Out of habit, many households resort to single-use products in their everyday. Yet there are numerous eco-friendly alternatives out there that are hardly recognisable as such. Here are our top 5 for the kitchen.

Beeswax wraps

Conventional cling film is made of polyethylene, cannot be recycled and is usually thrown away after one use. Likewise, aluminium foil consumes huge amounts of energy in its production and unfortunately is not at all a good choice in terms of other environmental criteria either.

For those wanting to reduce their household waste, reusable beeswax wraps come in many designs and sizes. They are usually made of organic cotton coated with wax and can be fitted to any shape by using the warmth of your hands. They also have antibacterial properties so that food stays fresh longer and are easy to wash. For the vegans among us, there are also vegan plant-based options.

Compostable dishwashing sponges

Many of us use plastic foam sponges when washing up and cleaning. What most don't know: During their use, these release microplastic particles that end up in the wastewater and contribute to the pollution of our waterways. They also accumulate bacteria, which means they must be replaced frequently and end up in the bin in large quantities.

In contrast, compostable dishwashing sponges are made from more sustainable raw materials, such as cotton, flax, wood pulp or loofah, making them 100% plastic-free.

Glass containers and stainless steel lunch boxes

Although tupperware is generally safe, it is made from petroleum and can contain substances of concern such as plasticisers. In addition, plastic containers are not heat-resistant and can accordingly release harmful substances if they are heated or come into contact with hot food. Therefore, it is best to switch to other storage options.

Examples are glass containers or stainless steel lunch boxes for on the go. Used jars, such as jam jars, can also be reused. Existing tupperware does not have to be thrown away either but can be used to store non-food items instead.

Dishwashing brushes

Dishwashing brushes are practical for cleaning bottles and removing stubborn food residues. They are often made entirely of plastic, are not recyclable and eventually end up in the bin.

The alternatives made of wood are not only biodegradable and more sustainable but look much nicer too. For the brush head, manufacturers typically use natural coconut or tampico fibres that hold their shape well. In addition, the brush heads can usually be replaced without having to dispose of the whole brush, which in turn saves resources.

Dishwashing soaps

Washing up liquid comes into contact with our skin and enters our waterways through wastewater. It often contains substances such as ammonium lauryl sulphate, which binds grease and water, that are harmful to us and to the environment. Synthetically produced on a petroleum basis and only partially biodegradable, these substances can be especially toxic to aquatic life while in humans they cause allergies, rashes and drying of mucous membranes.

A good alternative therefore is solid plant-based dishwashing soaps. They are biodegradable and so gentle on the skin that you can even use the wastewater to water plants!

October 03, 2021 — Jenny Albrecht