According to statistics from Stanford University, Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving and New Year’s holidays—which adds up to nearly 25 million extra tons of garbage. To help offset that waste, we found products that will help you do right by Mother Nature as you’re whipping it up in the kitchen this holiday season. Start by swapping out cheap, disposable cooking vessels and tools for high-quality, durable pieces that will last a lifetime (and are made of sustainable materials). Then green up your cleanup by swapping out for more earth-friendly cleaning supplies. Bonus: Lots of these products also double as a perfect hosting gift, if you happen to be a guest this season.
Miyabi Birchwood Damascus Knife Collection $1,119, 10-piece set
The knives in this 10-piece collection, which is a favorite of ramen chef Ivan Orkin, are the type you have for the rest of your life. The blades, which are made of powdered steel, are manufactured in Japan—where the edge is hand-honed and hardened with a 4-step process. The handles are made of sustainable birchwood, and the knife block is made of super-earth-friendly bamboo. It’s a gorgeous set that’s high-quality, eco-friendly, and incredibly durable, all in one.
Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven $150
The Le Creuset Dutch oven is iconic—and for good reason. These bakeware heroes will last a lifetime, plus some. Voted as the #1 recommended Dutch oven by America’s Test Kitchen, this heavy-duty cast iron essential can slow-cook, braise, and roast whatever you’re cooking to perfection, reducing your need for other miscellaneous cookware. Oh, and the best part? You never have to season it.
Food Five Two Bamboo Cutting Board $60
There’s a reason why this cutting board sold out in five days after its launch. The design integrates special features that solve problems in the kitchen you didn’t even know were solvable—like a corner spout that allows you to pour out juices and a deep groove that serves as a smartphone stand so you can recipe-read while you chop. And now, it’s available in an eco-friendly bamboo iteration. Pro tip: This cutting board is a perfect, they’ll-love-it holiday gift for the people in your life who enjoy cooking.
If You Care Recycled Aluminum Foil $5.50
You’re going to need aluminum foil to cover dishes and wrap leftovers in, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll feel guilty using the single-use wrap knowing that it’s not a planet-friendly option. That’s why I was massively relieved when I found this recycled aluminum foil from If You Care. It requires 95 percent less energy to produce than traditional foil and is just as strong. Plus, it can be recycled again after use. That’s a win for convenience and Mother Earth.
Coyuchi Organic Waffle Kitchen Towels $48, set of 6
Swapping out paper towels for tea towels when you’re cleaning up can make a big impact. Not only will it cut back on how much garbage you’re throwing out; it also does Earth a solid by making single-use paper towels obsolete. These kitchen towels from Coyuchi are made with 100% organic cotton that is grown and woven in a factory that recycles 98% percent of its wastewater in India. They are Global Organic Textile Standard certified, they’re naturally dyed, and they can dry more dishes or clean up more spills with their puckered waffle pattern than your standard flat-weave towel.
Dropps Dishwasher Detergent Pods $16, 64 loads
These are the pods that happened before “pods” were a thing—and they’re the textbook example of how a simple purchase can wildly improve a not-so-eco-friendly task like dishwashing. Dropps are lightly scented with natural essential oils (or you can get unscented), they’re biodegradable, and (most importantly) they work. The product cuts through post-dinner grime so you don’t spend precious time and water scrubbing dishes that the dishwasher was supposed to take care of. But because there are no harmful chemicals, the cleaning solution is safe enough to wash your crystalware with. A subscription plan keeps your detergent stocked up for the holiday season, and you won’t have to feel guilty about the delivery—because all Dropps packaging is biodegradable and compostable.
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