{green your home} la cuisine: the eco kitchen

Friday, June 24, 2016

i'm going to admit something. i love to ask friends + family for direction and guidance, tips and tricks to live a healthy + happy life: from relationships to recycling, i know there are creative solutions to life's challenges; and i love to plunder my friends' unique life experiences for wisdom. i'm a reading machine, but i love to supplement knowledge gathered with sage advice from my support network.

there's something i love to ask family + new friends: what is one small action you might suggest to lead a more sustainable life? here are some of the best tips i've garnered to reduce waste + create a green kitchen in the home:

1/ utilize cloth napkins + towels: it's time to say au revoir to paper towels + paper napkins, my friends. disposable paper products come from newly felled trees, are treated with chlorine, and end up in landfills since their low fiber content does not allow for recycling. cloth towels are reusable + available in abundance; they're cute, they're handmade, they can be found in organic textiles, and most of all, they can be used again + again. here are a few faves to make the switch in your kitchen: 1. alabama chanin's made in the usa towels; 2. fair + simple's fair trade towels; 3. raven + lily's artisan-made napkins; 4. yao cheng's original watercolor napkins + towels, all handcrafted with love.

2/ invest in reusable produce bags: while carrying a reusable bag to shops + the grocery store seems like an easy peasy thing to do, many consumers still use single-use plastic bags for produce. this petroleum based product creates greenhouse gases that are pumped into the atmosphere and are harmful to the physical environmental. plastic is a great source of pollution with more than 500 billion plastic bags being produced each year and only 1-3% being recycled according to the epa. try one of these reusable cotton eco bags that are easy to toss into your purse or coat pocket + can be washed by hand or in your washing machine.

3/ carry reusable to-go containers: this is an easy one. if like me, you enjoy discovering new cuisine outside of your own kitchen {ok, i love to eat out, because well, i'm better at eating than cooking, truth be told}, you've probably taken a to-go box home with you. sometimes they're styrofoam, sometimes they're plastic or tin, but they're not earth friendly. most of us already have food storage containers in our cupboards; it's a matter of remembering to bring it with. i almost always end up taking food home with me, so now i carry a tupperwear container with me. this is such a simple tip, but definitely one of my favorites to consistently reduce our carbon footprint.

4/ use reusable sandwich bags: if you pack a lunch for work or if you're a grazer like me who likes to snack all the livelong day, then you may have used {or are currently using} throwaway sandwich bags that most of the world uses. you'd be surprised at how hardworking + long-lasting these handy reusable sandwich bags are. an inexpensive, but worthwhile investment.

5/ swiff away, eco style: now, if you use a swiffer to mop and sweep your floors, you can replace the disposable sweeping pads with a handmade cloth pad {or use a washcloth which can then be washed + stored with other household cleaning supplies}. distilled vinegar mixed with a splash of lemon {for a fresh scent} is just as effective as store-bought cleansers for cleaning mold, bacteria + germs, only minus the harsh chemicals. i love this tip. spending less on disposable items means saving more for travel + adventures!

*bonus/ eat more plants and less dairy + meat: you've probably read the stats. animal agriculture is the leading cause of habitat destruction + environmental degradation, and is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions {more than the combined cost of all transportation}.*  increasingly, researchers + experts are pointing to a change from an animal-based diet to a plant-based diet to control or eliminate diseases like cancer or diabetes {i'm living proof} to protect the environment, and to eliminate animal exploitation in factory farming. not sure where to start to make more sustainable + more compassionate food choices? you can start out with meatless monday, or skip on over here if you're thinking of adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet. there are so many delicious foods + great resources to get you started. if you'd like to talk to someone about it, feel free to reach out to me! i promise, it's easy. i'd be honored to share my story, my fave veg foods + all the good that's come of my personal journey. i'd love to connect with you!

until next time, stay green dear hearts!

{top image via yeo cheng / artwork by f+d}

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