Kitchen Tips 

There are some easy switches in the kitchen that can lead to a more sustainable lifestyle. Instead of lining your trash bins with plastic bags, make a switch to paper bags, or—if you’re feeling like a pro—line it with nothing and spray out after each trip to the dumpster. Our typical plastic liner bags will lay in the landfill for basically forever, so switching to a friendlier option for the planet is a no brainer.

Once your plastic sponge or scrubber dies down, trade in for a wooden and natural bristle scrubber. Billions of plastic dish brushes end up in the landfill annually. If you need to toss your wooden dish brush, it is made from natural materials and will eventually biodegrade. There are some quirks to get used to with switching to a wooden brush that you can find out about here.

Storage Ideas

Over the last few years, we have been happy to say “bye” to single-use plastics when storing for good. In order to accomplish this, we rely heavily on our Stasher bags, beeswax wraps, and glass storage sets. Mason jars can also store anything from dry goods to sliced veggies to your morning smoothie. Or consider saving any glass jar that has been emptied. Simply run it through the dishwasher, peel off the label, and—if needed—use a technique to remove the sticky glue. 

And even when you’re outside the kitchen, plan ahead for storage on the go. Think through your day and plan for food and beverage take-aways. Think you might get a cup of coffee or iced matcha? Grab that reusable cup and straw. Thinking about hitting up a restaurant? Take some Tupperware to avoid the plastic to-go clam shells.

Grocery Store Considerations

If you are like us here at eMpulse, strolling through the aisles of the grocery store can be daunting with plastic everywhere. To avoid plastics at the store, go in with a plan, and be sure to have your large reusable bags, as well as your smaller produce bags, and jars/bags for dry goods. Reusable produce bags typically mark the weight on them, but if you wish to use jars, just take them to the register—while empty—and weigh them out first. 

While shopping at the grocery store, try to look for products packaged in glass, paper, or aluminum. These materials are easily recyclable, and you can even save the glass jars after emptied for future use. 

Although some produce stores and distributers don’t realize this, fruits and veggies naturally have their own packaging, so be sure to sidestep produce packaged on plastic. Do better Trader Joes!

 Shop at your local farmer’s market as much as possible. Not only do our farming neighbors deserve our help to thrive, they avoid using plastics too. Everything they sell direct to you is fresher and took less greenhouse gasses to get to the product to your hands. It’s a win-win-win.  

Forget the almond, oat, or cashew milk in plastic-lined containers, and just make your own! Milk alternatives are actually supper easy to make with your blender. Use these straining bags for easy milk-making, or you can always strain through a t-shirt or a thin towel. 

Growing a Low-Impact Kitchen Routine

Make the switch to a sustainable routine today! Working towards a plastic-free kitchen can for sure be an investment, but over the long run it will pay off for your pocket and the planet. We know that mindlessly reaching for that plastic wrap or Ziploc can be easy; however, just like that routine, new ones can be formed. Be sure to swing by next week for our favorite how-to on making your own beeswax wrap in order to help commit to low-impact living.

November 09, 2020 — Kristy Karrer