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9 Eco-Friendly Kitchen Products for the Conscious Cook

Discover these eco-friendly kitchen products that are perfect for any home cook with an eye toward sustainability.
9 Eco-Friendly Kitchen Products for the Conscious Cook

This Article is 100% Organic: Written and Researched by Real Humans.

When we talk about making eco conscious choices, we always suggest starting small and starting where you are — and where Americans are for over 400 hours each year is the kitchen!

Indeed, when it comes to changing up your routines for the greener, a great place to start is one that you likely frequent right after you wake up, especially if you’re a midnight snacker, right before you go to bed. You’re washing your dishes with conventional cleaning products, using utensils and dishes coated with chemicals, and wrapping up leftovers in plastic. 

The good news is that sustainable kitchen products, from dishes to detergents, are now more readily available than ever. 

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A Quick Look At The Best Eco-Friendly Kitchen Products

How We Choose These Sustainable Kitchen Products?

When we choose sustainable products for an eco-friendly kitchen, we’re looking for well rounded tools, cleaning supplies, and accessories that go above and beyond a green label to give you a more sustainable alternative to conventional goods. 

These products each fulfill one or more of these criteria: 

  • Made of renewable or recyclable materials.
  • Absence of toxic chemicals. 
  • Transparent labeling of ingredients and materials. 
  • Have a light carbon footprint in sourcing and production.

Full List of Eco-Friendly Kitchen Products

Sustainable Cleaning Items
Image by Grove Collaborative

Sustainable Cleaning Items

The typical kitchen holds a myriad of specialty cleaning products, ready to go when your all-purpose cleaner just won’t cut it. One for the coffee maker, another for the oven, and one more for the dishes. Forget there is likely a natural alternative to all of them; high-powered marketing has convinced us otherwise! 

Thankfully marketplaces like the Grove Collaborative carry clean and green brands like B Corp certified Dr. Bonner’s, which makes an all-purpose cleaner and a non toxic Castille soap. Other favorites include Method’s Hardwood Floor Cleaner and Grab Green’s Power Degreaser Tablets – perfect for the stovetop!

Choosing sustainable and non-toxic cleaning items is a two-fold process. It’s not just about choosing products with a transparent, clean ingredient list; the packaging holds the other half of the equation. 

Cleaning Essentials Kit In Glass
Image by Branch Basics

Beyond looking for products packaged with the least amount of materials possible, the most eco-conscious choice you can make in your kitchen cleaner is one that offers a reusable and refillable option. Single use plastic is the primary problem in growing landfills. 

While recycling helps, only 9% of consumer packaging gets reused. Instead, look for products like Blueland’s Dishwasher Tablets. They come without the typical plastic film in an aluminum tin – an infinitely reusable (and recyclable!) material. Another great option is Branch’s Cleaning Essentials in Glass Kit, which delivers concentrates that you can dilute at home in reusable glass cleaning bottles. We love a concentrate, meaning that only the active cleaning ingredients are being shipped, rather than the 90 to 95% water that most cleaning products contain.

Coconut Scrubber Sponge By Grove Collaborative
Image by Grove Collaborative

Ditch your single use sponge, likely made of polyurethane or some other foamed polymer, in favor of one of these earth friendly alternatives! 

If you’re a fan of the satisfying squish of a sponge, look to Public Good’s Walnut Scubber an eco-friendly upgrade made of a walnut scouring pad and vegetable cellulose sponge. Grove Collaborative’s Coconut Scrubber Sponge works just as well but also comes with Carbon Neutral Shipping. 

If you want an option to throw a little elbow grease behind your dishwashing, you might need a heavy duty handle scrubber. While these are usually made of a hard plastic with nylon bristles, there are more eco-friendly alternatives. Dropp’s Kitchen Brushes come with two hand brushes and one handled brush made of a bamboo handle and coconut fibers. 

Unpaper® Towels Prints By Marleys Monsters
Image by Marley's Monsters

To most of us, paper towels are an afterthought. What’s one little piece of flimsy paper? Turns out a lot. Most are made from virgin wood pulp and do their part in deforestation. Next up is production – of which the industry pulls an astonishing amount of natural resources. Producing one ton of paper towels uses and pollutes more than 20,000 gallons of fresh water. Unfortunately, recycled paper towels have a similar impact. 

The disposable paper towel was invented in 1879 – before that, we used good old-fashioned cotton cloths. Today, brands like Swede Dish Cloths made options that are reusable, biodegradable, compostable, and washable for up to 200 cycles. They can be used to clean windows, counters, floors, and any other situation you would normally reach for a paper towel! 

Other great options are Geometry’s Not Paper Towels, made out of post-consumer recycled plastic, and Marley’s Monsters UNPaper Towels, made of organic cotton. 

Easy Clean Compost Bin By
Image by Oxo

Tabletop Composter

We know. Leaving food bits on your countertop seems very counterintuitive to having a clean kitchen. But hear us out. A sustainable kitchen is one of harmony – and circularity. This means being conscious of our food waste and making the most of what we can’t avoid. 

Food scraps can be saved to be broken down in soil, passed to the neighborhood chicken coop, or donated to the community garden. Better yet, when broken down properly they can be used in your patio garden or plants for pesticide free fertilizer. 

Composting used to be for those with a bounty of backyard space, but today, anyone can get in the regenerative soil game with these tabletop composters. 

Lomi is the perfect place for first time composters to start. They make a compact, instant, and odorless tabletop composter with the Lomi Classic. A heating and grinding cycle makes the food garden ready in as little as three hours! 

Another no-tech version is Oxo’s Easy Clean Compost Bin. It won’t do all the hard work that Lomi does, but if you’re already a seasoned composter and just need a smell free bin, it’s a great addition to your no waste kitchen.

Compostable Tall Kitchen Drawstring Bags
Image by UNNI

Compostable Trash Bags

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Plastic single-use garbage bags are the most common earth offender in any kitchen. One of the main reasons to ditch these plastic bags is their longevity in our environment. They can take hundreds of years to break down and, in the process, degrade into microplastics, tiny invaders that end up in our soil and waterways. 

Compostable trash bags, on the other hand, are designed to break down under certain conditions into water, carbon dioxide, and biomass, leaving no toxic residue. It’s taken years of engineering to create a realistic alternative to the plastic version that would break down in the environment (in a healthy way) but not under the weight of household trash! 

UNNI makes an extra sturdy compostable bag with drawstrings that holds up to 49 liters. Hippo Sak also makes an excellent and extra sturdy plant-based bag with handles that have passed the big dinner test. 

Bees Wrap Sandwich Wrap
Image by Bee's Wrap

Plastic Wrap Swaps

Plastic wrap, like paper towels, seems like an afterthought when it comes to sustainability. Shouldn’t we be worried about the bigger plastics looming in our kitchens? Unfortunately, their persistent use adds up and takes a toll on the planet. 

One of our favorite alternatives is the classic beeswax wrap. Is there anything bees can’t do? You can make your own, but if you’re not feeling crafty, BeesWrap will do the hard work for you. Made of organic cotton, beeswax, organic plant oil, and tree resin, they are perfect for wrapping sandwiches. 

For covering your leftovers, look for silicone lid covers- paraben and plastic-free, these often preserve food better than the conventional plastic film! The Net Zero Company makes a set of six silicone covers in different sizes that stretch to accommodate most sizes of dishes! 

Ceramic Pour Over
Image by Good Citizen Coffee

Plastic Free Coffee Maker

Your coffee maker has likely greeted you many mornings. Because of their heavy use, they typically last for just five years on average. Most have a heavy plastic component that not only comes in contact with your hot beverage, potentially leaching toxic chemicals like ​​BPA (bisphenol A) into your cup of joe but also contributing to a plastic crisis in our landfill. 

Investing in a stainless steel coffeemaker means saving money in the long run as they have extended lifespans. Stainless steel is also infinitely recyclable and won’t leach chemicals over time. It’s a win-win for the earth and your latte! 

The Chemex 2.0 Ottomatic is a top of the line pour over coffee machine with a lot of sleek innovation with no plastic in sight. Citizen Coffee makes a beautifully crafted low tech Ceramic Pour Over unit that, when coupled with a Free the Ocean Reusable Coffee Filter, makes a planet-approved wake-up drink to start your day! 

The Starter Set No.8 Cast Iron Skillet With Care Kit
Image by Field Company

Cast Iron Cookware

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The use of non-stick cookware has been a topic of debate due to potential health and environmental concerns. Non-stick pans, especially those made with Teflon, can’t be recycled, which means they end up in landfill. 

Over time, this could become a source of groundwater pollution. Chemicals like fluoropolymers, used in the production of non-stick pans, are known to emit polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) during production, processing, use, and end-of-life (the landfill stage). They also get a bad wrap for human health, thought to potentially leach into food being cooked over time. 

A better alternative? Cast iron cookware, the popular choice of generations before us, is longer lasting and made without the toxic coatings of their modern-day alternatives. Cast iron is infinitely recyclable as well. The Field Company makes an excellent Starter Kit that comes with a 10 ¼” cast iron skillet, natural fiber brush, chain mail scrubber, and even some cast iron seasoning oil for good measure.

Ecolution also makes a stylish non-stick ceramic coated cookware set that forgoes the toxic coatings. 

Why Switch to Sustainable Kitchen Products?

Swapping out conventional kitchen products for more sustainable ones has many benefits! 

  • Reduce Waste: Many sustainable kitchen products are designed to last longer and be infinitely reusable, reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
  • Lower Carbon Footprint: Sustainable kitchen products are often made from materials that require less energy to produce, lowering your overall carbon footprint/
  • Healthier Options: Swapping out items like plastic films and cookware with coatings means avoiding harmful chemicals that can leach into your food and the environment. 
  • Cost-Effective in the Long Run: While the initial cost may be higher, sustainable kitchen products typically last longer, making them more cost-effective in the long run.
  • Renewable Materials: Materials like coconut and walnut husks for scrubbers mean one less dose of microplastics going into the environment after they are tossed in the bin. 

Transforming Your Kitchen, One Dish at a Time

Your kitchen is a sacred place, one where love should be the only extra ingredient – not single use plastic, toxic coatings, or cleaning chemicals!

Switching to sustainable kitchen products has numerous advantages, both for your personal health and the well-being of our planet.

These eco-friendly alternatives are often made from renewable materials like stainless steel, coconut fibers, and glass, reducing our reliance on non-renewable resources and resulting in biodegradable compostable byproducts.

Start with the next time you need to buy dish soap and save up over time for bigger purchases like new cookware. Each step is one for a more sustainable kitchen and planet. 

Eco-Friendly Kitchen-Related Topics:

Alyson Lundstrom

Alyson Lundstrom

Born in the Pacific Northwest, Alyson is a recovering nomad with a degree in Environmental Science. She has had professional lives as a marine biologist, eco-entrepreneur, and community sustainability leader in the Caribbean, China, Mexico, and currently the less exotic, but always green, Washington State. She currently covers movements, brands, and humans as they pursue the elusive quadruple bottom line of people, profit, planet, and purpose.
Alyson Lundstrom

Alyson Lundstrom

Born in the Pacific Northwest, Alyson is a recovering nomad with a degree in Environmental Science. She has had professional lives as a marine biologist, eco-entrepreneur, and community sustainability leader in the Caribbean, China, Mexico, and currently the less exotic, but always green, Washington State. She currently covers movements, brands, and humans as they pursue the elusive quadruple bottom line of people, profit, planet, and purpose.

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