Reusable Kitchen Part 2: Simple Changes for a More Practical Home

Last week, I spoke about 4 single-use things we can ditch from the kitchen and replace with reusable alternatives.

As I mentioned last week, I really believe that reusing items makes sense, not just for your bank balance, but also for your health and for the earth. It can save you time and is a great starting point on your journey to self-sufficient living. In addition, reusing things is usually a far more practical concept than having to rely on single-use alternatives.

If you missed that blog post, you can read it HERE.

This week, I’m looking a few more things we can change for the kitchen and dining room.

Things to change in the kitchen

Serviettes

Making the switch from single-use serviettes to the reusable, old-fashioned kind is perhaps the quickest,simplest change you can make for your home because you probably already have some on hand. Or if you don’t have dedicated fabric serviettes on hand, you can easily use an alternative.

Some ideas to get reusable serviettes on the table:

• Have a different colour or pattern for each family member so that you can put them in a drawer between meals and just wash them when necessary

• Use your “un-paper” towels

• Make your own using a tablecloth you rarely use

• Purchase some from your local homewares store

• Use fabric hankies that you don’t actually use as hankies Reusable Kitchen Part 2: Simple Changes for a More Practical Home

Food Packaging

Aside from loose fruit and vegetables, everything in the supermarket is packaged. Everything. By necessity, of course, but it’s still packaged. Sometimes over-packaged. However, there are a number of things we can do to begin reducing our intake of single-use food packaging and start reusing the packaging that comes with what we do still buy.

Pick one idea from the list to start this week.

  • Stop buying bottled water. Invest in a good quality stainless steel or glass drink bottle and fill it from your tap or rainwater tank. We are so blessed to live in a country with easy access to clean, fresh drinking water; it’s a shame to buy it. Keep a bottle in your car so that you won’t get caught out having to purchase water.
  • If you love to buy a takeaway coffee, gift yourself with a reusable coffee cup and use that.
  • Support your local farmer’s market where the fresh produced is generally loose.
  • Make your own baby food. Although there are now a number of organic baby food varieties on the market, it’s not cheap and it’s still packaged. So make your own. 
  • Make your own icy-poles and ice-creams. In summer, we blend seasonal fruits and pour them into reusable icy-pole bags or the ice-cream moulds. Yum and no added nasties.
  • Invest in reusable food packaging options and avoid buying pre-packaged portions of food such as yoghurt and fruit puree. 
  • Keep sauce jars to store leftovers. Reusable Kitchen Part 2: Simple Changes for a More Practical Home 
  • If making your own yoghurt and ice-cream isn’t realistic for you, purchase larger bulk packs rather than individually packaged products. These containers can also be used to store food, craft, pencils, make-up, etc. 
  • Apart from coming with excessive packaging and novelties (Kiwi fruit spoon, anyone?) pre-packaged produce is often less fresh than the unpackaged variety, and you don’t have the freedom to choose firmness or freshness. Berries are difficult to purchase without packaging, so make sure you recycle the plastic packs or reuse them for craft. We use ours to start seedlings off as they already have holes in the bottom.

 

What have I missed? Let us know in the comments if there’s anything you do that I haven’t listed here, and check back next week for some more ideas for other areas of the home.

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