We’re all trying to be a bit more sustainable these days and those little changes add up to make big differences.
It’s a lot easier to greenify your kitchen these days too as there is such an appetite for eco-friendly alternatives to disposable options. From a keep cup made from coffee husks (how’s that for recycling!) to a clever snack-maker here are some of our favourite reusable bits for the kitchen and beyond.
1. Keep Cup
A keep cup is pretty much an essential for anyone looking to be a little greener. There are lots available, of varying quality, but Australian brand Huskee gets our vote. The cups are made with repurposed waste material, including coffee husks (how’s that for recycling!) and are available in a number of sizes.Plus they look really good too! Get one for €19.50 from IndustryAndCo. Not keen on carrying a cup around all day? Another alternative is the cleverly collapsible cup from Stojo. A 12oz cup is €11.95 from Earthmother.ie
2. Beeswax Wraps
Ditch the clingfilm and get on the beeswax wraps buzz! Soft plastics are not currently recyclable in Ireland so cutting clingfilm from your shopping list is a smart move. The increasingly popular beeswax wraps can be used to cover food in the fridge, or to wrap sandwiches and snacks if you’re on the go. They’re washable, reusable and far less guilt-inducing than crumpling used cling film in the bin daily. This one is from Hannah’s Bees in Cork and is €14.
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3. Water Bottle
Another essential is a water bottle. to help reduce the mountain of plastic water bottles Irish people buy annually. Food&Wine’s Jordan Mooney is a fan of the Swell brand of bottles. “I am obsessed with mine,” she says. “It keeps drinks for hours and is very easy to use, clean and transport.” Widely available this one is €50 from Brown Thomas.
4. Microwave Popcorn Maker
Microwave popcorn may be a quick and tasty snack but often it is heavy in salt and comes in packaging that isn’t very environmentally friendly. This reusable M-Cuisine Popcorn Maker from Joseph Joseph is a brilliant idea, says Food&Wine's Brenda McCormick. The silicone bowl is microwave safe and the lid has little holes in it, which let you shake out any unpopped kernels. It’s €25, available from Arnotts.
5. Sustainable Straws
If you're looking for a straw that doesn't need to be washed, thrown away or that dissolves into gin and tonics, try ice straws like these ones from BARBUZZO. The only downfall is the fact they melt, fast...so bottoms up.
6. Silicone Lids
While we will always champion a good lunchbox or piece of Tupperware for storage, sometimes it's good to check out other options. Increasingly popular, stretchy 'lids' made from silicone make for an alternative to cling film and/or tin foil. They come in different sizes and stretch across all sorts of bowls, jars and even cut fruit and veg, to keep things fresh. Widely available this set is from Amazon and will set you back about €8.70.
Where to buy
With the increasing focus on sustainability and eco-friendly alternatives, there are plenty of places to shop for long-lasting kitchen essentials. Little Green Shop, Earth Mother and Reuzi are just a few of the Irish companies that are making it easier to go a little greener.