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Have you ever wondered what it would take to reduce your carbon footprint? With some simple changes and guidance you can get into a routine that is better for the environment and even your health! We can all make a difference if we take a stride towards change. It’s amazing how quickly these habits sink in, and will become second nature in your daily routines.

Here are just 10 things that you can change when it comes to how you buy, cook, and store your food!

1) Shop for groceries using reusable bags


One way to reduce the number of plastic grocery bags in a landfill is to use reusable shopping totes. Look for bags made of cotton, hemp, or other natural cloth or mesh and wash them between visits to the grocery store.

2) Clean your kitchen with eco friendly products


Toss aside all of your  harsh, chemical filled  cleaners and use eco friendly cleaning products instead. Chances are your pantry has baking soda, distilled white vinegar, and lemon juice. These environmentally-friendly alternatives can clean your kitchen, household appliances, and laundry. I actually think they work better!!!

3) Prepare your food on cutting boards made of sustainable materials


Cutting boards are essential components to kitchens, so why not buy one that’s functional and eco friendly? A wooden cutting board is a beautiful edition to a kitchen and harvested from a sustainable source opposed to plastic cutting boards or mats. Some wood types, such as fast-growing bamboo, even naturally reduce the growth of harmful microbes.

4) Get Rid of Teflon pans


Although Teflon pans are convenient to cook with due to their non-stick properties, they are  known for releasing toxic chemicals. They also damage easily so they must be thrown away and replaced often. Instead use pots and pans that are made of heavy duty stainless steel or cast iron.

5) Use eco friendly utensils and dinnerware


Set aside the plastic utensils and Styrofoam plates, bowls and cups. Stock your cabinets with recycled glass cups and ceramic or metal plates and bowls. Add charm to your kitchen with wooden cooking and serving utensils. They work just as well as their plastic counterparts but look much nicer!

6) Opt for plastic free food storage in your fridge and freezer


It may be convenient to store dry or raw food in plastic containers but consider making the switch. Look for items made of silicon, glass or metal. For containers that don’t have fitted tops use  reusable beeswax wraps. They are an excellent alternative to plastic wrap because they fit all sorts of sizes and shapes with the added benefit that they are sustainable, and can be washed and reused.

7) Package your lunch in reusable sandwich wraps


Rather than packing lunch in a single-use sandwich bag, use natural beeswax wraps. These plastic wrap alternatives can be folded into packets and baggies of various sizes.

8) Keep your home smelling fresh with natural products


Chemical air fresheners can expose you and your family to toxins and allergens. To make your home smell nice without the negative side effects. Consider switching to essential oils, simmering spices or aromatic plant oils on the stove, dropping a slice of lemon down the food waste disposer, or using houseplants to purify indoor air.

9) Deodorize and disinfect with vinegar or baking soda


Baking soda absorbs and neutralizes smells and works well to deodorize kitchen curtains and rugs. Vinegar kills bacteria, mold and mildew. It can be  used to clean sinks, kitchen appliances, and cooking surfaces.

10) Create your own compost pile from biodegradable kitchen scraps


        One you’ve incorporated reusable, sustainable items in your kitchen’s repertoire, you’ll be throwing away less rubbish. You can reduce this amount further by tossing your organic kitchen scraps into a compost bin that will later turn into nutrient rich soil.