The kitchen is an important part of the home to take the environment into consideration. What you do there impacts your family as well as the environment. Your cooking tools are one part of that.
Now, I’ll tell you right up front that I’m no fan of nonstick cookware as a general rule. There are varieties out there now that say they’re more environmentally friendly, but I have yet to see nonstick cookware that really keeps the nonstick surface long enough to satisfy me, especially when it comes to skillets. The stuff wears off, whether over a few months or a few years, and then you have to buy new. Not terribly efficient in the long run, if you ask me.
These are all personal preferences I’m listing here. You may not agree, and you don’t have to. I will tell you that some of my preferences won’t work well if you have a glass cooktop rather than gas burners on your stove. Take that into consideration as you shop.
1. Cast Iron Skillets
I love my cast iron skillets. They’re heavy, they take a little extra care if I want to keep them properly seasoned, but they last and last. Seriously, my big one belonged to my grandmother and it’s still wonderful. When it comes to being green in the kitchen, pieces that last just about forever rank really high with me.
2. Pressure Cooker
I like my pressure cooker, don’t use it enough, but it’s a good item to have around. Nice, solid, and it speeds up your cooking. That’s the whole point of a pressure cooker. My favorite things to make in them are artichokes. So much faster than cooking them in a regular pot.
The Kuhn Rikon pressure cookers are excellent, although my handmedown Presto is generally good too. Make sure you check reviews for durability, as when I looked at some brands, parts tended to wear out shortly after the warranty expired. Once again, I favor products that don’t tend to need regular replacement as much as possible. Also, if you want to do canning, make sure you select a model designed for it. It’s just easier that way.
3. Bamboo Cutting Boards
The best part about bamboo, environmentally speaking, is that it grows quickly, and so cutting it down to make things has less impact than other woods do. Bamboo cutting boards can work really well, although they can be a little thin. It’s also attractive and durable.
4. Pyrex Storage Sets
Pyrex storage containers are great for getting away from your typical plastic containers for leftover foods. They’re a very durable glass, and the lids can be made from BPA-free plastics. From reviews, I can say that the lids don’t last as well as the containers (hardly a surprise), but I understand you can get them replaced.
5. Pyrex Bakeware
I like their bakeware too. Some of it comes with lids, so it can be used as storage too, but others don’t.
6. Stainless Steel Food Containers
If you want something more durable than glass, stainless steel is a great way to go. Can’t use them in the microwave, obviously, but wonderful for carrying a lunch. Make sure you get leakproof containers if you’re dealing with liquids.
While not a specifically eco friendly item, a Vitamix (or Blendtec blender if you prefer), is far superior to a basic blender. If you buy one, you must make smoothies with it. That’s an order. It really make it easy to enjoy a nice, healthy smoothie, and of course you can use it as you would any other blender. Best of all, they last very, very well.