If kitchen consumables are taking up valuable kitchen storage, you are in the right place. Even if you have switched to reusable options, they still need a place to be stored.
Organizing and Storing
Gather all your plastic wrap, parchment paper, foil, and baggies. These can be stored upright under the sink, in a cabinet, pantry, or on racks that fasten to a door such as the pantry door shown above. This rack is out of sight when the door is closed.
Keeping your paper towels on a holder attached to the inside of the door under your sink cuts down on their consumption. Store the spare rolls under the sink if there is room. Storing a box of vertically filed cleaning rags under the sink encourages their use. We save paper towels for the most heinous clean up events.
Consolidate multiple boxes of baggies to save space. Too many supplies to be stored out of sight in your kitchen? Store the surplus in a storage space elsewhere until they are used up.
Disposable party supplies (cups, plates, utensils, paper napkins) can be stored together in a cabinet, pantry, or in a box in a storage area to be accessed at your next big event. Have a hodgepodge of leftover decorative paper goods? Use them up and consider switching to a consistent neutral palette. Color can be added in so many other ways at parties.
Combatting Compulsive Consumption
Using consumables lends to hoarding due to the nature of their, well, consumption. We are in the habit of purchasing them often. "Good deals" can easily entice us to buy even when it wasn't on our list and especially if we didn't have one to start with. Hmmm...do we need more freezer bags? I better grab three and take advantage of the $5 Target gift card! This is especially so with consumables that don't spoil. We do this even at the expense of realty in our home (which should not be undervalued!)
Creating a list and having one spot for your consumables, rather than keeping a surplus in multiple spots can help eliminate the confusion and urge to impulse buy. Alternatively, using "reusable consumables" curbs the urge to overbuy these items (and saves space and money). They make homes and the planet a prettier, less cluttered place to live.
Buying reusable shopping bags won't save you money, just your soul! Kidding (a little)! I still forget sometimes, but am getting much better at remembering.
Store folded grocery bags vertically inside one of the bags. Do you use reusable produce bags? These get tossed in with the other grocery bags. I keep our bags next to the cooler in the garage, ready for the next grocery day.
We store our travel coffee cups, thermoses, water bottles, and lunch boxes together. We use washi tape to label the bottles with our girls' names.
We store dining and kitchen linens together in our china cabinet. Napkins are book ended by table linens and aprons in one basket and dishcloths and washcloths for toddler faces in another.
I find preparing loose leaf tea to be a more enjoyable experience with the bonus of being more green. Buying loose leaf tea in the bulk section and using a tea strainer to steep it cuts down on packaging.
A French press coffee pot is a greener way to brew as no filter or k-cup is necessary. This one I gave my husband 15 years ago is still going strong, just the way he likes his coffee!
A intentional kitchen can green up the way we eat in more ways than one. Eating more greens was one effect for us. Our diet is plant-based on weekdays. Eating less meat is a a great way to live green. Buying organic, local, and gardening are better choices too. Simplifying can also lead to better meal planning. Eating leftovers for lunch and composting are other great ways to cut down on waste.
We are by no means a zero waste home yet, but we have cut down on our trash for sure. Making healthier choices for my family and the planet makes me happy!
What are your favorite green kitchen products and tips?