How to be more Eco in the Kitchen

Stylish ways to reduce and recycle

Bring your own coffee cup and don’t even think about plastic straws.

That island in the middle of the Pacific made of trash? Appalling. The microplastic that scientists tell us are in everything? Ewww. The seabird wearing the six-pack ring? No!

What’s a responsible person to do? Reduce, reuse, recycle. Use less plastic. Buy better quality things that will last. We will soon be legislated out of our plastic habit—forcing us to be less profligate with our single use drink cups, cutlery and take-out containers.

Here is a selection of items that can help us get out of the throwaway habit and a cleaning cloth that helps us use less product and cuts down on plastic containers.

1. Go Eat Cutlery Set

Go Eat Cutlery Set

Stainless steel knife, fork and spoon set for mobile lunches. Pack it all away in the attractive teal silicone carrying case, rather than that paper towel you have been using, wrapped around your fork in the bottom of your knapsack, $25/set.

2. Cover Blubbers

Cover Blubbers

A colourful replacement for plastic wrap—reusable, washable and freezer safe. Do not put in the microwave or the dishwasher. Made of food safe rubber, $30/set of four.

3. Swedish Dish Cloths by Jangneus

Swedish Dish Cloths by Jangneus

Replace that skanky sponge with a Swedish dishcloth. Made of wood cellulose and cotton, toss into the compost when it’s done. I throw mine in the dishwasher occasionally, but generally just rinse with hot water and drape over the faucet. One Swedish dishcloth can replace 17 rolls of paper towel they say. Wow! $7 each.

4. Stasher Bags

Stasher Bags

These handy sandwich, storage or sous vide bags come in several colours and sizes. They are made from 100 per cent silicon, a rubber-like food-safe material, and, and they have an innovative pinch press seal. The company that manufactures Stasher is a member of, $12-$30/bag.

5. Compost Caddy

Compost Caddy

Yes, it’s plastic, but its size and practicality make it a worthwhile tool to compost all your veggie scraps. The caddy has an odour vent and an insect barrier and can be mounted on the back side of a cupboard, $30.

6. Compost Bags

Compost Bags

Compostable bags for your compost caddy. Made of bio-degradable plastic made from plants, 25 bags/$9.

7. Walnut Shell Scouring Pads

Walnut Shell Scouring Pads

A natural abrasive that doesn’t scratch most surfaces. Run through the dishwasher occasionally to freshen up. Made in Canada from US grown walnuts, $7/three pack.

8. Reusable Straws

Reusable Straws

Don’t want to give up your straw habit? You don’t have to. Silicone reusable straws in two sizes (the large is ideal for milkshakes) or stainless steel; each pack comes with its own cleaning tool. Stainless and large smoothie straws are $10/set of four. Regular size silicone with two cleaning brushes, $10/set
of six.

9. E-cloth


Have you switched to old-fashioned vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda, worried about the potentially harmful substances we use to clean our homes? And the bottles they come in?

What if we didn’t need to use anything at all? Just water? That’s the premise behind e-cloth.

The patented cloth developed in Japan has 3.1 million microscopic fibres per inch. Here’s how it works: Run the cloth under the tap and then wring it out. This fills the microscopic voids in the cloth’s fibers with water. When you wipe the cloth across a dirty surface, those water molecules attract and stick to particles of dirt, grease, grime, bacteria and mold, pulling the particles into the cloth and trapping them. Rinsing with warm or hot water releases the trapped particles and refreshes the cloth. Tests by Silliker Labs say that it removes 99 per cent of bacteria and mold from hard surfaces. Revolutionary!

Less paper towels and cleaning products to buy and no more plastic jugs to get rid of. That sounds like a win for the planet. Available in several sizes and uses, including a starter pack, glass and porcelain cloths, dishcloths, general purpose, mops and a line for pets, from $5-$50.

Find at good kitchen shops such as Bella Casa, Heart of the Home, Zocalo, as well as Freson Bros. and Italian Centre Shops. Not all items at all locations.