Going green literally starts at home and now more than ever there are so many useful, safe, green options for you and your family. You don’t have to do it all at once as I’ve said over and over again, change takes time, but why not have a little fun in the process?
I love trying new items, I only buy what I need and always look for items that will really make my experience and my life better. If you are looking to transition your kitchen, these items are a good place to start. You can also head over to well.ca for my extensive guide on how to green your kitchen.
I recently took a little trip to Logan and Finley, an urban general store in Toronto that focusses on all green goods, all the time. I wanted to get a sense of what’s out there and pick up a few things that I needed too.
Julie, who owns the store has been kind enough to give my readers a 10% discount, us the code THEECOHUB10. You can connect with her in-store or on her Instagram account @loganandfinley.
Here are are a few of my favourite things!
Uashmama paper bags
These gorgeous, washable “paper” bags are perfect for pretty much anything, I use mine for bread, flowers, plants, fruits, and veggies too. You can wash them over and over again, they are durable and a great replacement for plastic bins and containers. Here is an interesting fact, the bags are soft yet resilient, where the manufacturing process is similar to leather as the paper is stretched and tanned making it durable to withstand washing and daily use.
The also offer decor and fashion items, that are sustainable, durable and would make a perfect gift. I mean look how beautiful these are.
I am sure by now you have heard about the detrimental effect that plastic has on the ocean. There are over 8 million tons of it floating around right now as I write this. Plastic sucks but some of it is worse than others.
Items that we use once, like straws, are the worst offenders. They have a short lifespan and are normally discarded after only one use and end up in landfills. Like other plastic items, they don’t biodegrade; they last hundreds of years and end up polluting our soil and water as they slowly break down.
Did you know?
– Plastic straws are in the top ten items picked up in beach cleanups
– We burn a ton of fossil fuels to make plastic straws
– They normally contain Bisphenol A (a known carcinogen)
The best way to get rid of plastic straws is to simply stop buying them! If you are out at a restaurant, just ask them to hold the straw!
But Candice, how do I slurp my kale smoothies? Well, there is a straw for that. A stainless steel one from UKonserve. I’ve been using them for years and I even travel with them sometimes, they are easy to clean and will literally last a lifetime. Steel is also very recyclable, so if it ends up in the trash, at least it can be turned into something useful. If you think buying one straw for $7 is too much money, it’s a onetime investment that has a huge effect on the environment.
According to Natural Resources Canada, the average North American will produce 600 times their own weight in garbage over their lifetime. A person who weighs 150 pounds will leave behind a 90,003-pound trash legacy. I’m having a hot flash as I type this, can you believe these numbers?
By changing the way we approach our packaged lunches, we can prevent a significant amount of waste heading to a landfill.
Waste-free lunches are made up of the following items:
– Reusable food containers
– Reusable drink containers
– Reusable utensils
– Reusable napkins
They do not include:
– disposable packaging
– prepackaged foods
– plastic bags
– juice boxes
– paper napkins
– disposable utensils
Let’s talk about disposable utensils, Nicholas Mallos, director of the Ocean Conservancy’s Trash-Free Seas Program says “Plastic utensils are an item that many people may not think of as posing a threat in a marine environment,” He adds that plastic forks and knives can harm marine life both when they’re whole and later when they break down into smaller, sharper, ingestible pieces.
So let’s toss these NOW!
A fabulous alternative is this adorable set from Bambu. Made from USDA certified organic bamboo, they are durable, light, easy to clean and perfect for lunches, traveling and picnic. In fact, traveling with these is optimal for me, the knife actually cuts and I just find them a much better alternative to schlepping around steel.
Okay to say I love these would be a gross understatement! If you use mason jars as much as I do, then you will love these. I was noticing my caps were getting a bit rusty and was looking for a good solution. These are it. They also help to reduce mess and spill, even tried to pour salad dressing from a wide-mouthed mason jar? It’s not pretty!
You can use these over and over again, they are made from BPA-free, FDA approved plastic. Yes, I know what you are thinking, but these are actually made to be recycled, they have #5 on the bottom, so they are safer and honesty, though, they are meant to last. Whatever goes in your mason jar, cap it with these!
Along with mason jars I also use glass jars from Weck, have you heard about them?
They are masters of canning and all their jars are made specifically for at-home canning.
The jars stack easily, saving space and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Your imagination is the only limit.
I use two caps for these, the glass (that they come with) and the silicone Blossom eCap, also ideal for canning. Snaps on tightly and fit most Weck jars. It’s made from silicone and lock in freshness.
There has been a lot of buzz surrounding this product and for good reason! It’s truly one of my top go-to green products in my kitchen. I met Toni, the founder; about 3 years ago when I did an Earth Day segment on The Marilyn Denis Show, on how to go green at home. I was hooked the second I brought these home.
Now the coolest thing (well one of the coolest) about Abeego is that Toni is actually a trailblazer in the beeswax food wrap movement, geez makes me think “wish I had thought of that”, right?
Why do these work so well? Toni says “Firstly, it’s logical. It breathes. If living food needed to be wrapped in an airtight wrap the rind, peel or skin would be airtight. It’s not. Secondly, it’s inspirational. It looks good, feels good, smells good and fosters a healthier relationship with food.”
I agree with her and have to add that they do smell pretty amazing! Weird I know, but trust me!
This product is super innovative and so useful in the home. It literally molds to anything you are wrapping and covering, it’s like magic. Love it!
You can use these to wrap or cover anything and also to keep produce fresh. They have a ton of cool videos on their website to show you how.
Make sure you are taking care of it well, you need to hand wash in cold water with an alcohol-free soap, I use Dr. Bronner. Click here for more care tips.
Zipper Mason Jar Bags – that stand
So if you don’t want to schlep your glass mason jars around and you are looking to ditch plastic baggies, then meet the Zipper Mason Jar.
I kind of love these, they come in a variety of sizes, they look like mason jars and they stand when you fill them. I use them for snacks like nuts and seeds, veggies and more. They have a zipper (like a zip log bag) that close very easily.
Well, there you have it. 6 amazing, useful, green kitchen items to get your going on your green journey. If you have items that you want to share, please do in the comments below!