As climate change becomes a rising priority for governments and businesses, more of us are reassessing what we can do to increase sustainability in our homes.
Homeowners can take a range of steps to reduce their carbon footprint, from washing clothes at lower temperatures to reusing shopping bags. Not only do these small steps benefit the environment, but they can also help you save money on your monthly energy bills.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of all the best sustainable kitchen products and appliances to help you make the shift to greener living within your home.
The best sustainable kitchen products
From reusable sandwich bags to compostable sponges, here are some of our favourite sustainable kitchen items, helping you step closer to greener living:
Silicone cupcake cases
Many of us took up baking during the coronavirus lockdowns – but did you know that you could make baking more sustainable simply by using silicone cupcake cases? Silicone cupcake cases can be washed easily and reused, preventing waste and unnecessary paper use.
Another advantage of silicone cupcake cases is that they do not stick to the cakes the same way as paper cases, making them much easier to delve into.
The silicone cases can also be placed in the dishwasher, so no residue is left over, and they can be easily reused on your next batch of cakes.
Amazon sells silicone cupcake cases in packs of 24 for as little as £5.99, so your first step to eco-friendly baking is both easy and affordable.
Silicone stretch lids
Tinfoil and cling film may have been beneficial materials to cover up our leftover food for many years, but silicone stretch lids are an easier and eco-friendlier alternative. Silicone stretch lids are available in a range of sizes covering jam jars to large bowls and trays.
Silicone lids keep your leftover food airtight, meaning your food is fresher for longer. You can also place your silicone lids in the freezer, microwave and dishwasher, making it easier to heat food and clean for reuse.
It’s easy to slip the lids on and off, making them much less hassle than wrestling with the clingfilm!
Bamboo kitchen utensils
Bamboo is well known for being a highly sustainable plant. As a result, more homeowners are opting for bamboo-based household items, from toothbrushes to kitchen utensils. Bamboo kitchen spoons and spatulas are becoming increasingly popular and readily available from retailers such as Wayfair and John Lewis.
Known for being naturally antibacterial, harvesting bamboo also uses zero fertiliser or pesticides, so it is a much more eco-friendlier option than other kitchen utensil materials.
Composting leftover food to avoid waste has become more common over the years. However, homeowners are now also turning to compostable kitchen products. Traditional kitchen sponges are synthetic and made with petrochemicals, whereas compostable sponges are made from cellulose which is natural wood fibre.
In addition to being an eco-friendly material, compostable sponges are also more resistant to bacteria than traditional sponges, promoting better hygiene within your kitchen.
Reusable sandwich bags
Reusable sandwich bags are a fantastic alternative to single-use plastic sandwich bags. Not only can they be easily cleaned in the dishwasher, but they are also of excellent quality and allow you to place substantial amounts of food inside.
With their press and seal lock, food is kept fresher for longer and, should the bags break; they can also be recycled.
The best sustainable kitchen appliances
From preventing food waste to saving water, here are some of the best sustainable kitchen appliances:
Stainless steel/cast-iron cookware
Whilst it may initially be the more affordable option, cheap non-stick cookware could end up being costlier than investing in better quality materials such as stainless steel or cast iron. In addition, cheap cookware often deteriorates after a few years, meaning you have to throw it away and purchase a replacement fairly quickly.
Stainless steel and cast-iron cookware are known for their quality and durability, so they are likely to last much longer than cheaper alternatives.
Induction hobs are the most energy-efficient stoves, transferring electromagnetic energy to the pan and heating up within a matter of seconds. The speed means you no longer have to preheat and potentially waste energy.
The only disadvantage to induction hobs is that they require specialist cookware – aluminium and glass will not work.
Instant boiling water tap
Research suggests that the UK throws away around three billion litres of usable water every year. A significant portion of that water wastage is down to people overfilling their kettles. The perfect way to combat this issue is through using an instant boiling water tap.
Instant boiling water taps provide you with hot water at the touch of a button, so you can bid farewell to wait for the kettle to boil. The push, twist and hold button means you only release the water you need, preventing wasted water.
Although boiling water taps can initially be costly, usually from £500 upwards, they can help you save money in the long term. Data shows that it costs around 2.5p each time you boil the kettle, whereas it costs around 3p to keep a boiling water tap on standby all day.
There are energy-efficient alternatives to most kitchen appliances coming on the market. Eco-friendly dishwashers are becoming more popular, using much less dishwater than would typically be used when washing by hand.
When buying a kitchen appliance, always check the energy rating to get the most energy-efficient appliance possible.
In the UK, kitchen appliances are rated from A – G, A being the most energy-efficient and G being the least. Within the A-class, ratings are split between A+, A++ and A+++. Each plus sign is said to be 10% more energy efficient than other A-class ratings.
Food waste has become a hot topic in recent years, with homeowners becoming more conscious of disposing of their leftover food. More food and recipe websites suggest ways to transform your leftover goods into new dishes, prevent throwing away perfectly good food, and turn them into new delicious new creations.
However, on occasions where food is past its shelf life, rather than throwing items in the bin, consider whether the food can be composted. Composting is essentially placing food back into the ground to biodegrade.
A rule of thumb is that food grown from the ground can be put back in the ground, such as fruits, vegetables, leaves and herbs. There are some unexpected allowances, however, such as pasta, as this contains grains. If you’re unsure as to whether food can be composted, take a look online beforehand.
Composting is a much better option than food ending up on landfill sites as this emits methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes 16% to global greenhouse gas emissions.
Extra eco-friendly kitchen tips
When looking to lower your carbon footprint in the home, here are some further eco-friendly kitchen tips:
Limit oven cooking
Where possible, you should always consider how you can limit your oven usage. There are several ways to restrict oven cooking, from heating multiple food items in one go to using the toaster or microwave as an alternative. Research from Energy Star shows that using a microwave instead of an oven can reduce cooking energy by up to 80%.
Stop preheating the oven
Modern ovens are designed to heat up very quickly, negating the need for preheating, which only wastes energy. For example, by placing your dishes into the oven straight away, you could turn it off ten minutes early and allow your food to finish cooking with the residual heat.
Eat more raw food
Eating raw food has become a growing trend amongst those looking to reduce their carbon footprint. Incorporate more raw food into your diet means less need to cook and use electricity. Where possible, consider eating more salads, chilled soups and other foods that can be eaten cold.
Buy local ingredients
Food miles are now a significant consideration for environmentally conscious homeowners. As a result, it’s a good idea to buy local products whenever you can to avoid the increased carbon emissions from long-distance transport.
Finally, batch cooking is a great way to save electricity by making lots of food in one go and reducing your weekly cooking times.
Where possible, it’s also helpful to buy as much food from the supermarket in one go to avoid unnecessary multiple trips and cutting down on fuel costs.
Kitchen sustainability is a fantastic way to help you save time and money in the home whilst also doing your bit for the environment.
If you’re taking steps to greener living, take a look at Fahren’s range of chic boiling water taps to help your kitchen become more efficient.