MakeSpace x Repurpose Compostables : 10 Brilliant Tips For Sustainably Organizing Everything In Your Kitchen

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Mmm, greens: Spinach, kale, lettuce, arugula, and ... your kitchen?

That’s right: Just as it's vital for us to eat our greens, an eco-friendly “green” kitchen is a healthy one, too. After all, what goes into the kitchen comes out of the earth, and vice versa.

Plus, investing in products and tools that are kind to the earth benefits us all in the long run. Luckily, you can easily plant the seeds to grow your kitchen into an eco-friendly powerhouse.

Just follow these 10 tips from MakeSpace, a valet storage company that picks up, stores, and delivers your things back. Instead of wasting time weeding through a dusty self-storage unit, now you can cook a delicious farm-fresh meal in your revamped kitchen:

1. Set up a composting station

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According to The Atlantic, the average American family throws away almost half of the groceries they purchase. Habits may not change overnight, but actions sure can.

When you set up a personal composting station, you're doing your part to prevent any overripe bananas and molding potatoes from improperly decomposing in a landfill.

The amount of space you have available will likely determine your composting method. If you have a lot of room and want to use your green waste as garden fertilizer, set up a full-cycle vermicomposter. Apartment Therapy and Homestead Brooklyn both have great step-by-step guides for getting started.

But if you have limited room (or, let’s face it, an aversion to worms), outsource your food scraps to a commercial compost instead.

It’s simple: First, clear some space in your freezer. Then prop a bag or bin (like the Oxo Good Grips) in there to fill with your cooking odds and ends.

When the bin is full, just drop the scraps off at your local farmer's market. Or use findacomposter.com to do exactly what its website address suggests.

2. Swap out plastic wrap for lower-impact alternatives 

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You already know the pitfalls of plastic: It lasts forever, contains harmful chemicals, and masses together in the ocean. Make it easier to avoid the temptation of using it by setting up a system for alternatives.

If you decide on beeswax wraps, remember they need to be washed with cool water and soap, then dried between use. Air-dry and store them in a basket or drawer.

Another alternative is silicone stretch lids. These eco-friendly covers conform to different shapes and can be heated, frozen, and refrigerated. Any that aren’t in use can be stacked and stored alongside kitchenware.

3. Reuse any old containers

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Reusing: It’s the ultimate sustainability move. Repurposing any containers you have lying around will reduce cupboard clutter (a good thing, considering clutter’s negative impact on your life) and divert the packaging from going to waste.

Make an herb garden out of old yogurt tubs or tea tins. Or upcycle old jars into holders for your office supplies.

Have jars left over from bigger staples like pasta sauce?

Convert them into storage containers for bulk-buy food. Check out One Good Thing by Jillee for tips on how to remove the label from glass containers with warm water and washing soda. 

4. Keep your disposable dining ware ready to go

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Whether you’re hosting an outdoor picnic and eating in eco-friendly style in sunny LA or preparing an indoor potluck in freeeeezing NYC, it’s always a good idea to have disposable cutlery at the ready.

The easiest way to keep your sustainably single-use cups, plates, and utensils primed for on-the-go:

Plop them in a picnic basket alongside your other must-haves, like a sturdy blanket, napkins, and some bubbly.

5. Hang your cups on a repurposed tree branch

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If you run out of cabinet room for all your insulated hot cups, put them on display instead.

A repurposed tree branch is a fun way to infuse your kitchen with a touch of the great outdoors. You could try to DIY one, but don’t fret if foraging proves unsuccessful. VivaTerra sells a mug rack made of a salvaged mangosteen tree from Southeast Asia.

6. Have a system for your reusable cloths

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Most of us are guilty of using more paper napkins than we care to admit. Switching to a reusable napkin is a surefire way to save trees and money, since you won’t have to replace your wipes with every meal.

Not sure where to store your cloth napkins?

The Spruce suggests incorporating them into your decor, which will also encourage everyday use.

If you have too many to keep out, Stone Gable recommends packing them in a shelf, filing cabinet-style. She also advises ironing the napkins before storing, and sorting them by color.

7. Keep forks, spoons, and knives separated with a drawer organizer

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Stop the fork from running away with the spoon, once and for all.

Use a drawer organizer to divvy up your cutlery. We like Adorn’s adjustable dividers, which are made of eco-friendly bamboo.

Sort and keep your disposables in a separate drawer for easy access.

8. Keep your fruits and veggies fresh for longer

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There’s no point in ordering from your local CSA if those apples and kale are going to wilt before you have time to eat them.

PopSugar has 13 tips for making your fresh produce last longer. You can also use a reusable produce bag like The Swag, which will make your crisper doubly effective. 

9. Stock your pantry with natural cleaners

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 Cleaners made with less-toxic ingredients are better for you, your kitchen, and the planet.

Wellness Mama rounded up her four most effective, kid-friendly cleaning recipes. We also recommend checking out Greatist for 27 chemical-free cleaning recipes.

To store your DIY cleaners, empty and clean old containers that came with any store-bought cleaners. Or order new, reusable glass bottles like these beautiful and reusable blue glass bottles from Sally’s Organics . 

10. Swap out your Brita for Kishu Charcoal

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Instead of replacing your name-brand filter every few months with additional plastic filters, opt for a sustainable alternative: Kishu Charcoal.

Order it from the Package-Free Shop to get it delivered in sustainable packaging.

Zero-waste water: Who knew it was a thing?

 

 

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