Replace paper towels, plastic wrap, and more with these reusable products for the kitchen that are better for the environment (and save you money!).
I’m always looking for ways to be less wasteful around the house, whether it’s recycling and composting or stocking the kids’ drawers with hand-me-downs. Here are my favorite reusable products for the kitchen–some I recently discovered and some that I’ve been using for years. Maybe they’ll work in your kitchen too!
Instead of paper towels: These Swedish Dishcloths (sponsored link) are made from plant-based cellulose and cotton, are all-natural and biodegradable, and are a perfect size for cleaning up messes. They can be used dry or wet, and you can rinse, wring-out, and use them again. I use them for all kinds of tasks: Wiping up spills, cleaning out the sink, wiping down our patio table and chairs–then I toss them in the washing machine (and lay flat to dry). So far mine have held up without a single rip or tear. Here’s more on how Swedish dishcloths are made, how you use them, and why they work so well.
Instead of sponges and scouring pads: My husband, the resident dishwasher, is particular about his tools. He likes to have some kind of scrubbing pad, but the plastic mesh ones we’ve used in the past get really gross really fast and end up in the garbage can. At the Housewares Show, I picked up a sample of these Skoy Scrubs, a reusable scrub pad that can be washed on the top rack of the dishwasher or in the washing machine. I love that it’s easily cleaned and reused. Most importantly, my husband gives it the thumbs-up!
Instead of plastic bags: What I love about these Stasher Bags is how easy they are to open and close, unlike some reusable bags I’ve used in the past. They’re food-grade silicone, and you can store, microwave, freeze, and even sous-vide with these bags–plus they’re dishwasher safe. Pick from several sizes (including half-gallon, sandwich, and snack sizes) and colors.
Instead of harsh kitchen sprays: Instead of using smelly sprays for grime and stuck-on stuff, use this little plastic scraper when you’ve got stuck-on stuff on dishes, counters, and stove-top. We use these Lil’ Chizlers every day and put them through the dishwasher to get them clean. I love these so much I’ve given them as little gifts to friends and family.
Instead of Plastic wrap: These washable and resuable bowl covers are perfect when you don’t have (or can’t find!) a lid–or when you’re taking a salad or other dish to a party and don’t want to use plastic wrap–. The set comes with three sizes and there are a few patterns to choose from.
Instead of plastic straws: I like having a straw in my drink because I tend to drink more water when I use them. But throwing away all those plastic straws? No way. I’m a long-time user of the U-Konserve Stainless Steel Straws (they come with the must-have straw brush for cleaning!). Recently, the folks at Aardvark sent me a sample of fun paper straws that are biodegradable and compostable (they decompose in just 30-60 days). They come in lots of colors and designs and would be really cute for a party or event.
Instead of plastic produce bags: I spend a lot of time in the produce section of the grocery store, but using all of those plastic bags makes me feel wasteful. I bought a set of these Flip & Tumble Bags to use instead, and they’ve held up well even after multiple trips through the washing machine.
|You might also like: How to Compost at Home|
Instead of store-bought freezer pops: Last summer I bought a set of Zipsicle ice pop pouches to create freezer pops, and my kids loved them. Though the pouches can be reused, they are thin and seem more like a one-time-use product. But when I spotted these Russbe Reuse-a-Pop reusable popsicle bags at the Housewares Show, I knew I had to try them. They sent me a sample, and I’ve used them multiple times. They’re well made, thick and sturdy, easy to clean, and hold just enough for a refreshing ice pop. (They have a zip-top that my kids find a little tricky to use, but opening the ice pops for your kids is a small price to pay for a pouch you can use again and again!) These are no longer available but here is another reusable ice pop pouch.
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