Choose Eco-friendly Solutions for Your New Year's Resolution! (Kitchen Edition)
Updated: Feb 11, 2021
It's true, 2021 is one day away. Anyone else feel like 2020 happened in the blink of an eye; a blink that also kind of spanned a decade? It's ok, I'm ready to say goodbye to it now.
I get oh so excited when I set new intentions for the coming year. As always, we are presented with an incredible opportunity to choose Mother Earth’s healing as the forefront of our commitment. There are so many things we can do to move ourselves in the right direction. Many of these lifestyle changes you may already incorporate in some way or another, so just think abstractly on ways you can add a new commitment to your momma.
New Year's Resolution Ideas & More Blogs To Come:
💙No new clothes 2021
(This was mine in 2020, I let myself buy some second hand stuff)
💙Eat no meat or less meat, starting somewhere is still a start!
#meatlessmonday or #vegan #vegetarian
💙Buy Local Only (Farmers Markets, CSA Box, boutiques, mom & pops, crafters, creators)
💙Start a garden
💙Bike to work or carpool if it’s safe!
💙Start composting at home or join food2soil or drop free at the San Carlos local community garden on their free drop off day
💙Learn to properly recycle per your community (Ralph’s at 1030 University Avenue takes plastic cling/film recycling including plastic bags and wraps, San Diego accepts rinsed styrofoam & plastic to go containers in the blue bins and even rinsed aluminum foil if you haven’t rid yourself fully)
💙Shop 2nd hand thrift stores only, this might be one of my favorite treasures. If you need something check your community pages. Buy Nothing has free neighborly items on Facebook, and there is Craigslist, goodwill, vintage shops, etc!
💙Swap your bathroom products (Get rid of single use Q-tips and cotton rounds, replace them with LastSwab ear buds and hemp reusable rounds. Use toothtabs or charcoal powder toothpaste, start using a bamboo toothbrush, use refillable skin care, or Love This Mother has UpCircle products that use ingredients destined for a landfill. You can also try out our paper free TP. And if anything at all, ditch the plastic in your shower by using shampoo, conditioner and body bars instead of bottles.
💙The Kitchen: Ditch plastic & single use, and reduce your waste with Love This Mother!
Products: We have so many amazing essential swaps here at Love This Mother, but wherever you get your goodies, I've included some of our favorite swaps below:
-Unpaper Towels - Your Paper Towel Replacement
-Unpackaged extra large zero waste dish bar
-100% biodegradable Loofah Dish Sponges
-Stasher half gallon bags
-Stasher Stasher sandwich
-String Bag "One Tripper" Huge Market Bag
-Vegan Bee's Wax Wraps
-Give up paper towels: My all time favorite replacement to the wasteful paper towel is the Swedish Dishcloth. They have creative prints, they are sustainable, and they can handle heavy spills and cleanups. They guarantee an absorption of 20 times their weight and vow to replace 17 rolls of paper towels. The Three Bluebirds Swedish Dishcloths we sell also donate 1% of revenue to the Earth for each dishcloth purchased, and the best part is you can wash them up to 200 times, their screen printed with water-based inks, and are 100% biodegradable.
For a finer dining paper towel experience, we have Unpaper Towels - Your Paper Towel Replacement that are another great replacement to the 13 billion pounds of paper towels discarded by the US each year.
If you are looking to commit to second hand, you can also cutup old t-shirts that you no longer wear to use as dishrags and towels. Just keep an eye out for more absorbent fabrics to save your cleanups from needing an extra rag i.e. Linen, Cotton, Rayon, Wool, Fleece, Bamboo, Microfiber Plush, Hemp, & Flannel.
-Be a conscious consumer: If there is any major wakeup call to humanity it is that our over consumption is way out of control. we purchase things we don't need that either make their way to a landfill or rot in the backs of our fridges. To avoid this, you can make a conscious lists of the things that you actually use regularly in the kitchen, and definitely, please remember the things that you've let go to waste. The next time you're holding that wasted item at the store, you'll think twice about bringing it home. And when you do have this moment, form a commitment to yourself that you won't let this item go to waste again. Plan a meal that incorporates it in your head, right then and there in the moment. Once you've consciously purchased your food (preferably if accessible and affordable) from your local farms, farmers markets, or locally sourced from the major chains, remember to eat it once it's in your kitchen. My favorite hack is the eat now shelf or basket. Any time I have anything with a few days left I put it in a special place in my fridge to ensure I let no food go to waste!
-Give up plastic soap bottles and plastic scrubbies: At first transition to a more sustainable kitchen, we were buying biodegradable & refillable earth friendly liquid dish soap. It was great because you could buy it in bulk to reduce your waste and then just refill our plastic dish bottle. But it always irked me that, though the large refills were in bulk, they were still sold in plastic bags, and oh my, how I hate plastic. So, we finally found out about the extra lathery dish soap bars and ditched the plastic dish soap packaging all together. Our favorite dish bars at Love This Mother are the No Tox Life's Dish Block and the unpackaged extra large zero waste dish bar. We've replaced our plastic dish sponges with 100% biodegradable Loofah Dish Sponges and for tough on grease pots and pans, our favorite is the Casa Agave™ Pot Scrubber.
-Upgrade your on the go & storage containers, and reuse old food containers: As a free solution, we use oh so many pasta jars and old food containers to store leftovers, as well as bulk grains & foods. Not only is it saving us from needing to buy storage containers, but it's also surprisingly, oh so pretty!
We love our storage Stasher Bags, in particular the half gallon bags because we actually use these to bake with all the time too! We can completely remove our need for tin foil and parchment paper, and just put veggies, fish, and reheated tamales directly in this pouch. Just be careful not to bake or boil Stashers over 400 degrees. The smaller snack bags and Stasher sandwich bags are perfect to take snacks and lunches on the go or to store your half eaten produce. A picnic favorite, or lunch adventure container we love is the snack tiffin because you can have your veggies on one level, hummus on another, and crackers crisp on the top stack keeping it safe from sopping with liquids. If you are having a little snack break too, just be sure you keep a set of on-the-go bamboo utensils or metal to-go utensils in a backpack or purse. I have a set in my car that has saved me many a times from single use plastics!
Sheesh, or ditch the containers all together. I can't believe we haven't even gotten to the bees wax wraps yet. Can you tell how excited I am about all these kitchen swaps? If you don't have Bee's Wax Wraps yet, they're a must in my kitchen. Love This Mother even has a vegan option, though don't worry no bees are ever hurt in the process of making the bees wax wraps. If anything they are actually promoting a harmonious life of bee keeping in a world that has lost so much respect and understanding for one of our most important symbiotic relationships. Bees Wax (plant based vegan or not), are the perfect substitute to cling wrap and they actually keep your melons and fresh foods fresher for longer. I often find that days are added to the shelf-life of my foods when I use this alternative.
Another amazing on the go travel bag is the -String Bag "One Tripper" Huge Market Bag. Which we love in particular because the straps that hang around your shoulder are longer than the other string bags and it makes it more comfortable to throw over your shoulder and cruise around the farmers market. Not to mention the bag is much like a Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory bag that never stops growing. You can just keep adding fresh produce as you find them along your way and the bag will expand with your every need.
For grabbing produce at the grocery store, please for the life of me, don't use the little plastic bags, they are so unnecessary. Either put the produce directly in your cart or bring some Cotton Mesh Produce Bags. The fabric is incredible soft, stretchy, durable, and helps keep your produce wrapped once in the fridge. This lets it breathe to reduce early expiration. For produce that prefers a tighter wrap and needs less air, the Cotton Muslin Produce Bags are wonderful. I also store whole nuts and grains in the muslin bags too or use them for refills.
I hope this has been a helpful guide to some eco-friendly kitchen swaps and ideas. You don't need to get your stuff from Love This Mother there are tons of amazing products out there that are solutions to nasty human wasteful habits. Keep your eye out, shop small, and shop local as best you can!
I'll be posting the other New Year's resolution ideas in greater detail in the early days of 2021 to help guide any new conscious consumers along their way.
Cheers to a happy, healthy, and earth-friendly 2021!