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 will work in your kitchen too!
Instead of: Paper towels
These Now Designs Swedish Dish Towel are made from cotton and plant-based fibers, are all-natural and compostable, and are a perfect size for cleaning up messes. They can be rinsed, wrung-out, and used again. I received some when I attended the International Home & Housewares Show in March and have been using them ever since. We recently used one of the towels to thoroughly clean our patio table and chairs, and it held up to four buckets of soapy water without a single rip or tear–then I tossed it in the washing machine so it’s ready for the next job.
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 for counters, stove-top, or dishes. We use these Lil’ Chizlers practically every day and put them through the dishwasher to get them clean.
Instead of: Plastic straws
I like having a straw in my drink because I tend to take in 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 (be sure to get a straw brush for cleaning!). Recently, the folks at Aardvark sent me a sample of these 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: Grocery 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.
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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!) I’ve also been using their reusable sandwich bags, which they sent me as well. They come in really cute designs and are simple to open and close.
Instead of: Plastic wrap
I try to use storage containers when I can, but I still find myself reaching for plastic wrap to, say, cover a salad I’m bringing to a potluck or to wrap up the last slice of leftover pizza. So I bought a set of Bee’s Wrap after seeing ads for it on Facebook. Made in Vermont, Bee’s Wrap is organic cotton infused with beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin. It’s a thick, washable, and reusable wrap you can use to cover a bowl or wrap up a hunk of cheese or bread, and you use the warmth of your hands to form it (it holds its shape after it cools).
Do YOU have any favorite reusable products for the kitchen? Please share in the comments!
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