Cooking Tips

20 Tiny Ways to Make Your Kitchen More Eco-Friendly

Getting started is easier than you think.

Published June 22, 2023.

Sometimes several small tweaks can add up to a big lasting change. This same rule applies when you’re looking to reduce waste and lessen your negative impact on the environment. 

Your kitchen is a great place to start. Whether it’s ditching single-use plastic or finally taking that composting leap, your eco-friendly options are endless.

Here are 20 easy tips that you can do today to make your cooking a little more sustainable.

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1. Create a "use-it-up" shelf in your fridge with all the foods that are close to expiration to reduce food waste.

2. Freeze fresh produce to ensure it doesn’t go bad before you get a chance to eat it.

3. Bring your own reusable produce bags to the supermarket.

4. After you use your salad spinner, use the water in your garden or for your house plants rather than dumping it down the drain.

5. Wash and reuse your zipper-lock bags.

6. Prepare a menu for the week to avoid overbuying at the store.

7. Start composting—and you don’t need a big yard to do it. Research options in your area; some cities do curbside pickup and many areas have private companies that pick up for a monthly fee.

8. Use a jar spatula to get every last bit of food out of containers and reduce waste.

9. Switch to a gentler multipurpose cleaning spray that is less harmful to you and the environment or try an eco-friendly concentrate to reduce plastic. 

10. Reuse parchment paper (up to 5 times!).


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11. Reduce the amount of plastic wrap you use with reusable food wrap, silicone food covers, and glass food storage containers.

12. Don’t wait for leftover bread to become stale bread that needs to be thrown out. Make croutons or bread pudding.

13. Reuse your cooking grease. When it’s time to toss, learn how to properly dispose of it.

14. Regrow your vegetables from the scraps.

15. Leftover herbs sitting in your fridge? Add them to homemade pasta.

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16. Avoid blindly throwing away food and money. Use your senses not just expiration dates.

17. Reduce your use of single-use paper products by opting for reusable paper towels.

18. Reuse glass jars for making salad dressing or using as tea light candle holders.

19. Properly sanitize and wring out your kitchen sponge to make it last longer.

20. Learn how to properly store red meat and poultry in the freezer to prevent freezer burn and waste.

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