{green your home} la cuisine: the eco kitchen

i'm going to admit something. i love to plunder my friends' unique life experiences for wisdom. i'm also a reading machine, and i love to supplement knowledge gathered via books and films 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:

cloth napkins

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. coyuchi's organic cotton napkins; 3. raven + lily's artisan-made napkins; 4. yao cheng's original watercolor napkins + towels, all handcrafted with love.

reusable produce bags

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.

stainless steel to-go containers

3/ carry reusable to-go containers + water bottles: 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 as many end up on a landfill and our oceans. most of us already have food storage containers in our cupboards; it's a matter of remembering to bring them with. i almost always end up taking food home with me, so now i carry a lightweight, steel to-go container with me. and ditch single-use plastic water bottles; pop a sleek steel water bottle into your bag to use again + again. this is such a simple tip, but definitely one of my favorites to consistently reduce our carbon footprint.

multipurpose sandwich bags

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. if you dig tupperware, welcome to a new age of eco containers made from recycled plastic. an inexpensive, but worthwhile investment.

the little broom that could

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. want an alternative to the swiffer? use a tried + true broom {remember those? i still use them!} or this little mop that looks like a swiffer, but has a reusable, washable cloth. spending less on disposable items means saving more for travel + adventures!

eco straws

bonus/ time to kick that straw habit, eco boys + girls! here are some reusable straw options for those of you that love to see your drink slide through a tubular utensil before it reaches your lips! 

{don't forget the tip} 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!