12 Eco-Friendly Kitchen Swaps That Will Also Save Your Wallet

by Kristine Cannon
Feb 5, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. ET

As you might already know, many common household products are wasteful and costly. We also know habits can be hard to break. Eating healthy is one thing, but a total rehaul of not only your kitchen products but also your cleaning habits? Now that just seems downright impossible, right?

It might seem like an overwhelming task, but going plastic-free and having a more eco-friendly kitchen is actually a lot easier than you might think. All it takes are a few small, inexpensive swaps — at least to start.

So if the new year for you means a healthier and more environmentally conscious version of yourself, then this list is for you.

From reusable food wraps and reusable K-Cup pods to replacing your Teflon cookware and ditching your plastic baggies, these swaps will make your life even easier and the environment so much happier — not to mention they’ll save you money in the long-run.

1 /12: Reusable Straws

1/12 :Reusable Straws

Ditch the plastic straws, and opt for reusable straws.

Kikkerland 11-inch reusable straws, $3 for a 24-pack at Bed, Bath & Beyond

2 /12: Reusable Food Wraps

2/12 :Reusable Food Wraps

We all know the dangers of plastic. Evidence suggests plastic leeches harmful toxins into our bodies. And because they are not biodegradable and don't decompose, it creates environmental issues. So ETEE, which stands for "everything touches everything else," came into existence. ETEE food wraps are made of natural materials that keep food fresh and are reusable, compostable and easy to use.

ETEE food wraps, $19 at ETEEShop/Etsy

3 /12: Reusable Food Containers

3/12 :Reusable Food Containers

Similar to ETEE, these food wraps are reusable and a great alternative to plastic wrap. These CoverBlubber wraps stretch, cling and form to food, dishes and containers to store in either the fridge or freezer.

Fusionbrands CoverBlubber reusable, stretchable food covers, $11 at Amazon

4 /12: Reusable K-Cup Pods

4/12 :Reusable K-Cup Pods

Not only are these particular reusable K-Cups BPA-free and dishwasher safe, but they'll also save you money and help the environment.

Fill N Save, $17 for a 4-pack at Amazon

5 /12: Reusable Mesh Coffee FIlters

5/12 :Reusable Mesh Coffee FIlters

In the same vein as the K-Cup pods, single-serve paper coffee filters are wasteful and costly in the long-run. So, for those of you who also use the traditional drip coffee maker, why not switch to reusable?

GoldTone reusable coffee filter, $60 at Amazon

6 /12: Reusable Dish Scrubbers

6/12 :Reusable Dish Scrubbers

Instead of tossing your sponge every few months, opt for a dish sponge that will last much longer and is washing machine-safe. Plus, it's quick-drying, preventing foul odors.

Innovative dish-washing net cloths, $5 at Amazon

7 /12: Reusable Dish Towels

7/12 :Reusable Dish Towels

Replace your paper towels with environmentally and washing machine-friendly towels. These in particular claim to last as long as 16 rolls of paper towels too.  

Natural Materials reusable eco-friendly dish cloths, $10 at Amazon

8 /12: Eco-Friendly All-Purpose Cleaner

8/12 :Eco-Friendly All-Purpose Cleaner

With just five basic ingredients — lemon, cinnamon, water, baking soda and vinegar — you can create toxin-free, animal ingredient-free drain cleaner, air freshener and all-purpose cleaner. Or if you prefer, you can purchase an eco-friendly all-purpose cleaner. This one in particular is a plant-based formula that’s safe for children and pets, is nontoxic, hypoallergenic, vegan, gluten-free and biodegradable.

Puracy Natural All Purpose Cleaner, $14 at Amazon

9 /12: Reusable Sandwich Bags

9/12 :Reusable Sandwich Bags

No need to continue using plastic sandwich bags when you can use these adorable reusable bags that are also dishwasher-safe.

LunchSkins, $6 – $12 at LunchSkins

10 /12: Ceramic Cookware

10/12 :Ceramic Cookware

Stay away from Teflon pans. They're horrible for the environment, releasing toxic fumes and substances into the air. Switch to ceramic, glass or cast-iron cookware instead. This GreenLife set is made of Thermolon ceramic nonstick and manufactured free of PFOA, PFAS, lead or cadmium.

GreenLife soft-grip 16-piece ceramic nonstick cookware set, $86 at Amazon

11 /12: Silicone Baking Mats

11/12 :Silicone Baking Mats

Ditch the disposable liners and cooking sprays. Give these easy-to-clean nonstick silicone baking mats a shot instead.

Kitzini silicone baking mat sheet set, $15 at Amazon

12 /12: Compostable Dog Waste Bags

12/12 :Compostable Dog Waste Bags

Here's a non-kitchen bonus item for you: compostable dog waste bags. Sure, we're all used to picking up after the pooch with little plastic baggies, but it's time to make the switch over to compostable dog-waste bags.

BioBag dog waste bags, $7 at Bed, Bath & Beyond