Sustainability is on the rise, and with the kitchen being one of the busiest rooms in the house – and one that uses a lot of energy for those who cook – it’s no surprise that eco friendly kitchen products are booming. From zero waste dish soap to replacing your plastic wrap, here are some awesome sustainable products that will help you be kinder to the earth while prepping meals for the ones you love.
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What are the best eco friendly kitchen products of this year (2023)?
Eco Friendly Paper Towels
Useless Brand Paper Towels
These are, by far, the easiest and cheapest way to jump-start a sustainable kitchen and reduce your carbon footprint. It’s pretty crazy to think about how long I used disposable paper towels to clean up spills, dry my hands, and clean mirrors and windows. But I stopped using paper towels sometime last year, and I don’t miss them one bit.
I know that some companies make paper towels from recycled paper, but I’m going to recommend a better product, and that’s to go for reusable paper towels.
There are several kinds you can get, but I will warn you – just because it says “reusable” doesn’t necessarily mean they are washable.
I bought some Full Circle brand towels, and they are really tough. I use them for drying off produce as well as my hands, and they’re wonderful for light cleanups.
However, I wouldn’t recommend running them through your washing machine unless you’re confident the delicate cycle is extra delicate. The best way to wash them is by hand and let them air dry.
Next up, I got the ones featured above for Christmas, and they are thicker and sturdier as far as being washing machine friendly.
I find they work great as napkins since they’re flannel and slightly smaller than a traditional paper towel. Some buyers have complained they’re not very absorbent, but I find they do just fine.
Reusable Silicone Food Savers
If you’re looking for eco friendly food storage bags, Food Huggers is a popular brand. They’re made of BPA free, food-grade silicone and are safe for your dishwasher, freezer, and microwave.
These are a great, eco friendly alternative to plastic storage containers. Honestly, anything you can do to cut down on the use of plastic will be a win as far as the environment goes. And keeping your food fresher longer will minimize food waste.
You can get them in actual containers or as little storage baggies. It really depends on your personal preference.
You can also check out this 5-piece set of round silicone covers from Food Huggers as well. Use them for freshly cut fruits and veggies to replace plastic wrap. They can also be used on open jars or cans.
Or, If containers are your preference for storage, go for these collapsible BPA free containers by Vremi on Amazon. They’re safe for your freezer and dishwasher and come in a convenient 4-pack for a reasonable price.
Reusable Silicone Bowl Covers
Unwasted Bowl/Food Covers
There are times when you want to wrap up your food instead of moving it to a container, and that’s when reusable bowl covers come in handy. They’re also a great replacement for plastic wrap and aluminum foil, making them an excellent choice among the eco friendly kitchen products.
The Unwasted brand of bowl covers are made of BPA free silicone, are dishwasher and microwave safe, and the company sends a mesh bag to store them in. They’re also air tight and leak proof.
If you’re not interested in silicone, you can also get bowl covers made of fabric, beeswax wraps, or plant-based wax for those who are vegan.
I got these vegan Bees Wraps last year at Airlie Gardens, and while I like them, they are hard to keep clean.
I made the mistake of using warm, soapy water (you’re supposed to use cool water), and the one I used most lost its stickiness after about a year. One thing I like about them is that when they’re “done,” you can compost them or use them as kindling, which I find oddly appealing.
Glass Storage Containers
When it comes to food storage, it’s important to think about the type of material used. Unlike plastic containers, glass ones won’t leach toxic plastic into your food. And they’re much more eco friendly overall. You can get some that come with silicone lids or use reusable bowl covers in place of plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
There are so many different glass food storage containers to choose from, and the most eco friendly choice would be the ones with bamboo lids. Here’s a brand that is reasonably priced and is a great option. Just be sure you hand wash the lids.
Glass storage containers
Tenzo Eco Friendly Food Storage
- Microwave, dishwasher, oven, and freezer safe
- Borosilicate glass food storage with bamboo lids
- Lids designed to seal airtight
- 4-Pack of nesting containers
Utensils and Cookware
Many people don’t think about their utensils and cookware when making the change to an eco friendly kitchen, but this is just as important as everything else, and there are ways to go about it easily.
For starters, when it comes to flipping your eggs, stirring your soup, or whisking that cake batter, you want tools that are non toxic and kind to the earth. Go for stainless steel, silicone, or those made of wood like bamboo, teak, maple, or beechwood. These all have “tight” grains and are better at preventing mold or the harboring of bacteria.
Stay away from plastic, nylon, melamine, and anything with teflon.
A quick note about bamboo: while this is an eco friendly material, when it comes to using it with food products, a word of caution is in order. Make sure if you’re ordering any bamboo that will come in contact with food that it’s free of lacquers and glues like the set below from Bambu.
- 3-piece bamboo utensil set
- Untreated, food-safe bamboo
- USDA Certified Organic and Biobased
- Each spoon 12 inches in length
- Built-in spoon rest to keep counters cleaner
As far as cookware like pots and pans, I like the set from Caraway. With a ceramic non-stick coating (over aluminum) and stainless steel handles, it’s at the top of the list of eco friendly cookware. Other features include:
- Non-stick & non-toxic surface
- Induction safe
- Safe for the environment and humans
- Oven & dishwasher safe
- Even cooking surface
This brand of cookware got such stellar reviews, one user even stated that it’s “slicker than snot.”
M’kay, many thanks for that analogy and for the visual that ensued, Lainey!
But seriously, Caraway is a great option for those who can afford the higher price tag. If not, look at some less expensive options like
When you’re ready to chow down, choose stainless steel cutlery for eating your food.
And unless you’re thrifting, try to stay away from silver and even silver plated utensils as they are not eco conscious in the long run due to possible child labor as well as the need to use silver polish on a regular basis.
Reusable Produce Bags
Organic Cotton Mart
I don’t even want to know how many plastic produce bags get thrown away each year. I really wish more states would do away with them.
Currently, they’re banned in California, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Maine, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and New York.
Reusable produce bags are eco friendly alternatives that you can use while shopping and once you get home.
I keep my cilantro, lettuce, or kale inside of them until I’m ready to wash them off and shred or cut them into bite-sized pieces. After that, they go into a see-through gallon-sized storage bag. I’ve had some for years, and I just wash and reuse them.
I use the Organic Cotton Mart brand and can highly recommend them. They’re made of organic cotton, are lightweight and sturdy, washable, and they have the tare weight on a tag for those who need it. I personally don’t worry about the tare weight as its likely negligible.
Other types of sustainable options are out there, like mesh produce bags or bags made of other fabrics. And I’ve even seen them available inside grocery stores like Lidl. So you don’t necessarily have to shop for them online.
Kitchen Compost Bin
This is one of those household items that doesn’t cross everyone’s mind when they think about investing in eco friendly kitchen products. But utilizing a small composting bin is a great way to have a more sustainable kitchen.
Composting your uneaten scraps cuts down on the amount of food that ends up in landfills and overall reduces the amount of greenhouse gases emitted, so they are great for the environment. And if you use the humus that’s created by composting, it can also eliminate the need for harmful fertilizers.
Community composting can benefit your local town or city by:
- preserving and restoring wetlands
- treating contaminated soils,
- promoting water retention
- providing carbon sequestration
- boosting the amount of crops yielded by farmers
The beauty of composting is that you don’t need a lot of space to do it. If you live in an apartment or an urban area with no room in your yard, you can still learn how to compost effectively and efficiently.
You can use an electric composter or something much more affordable that fits on a countertop or under your sink.
This is my apartment composter, and my town has various drop-off times throughout the week.
Pro tip: I recommend lining your kitchen compost bin with some compostable plastic bags like these. Be aware that because they are compostable, they will break down over time. As you remove them from the pail, be sure to have an extra bag handy in case you need to double bag.
Eco Friendly Cleaning Products
When stocking your space with eco friendly kitchen products, don’t forget about your cleaning products and what’s in them.
If you’re not interested in making your own eco friendly dish soap, here’s a quick list made by companies that are sustainable and come highly recommended:
Of course there are other companies out there that make dish soap, but these are some of the best. Most of them also have other cleaning products to use around your kitchen, as well as laundry soap, etc.
When you have a moment, check out this article that tells you how to make eco friendly cleaners with everyday household products that you likely have lying around.
And here’s a recipe for homemade dish soap that looks pretty simple. All you need to have on hand is some vinegar, essential oils, kosher salt, and Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds.
Eco Friendly Accessories
Earth Hero is a Certified B Corp company, and they carry a variety of brands. Honestly, you can get most of the things mentioned in this article from their online store.
Whether you shop with them or someone else for towels, oven mitts, and aprons, try to stick with sustainable fabrics like organic cotton, linen, & hemp, and plant-based dyes.
Eco Friendly Kitchen Products Frequently Asked Questions
What is an eco friendly kitchen?
An eco friendly kitchen is one that is designed to have the least harmful impact on the environment. This means using products that are:
- earth friendly
- non toxic
- non plastic
- recycled or recyclable
- energy efficient
- water saving
- aimed at reducing food waste
What should I look for when shopping for eco friendly kitchen products?
For starters, look for companies that source their materials in a way that is earth and animal friendly, as well as the following:
- treat workers fairly
- use sustainable, compostable, or recycled materials
- free from plastic
- made as local as possible
- carbon neutral or participate in carbon offsetting
- participate in green business practices
- have the following certifications – GOTS, B Corp, Energy Star, BSCI, SMETA, or SA8000
Over time, you’ll learn to quickly spot the top things that show a product or brand is ethical. And I always recommend doing a gut check, too. If they don’t seem like a legitimate brand, or if they can’t back up their sustainability claims, move elsewhere.