Simple and Small Ethical Swaps: Kitchen
Ahh the kitchen. Ours is small and has very little storage, but I do like cooking, so it's a love/hate relationship. Although I have now learnt some great storage tips for triangular shaped shelves, today I wanted to share some SUPER easy and simple swaps you can make for a more ethical kitchen. I was raised to be conscious of plastic waste and trying to reuse things. I know that for me, over the years I've actively tried to source and learn more about ethical household swaps, so I hope that at least one of these might seem doable for you. Of course these are just ideas. Tom did (at first) roll his eyes when I said we can wash ziplock bags to be used again... but I think it's important that we think about these things - it is easy for us to throw things away because we live in an 'out of sight out of mind' culture when it comes to rubbish. Sadly thousands of marine animals die each year because of plastic pollution and plastic takes such a long time to break down in landfill compared to other alternatives. If we all made small swaps where we can, think about how much less plastic we would use overall! Caring is Cool! I would love to hear how you go so pop any feedback in the comments.
Plastic Bags: Swap for reusable bags
By far one of the biggest contributors to plastic landfill, this is SUCH an easy swap to make and just requires you to remember/keep reusable bags somewhere handy for when you grocery shop. You can get fold in ones for your handbag, or I keep all of mine in one bag near the door so I take the whole thing for shopping. This swap can also apply to veggie bags; instead of opting for those plastic bags that roll and tear for fruit and veg, bring your own little lightweight and reusable bags. I recently mentioned in my Instagram stories the ones I have from Onya Life; I love these ones but you could easily grab similar from a health food shop/other online source like Biome. I keep them in the reusable shopping bags I take with me to the supermarket.
Gladwrap: Swap for resuable covers/beeswax wrap
A great one for when you need to cover up leftovers/take food somewhere. I recently went to an event where I brought cookies with a reusable cover over the plate instead of gladwrap, and although a couple of friends thought it was a shower cap (lol), it kinda works in the same way! Easily washable and cuts out one use plastic! These ones are very similar to mine. Beeswax wraps also work in a similar way - I have some from The Source, and they're quite easy to get at a health shop. I find the covers slightly easier to wash but both are an awesome alternative to gladwrap!
Plastic straws: Swap for paper/metal straws
You may or may not be a straw person (I mean what even is a straw person) but these are another HUGE contributor to destroying marine life and are seemingly small but stick around for aaages, compared to their paper or metal counterparts. So in the kitchen I opt for metal straws because these are easily washed, are inexpensive and are multi-use compared to the paper ones. Paper ones are a great alternative for a party or to ask for if you're out, because even though they are single use they are compostable. But I suppose ultimately the best ethical choice is to ask for no straw in the first place. I'm the first to admit I often forget to do this BUT it feels damn good when you do remember and you can be all smug and eco-friendly and yaaas.
Other ethical kitchen choices
These aren't really swaps per say, more options to think about next time you need to buy.
Choose ethical trash bags and baking paper. There are definitely brands that are trying to do right by the planet by making typically single use items as eco-friendly as possible. The If You Care baking paper is unbleached (typical baking paper is unnecessarily bleached to make it white) and I find this one works well more than once for biscuits and such. These trash bags are great because they fit our tall bin and are completely compostable compared to standard plastic bags. There's lots more great info on their website if you want to nerd out on the benefits of potato starch-made bags. There are others too if you can't find this brand, just check the label!
Ethical scrubbing brushes and dish cloths. These ones from Full Circle are so cool because you can detach the head and therefore keep using a perfectly good handle. Their dish cloths are also fab mainly because you can chuck 'em in the wash and are a reusable alternative to the tear and toss cloths. I also find these cloths have held up a lot better than some of the other brands of reusable ones I've tried. They can easily be found at some supermarkets/most health stores and there are lots of other similarly good options. This is a cool one made of ethically sourced coconut fibres!!
P.s. If you are interested in the references/want to read more please let me know and we can geek out together.