Tea strainers
- Even coffee filters and drinking straws are available made from bamboo.
Nuts for Coconuts
The Cococut King has a passion for reusing and recycling coconut shells. Coconut shell kitchen items are strong, reusable and attractive and they made useful serving bowls for ice creams, sorbets, fruits , dips or shrimp cocktail.
Serving Items Available made from Coconut Shell
- Serving bowls
- Candle holders
- Drinking cups
- Drinking cups with lids and straw holes
- The Coconut King recommends using bamboo straws with his coconut drinking cups and lids.
Sea Grasses and Palm Leaves in the Kitchen
A variety of helpful and attractive kitchen accessories can be created from natural fibers like sea grasses and palm leaves. This isn’t a new age idea of course. People have been creating kitchen tools from natural fibers for a long time. It’s just a great example of eco-friendly practices. Unlike plastics that will clog up landfills for an eternity, these natural fibers are compost friendly.
What’s Available in Sea Grasses and Palm Leaves?
- Place mats
- Hot pads
- Bread baskets
- Other baskets
Other green options in the kitchen include hemp, flour sacks or recycled glass. There are hemp coffee filters, dishtowels made from recycled flour sacks and mugs and water pitchers made from recycled glass.
If your own kitchen is stocked don’t forget to think green when it is time to buy gifts. Bless your friends and family with green kitchen items from your graduating niece to your cousin that is getting married to your neighbor that is celebrating a 25th wedding anniversary to your girl friend that is turning 29-again. Green gifts keep on giving.
So think green in the kitchen. We all know that more greens in our diet is a healthy thing but green cooking and serving tools can help us to build a healthy home and a healthier planet.