Easy Swaps: The Kitchen
Easy Swaps to live more sustainably: In the kitchen
We’re back to chat about how you can continue reducing the amount of waste you produce in the hub of the house – the kitchen. This is where most food prep and storage tends to happen and it’s also the room that produces the biggest amount of waste. From food scraps to plastic, cardboard to chemicals, we are binning a lot of mixed waste in our kitchens.
One of the main reasons people pop into the shop is to refill jars and tubs with their favourite everyday foods. We have around 240 loose foods in stock making it possible for you to create your own plastic free pantry. Supermarkets are now putting an estimated 900,000 tonnes (1) of plastic packaging on their shelves each year and although they are all showing signs of a commitment to reduce this, it’s going to take a real shift in the industry and in consumer shopping habits to help make this happen. At Almond & Co it’s not just pasta, rice and cereal that you can purchase loose. Our range includes herbs and spices, nuts, oils, frozen fruit and veg (even chips) and loads of baking ingredients.
Beeswax wraps and compostable cling film
If cling film is your go-to food packaging then the good news is that there are lots of clever solutions that allow you to avoid single use plastic. As well as the amount of waste, research has also shown that some plastics can leach chemicals into our food (especially when heated or scratched) and whilst gaps remain in our understanding of the impact this can have on our health, we don’t like the sound of it and want to avoid it. Reusable beeswax wraps just need the heat of your hands to mould them around food or bowls. Wash them in cool water and recondition them with a wax bar when required. We also stock Bournemouth based non-profit Coacoara Foundation who donate profits to the Ocean Cleanup, they make a cornstarch compostable cling film, Bamboo Kitchen Towels, Bin liners and lots of other amazing products as an eco-alternative to your kitchen essentials, that are work just as well if not better than the your disposable plastic counterpart.
Tea Strainer and Coffee Filters
Out of the 100 million cups of tea that are consumed in the UK each day, 96% come from a tea bag. (2) Although the tea industry is changing, most tea bags out there contain plastic. There continues to be some debate over whether this bio-plastic is compostable but if you want to be sure that your daily cuppa isn’t damaging our wonderful planet then switch to loose leaf tea. We love these infuser tongs, which are perfect for making a single cup, or this strainer, which fits most cups and pots!
And when it comes to coffee… well, you may need some serious caffeine to stay awake if we were to quote you some of the scary stats around how much waste is produced by the 35 billion cups we guzzle each year as a nation. Take-away cups, coffee pods, plastic bags of ground and whole bean coffee…we could go on. But the good news is, you can be way more eco-friendly! We stock locally roasted Bad Hand Coffee which all comes in home-compostable packaging. And if you find yourself dumping loads of paper coffee filters, or would like to move away from a pod machine, grab some ground coffee and one of these great reusable coffee filters instead.
The UK buys an average 12 million loaves of bread each day and it’s also the single most wasted food. Keep your bread fresher for longer by storing it in a breathable, linen bag. This is a good option if you like to shop locally and buy your bread from the bakery (or bake your own)! We stock Bakehouse24’s (based in Ringwood) organic sourdough loaves, which are free of packaging and way better for gut health than most commercial breads, and are suitable for gluten intolerance as they don't add extra gluten to their loaves.
Most household cleaning products get ditched in dustbins in the UK and banished to landfill sites. Plastic bottles with spray nozzles are made up of loads of different parts, making them impossible to recycle and everyday we are binning loads of scourers, wipes, cloths and sponges, most of which contain plastic. One of our most popular items is a £1 biodegradable sponge. Great for the kitchen or bathroom and it can then go into your compost bin. And if you need to scrub stubborn stains, the ethically made Ecoconut brush will do the job.
To avoid nasty chemicals as well as the plastic bottles when it comes to your cleaning products then opt for natural ingredients that will shift the grime, protect the planet and save you loads of cash. Baking powder and bicarbonate of soda are just as effective, cost next to nothing and are available in store as loose products. We also stock the brilliant ‘Raw’ range by eco-cleaning and laundry product company, Fill. Their products are vegan, biodegradable, free from harsh chemicals and are packaged in reusable and recyclable materials. With single ingredients such as their citric acid or white vinegar you can make up your own cleaning products or choose from their ready-formulated ones. They can all be purchased in-store in the bottle then brought back and refilled, or simply bring your own container for a refill.
Finally, when it comes to saving your hands during the washing up our compostable rubber gloves! It says what it does on the tin – chuck them in the compost bin after use rather than the rubbish bin! Exactly what rubber should be, naturally sourced without mixing it with any complicated unrecyclable plastics, and don't worry they won't suddenly decompose whilst your using them!
If you are local, one of the best ways to start your waste-free journey is to pop in and see us. What we won’t do is try and sell you every item in the store, but what we can do (if you want) is show you a few things that you might like to try and answer any questions you have about any of our products. We understand most items are new to people and there are so many alternatives which can be intimidating, which is why we're here to help!
We hope to see you soon, but you can also send us am email at email@example.com, message on Facebook or give us a call on 01202 280303 if you have any questions.
(1) – Greenpeace.org.uk
(2) – tea.co.uk