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Cleanish Kitchen Makeover: Tips for a Sustainable Transformation



Yep, we all have a plastic bag full of plastic bags under our sink. It's almost become a universal rule! But what if I told you there are more ways to repurpose your trash and reduce waste in your kitchen? It’s week 2 of the Cleanish Challenge and with just a few easy steps, I can show you how to transform your kitchen into a sustainable haven. From composting food scraps to ditching single-use plastics, we've got you covered. So let's roll up our sleeves and get ready to clean up our kitchens, the Cleanish way!


SUNDAY, APRIL 9TH: Sustainable Kitchen Cleaning

Say goodbye to harsh chemicals and hello to eco-friendly solutions like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. Not only are these alternatives kinder to the planet, but they’re also affordable and effective. So here are some easy tips to clean your kitchen sustainably:

  1. Use reusable cleaning cloths and sponges instead of disposable ones.

  2. Choose natural and eco-friendly cleaning products.

  3. Make your own cleaning solutions with simple ingredients like vinegar and baking soda.

  4. Compost food scraps and use them to fertilize your garden.

  5. Reduce food waste by meal planning and storing leftovers in reusable containers.



MONDAY, APRIL 10TH: Grocery Shop Sustainability

Shop with reusable grocery bags.

One of the most wasteful aspects of modern-day grocery shopping is that we load our groceries into a dozen single-use plastic bags only to discard the bags as soon as we unload our groceries. Most of us get additional use out of the bags by storing them and using them as small trash can liners, but most of us have a plastic bag full of other plastic bags stored under our sinks that could last us for at least the next 10 years lol.


To cut down on waste and to keep from over cluttering our trash bags full of other trash bags, try taking your own grocery bags to tote your groceries from the store to the car and from the car to the house. Once you run out of trash can liners, feel free to start using the store’s bags again, although that probably won’t be for another few years lol.


Buy in bulk when appropriate.

The least expensive way to buy common household items is to buy in bulk. Because you’re buying more of a certain thing, the per-unit price for the thing drops. This is how places like Costco and Sam’s are able to give you so much at an affordable price. If you can’t find your favorite bulk items at one of the wholesale giants, consider checking Amazon or just doing an online search to find the best price for whatever you need.


Buy local produce.

Not only will local produce be tastier (guaranteed in season) but you’ll also be supporting local farmers and business owners. It's a win-win for everyone involved!



TUESDAY, APRIL 11TH: Swap to Reusable Alternatives


Carry a portable set of cutlery.

Single-use plastic utensils are responsible for a lot of waste that clogs up our garbage collection system. Because they’re convenient and the restaurant doesn’t have to spend time washing them, they’re usually available at lower end take away places. Carrying your own cutlery, however, ensures that you won’t be adding to the mountains of waste created by single-use plastics. You’ll also be secure in the cutlery’s level of cleanliness because you washed them yourself!

Carry a reusable water bottle.

Water bottles are also a part of the single-use plastic crisis facing our world right now. Not only are reusable bottles more sustainable, but you can also track your water consumption if you get a clear one with the measurements on the side.



WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12TH: How to properly store

groceries.

Improperly storing your groceries causes them to go bad faster and causes you to spend more money to replace them than if you could have eaten them when you were ready.

Leaving fruits unwashed until you’re about to eat them helps them last longer than washing before storing. Also, try to check through the container for squished or moldy pieces to discard. over ripened/moldy fruit tends to make your other fruit ripen faster than it would normally.


Also, try to not keep milk in the fridge door. The fridge door is the first area exposed to non-refrigerated air due to the constant opening and closing. Consequently, it’s one of the warmest places in the fridge. Try to make room at the back of the fridge so the milk, meat, and other dairy products can stay as cold as possible.

Lastly, keep your bananas away from the rest of your fruit and veggies. Turns out produce produces hydrocarbon gas as it ripens, which then triggers your other produce to ripen. Bananas produce a lot of the gas, which leads to fruit that you either have to either hurry up and eat or throw out.



THURSDAY, APRIL 13TH: Save plastic containers to grow seedlings.

A lot of grocery stores sell their fruit in hard plastic containers with lids that snap shut. But did you know that you can reuse those to start your plants? When you add dirt and some seeds to the container and close the lid, it becomes a mini greenhouse, trapping heat and the moisture from the soil to make a humid climate that some plants love and need to thrive. Once the seeds have popped up, you can move them to their home where they’ll finish growing and ultimately provide you the benefit.



FRIDAY, APRIL 14TH: Make your own broth with scraps.

Fish stock, chicken stock, veggie stock, and any other stock you can think of is made by adding bones and/or veggie scraps to a pot with water and letting it boil for a few hours. As it's cooking, all of the delicious flavor is being rendered out of the scraps. Once it's done, just strain and discard the solids and store the liquid in the freezer or use it right away. If you’re trying to build up enough kitchen scraps to make a good broth, pop your bones, skins, or veggie scraps into a plastic bag and store it in the freezer. Once you’re ready to make your stock, just dump the bag into the pot, close the lid, and let it go! It's easy, cost effective, delicious, and resourceful.



SATURDAY, APRIL 15TH: Compost perishable food scraps

Compost really is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only will your food scraps act like the green part in a green/brown compost mixture, but you can also regrow certain herbs by starting them out in water then transporting them to soil later.

Romaine lettuce, chives, green onion, and celery are a few veggies you can start in water, root end down, and transplant to soil once they have a few leaves on them.

Add the rest of your scraps to a container with brown items, like dried leaves, sawdust, or shredded cardboard and mix to make a nutrient-dense compost that plants love.

You can compost in your backyard in piles or in a bin. Make sure the compost container has holes in it so it can get some air.

However, if your yard is small or you’re low on space, check out this countertop compost bin from Amazon! It contains odor and limits exposure to bugs. It also sits under my sink, making it incredibly convenient while I cook.



Repurpose your eggshells.

Eggshells are such an amazing resource for kitchens and wildlife. They supply your compost with calcium and other nutrients that your plants need, and birds love eggshells! They’re a lot healthier for them than bread or rice. Next time you make a batch of eggs, crush the shells and sprinkle them around your garden or yard for our flying friends, or wash them then crush them into your compost to fuel your plant growth.


Get a reusable coffee/tea filter.

Reusable coffee and tea filters cut down on the waste that tea bags, coffee filters, and k cups create. Plus, loose-leaf tea can still be pretty affordable…a $15 bag of loose-leaf tea makes about 40 cups of tea. That's roughly $0.35 per cup.



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I'm Shavonne - an interior designer and organizer turned sustainable lifestyle enthusiast. On a mission to help you create a stylish, organized, and sustainable life that brings you joy and peace of mind. Say goodbye to chaos and hello to your best life!

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