Five Simple Kitchen Swaps

In case you're looking to make your home more sustainable, I wanted to share a few of the simple switches I made that helped me move away from plastic kitchenware and disposable products, to be able to produce less trash in my kitchen. Though in many homes the trash can is integral to the functioning of the kitchen, I no longer own one. Instead, I compost all of my food waste, and the tools above - in addition to a few others - mean that several months' worth of the kitchen trash I make now fits in the palm of my hand. The best part is, it's totally doable for you too!

Read on for a few simple places to start:

-Glass everything. Plastic can leach into your food, which isn't healthy. And, it isn't always recyclable, so it ends up in landfills or in waterways.  Glass is nontoxic, lasts forever, and is completely recyclable if need be. I've slowly phased out the plastic in my cupboards in favor of glass prep bowls, jars, glasses, and food storage containers. Unlike plastic too, my glass implements are beautiful and a joy to use.

-Switch your spices. Instead of purchasing spices in plastic or glass bottles, consider purchasing them from your grocery's bulk foods aisle instead and decanting them into containers you already have. This saves money (you won't have to pay for the cost of the container, just the spices you're buying) and eliminates wasteful packaging.

-Loose leaf tea. If you drink tea, switch to loose leaf tea instead of purchasing it in containers shrink-wrapped in non-recyclable plastic. You can purchase from the bulk aisle of your local grocery. If you're new to the loose leaf world, here's how to make it.

-Metal straws. Instead of plastic straws, if you use them. Enough said. Easy. Done.

-Natural fiber cleaning brushes. Cellulose sponges and plastic-handled brushes aren't recyclable, and get so gross and smelly that you probably go through them at a fast clip. I've found that natural fibers (such as wooden handles, or in the photograph above, hemp yarn) stay fresh-smelling longer, and when they're spent, they can go straight in the compost.

You can find more tips on making your kitchen and home more sustainable, here.