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Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Kitchen Roll

When it comes to the kitchen I’ve already covered eco-friendly alternatives to cling film, but what about plastic free and eco-friendly alternatives to kitchen roll?  

Kitchen roll is that other so-called kitchen staple, and undeniably very useful, but as a disposable product packaged in plastic, it isn’t the greenest.  If you’re ready and looking to make the switch, then I’ve got some great zero-waste and eco-friendly alternatives to kitchen roll up my sleeve for you! 

If you’re not ready, pop back later when you’re ready, no pressure!  When it comes to green living my all-time number one tip is to make one small green switch at a time.   There’s much less overwhelm, and it’s so much easier to find a starting point than if you are trying to green all the things all at the same time.    

Go Roll-Less

eco friendly alternatives to kitchen roll uk

One of my easiest eco-friendly alternatives to kitchen roll is to keep a drawer or basket filled with cloths.  I buy cheap as chips cotton cloths from the supermarket or from Wilko when I find them minimally packaged because my working mum budget doesn’t stretch to having a basket full of organic cloths.  Anything that’s not single-use paper towel is a big positive in my eyes, so I don’t feel guilty about it.  If it’s what you can afford then don’t feel guilty either.   

For an even more frugal and green approach you can also cut up old clothes or towels that are way past their best, and use them as kitchen roll alternatives too.  If you’ve got a sewing machine you might want to stitch the edges with a simple and quick running stitch to prevent fraying.     

To use, I just grab a cloth when I need to wipe a spill, or for any other kitchen roll related task, and then pop the dirty cloth in the washing machine when I’m done.  Job done.

Make Your Own Kitchen Roll

reusable kitchen roll diy

If a random pile of cloths stacked up in your kitchen doesn’t appeal to your aesthetics, or if you want an eco-friendly alternative to kitchen roll that still looks like kitchen roll (perhaps making it easier to make the leap to reusable?), then the good news is there are heaps of reusable kitchen roll tutorials out there.  This one, from A Beautiful Mess, is pretty comprehensive.  

eco friendly alternatives to kitchen roll

If you aren’t particularly crafty or are too time poor (me, on both counts!), then thankfully you can buy a roll of reusable kitchen roll on Etsy.  This one*, from Earth Kind Creations on Etsy, is pretty and practical.  

Use A Plate

eco friendly kitchen roll swaps

I have a feeling you will either be with me or not on this one.  When I was growing up in the 1980’s, and my mum made me a sandwich, or toasted cheese, or a bit of cake, it was always served up on a piece of kitchen roll.  I’m not dissing my mum – she worked full time and didn’t have time to be doing a constant stream of dishes that 3 kids create – so kitchen roll plates it was.  Was that just us or did you do that too?

This one was so ingrained on me (I honestly thought it was the MAIN use of kitchen roll!) so it took me a long time to break this one, but now I always serve food up on a plate.  It helps that we have a dishwasher!  

Reusable Napkins

easy eco-friendly alternatives to kitchen roll

This one is another throwback from my childhood.  For my packed lunches my mum wrapped my sandwiches in kitchen roll, or at least popped a bit of folded up kitchen roll in my lunchbox to either mop up any leakages or to act as a napkin.  I do this for my own kids now, whenever I make them a packed lunch, but with washable napkins.  

Pro tip: dark coloured napkins are king at hiding an all manner of food stains!  

Have you found any other eco-friendly alternatives to kitchen roll?  As always do let me know in the comments below!

weekend links

Ten Things

Hello!  I took a wee break last week – it was my partner’s birthday, so we roped in grandparents and went on a break, just the two of us for our first child free holiday in over 7 years!

We headed west to beautiful Argyll and spent a long weekend relaxing in a beautiful and remote cottage.  I was secretly hoping for terrible weather, so we wouldn’t have to leave the cottage (three words: copper clawfoot bathtub), but the rain stayed away, so we fitted in some archaeological adventures.

I’m so glad we did manage to venture out.  My partner is big on his Neolithic history, so we explored the stone circles, cairns and other Neolithic and Bronze Age finds in the stunning Kilmartin Glen, where I took the photo above.  It’s a truly fascinating place – there are over 800 ancient monuments within a 6-mile radius – and well worth a visit if you’re ever in the area.   

In my youth I used to think that a holiday was only a holiday if you went abroad but really, there are some truly stunning places here in the UK – no flying required.  

This week’s links:

1. MPs are investigating the impact of fast-fashion, and have been asking big-name retailers, such as Primark, to justify how they can sell £2 t-shirts.  

2.  The shops and the internet are full of “reindeer food” right now – usually, a mix of oats and glitter that you sprinkle on your lawn.  If that’s a tradition you take part in on Christmas Eve, then the RSPCA are warning that this is dangerous to wildlife owing to the glitter.  Try making your own this year for those hungry hardworking reindeer!  

3.  With Earth beset by conflict, climate change, pollution, and other ills, Anne Lamott asks: what better time to be hopeful?

“In the face of increased climate-related catastrophes—after I pass through the conviction that we are doomed, that these are End Times—I remember what Mister Rogers’s mother said: In times of disaster we look to the helpers.  Look to the volunteers and aid organizations clearing away the rubble, giving children vaccines; to planes and trains and ships bringing food to the starving. Look at Desmond Tutu and Malala Yousafzai, Bill Gates and the student activists of Parkland, Florida; anyone committed to public health, teachers, and all those aging-hippie folk singer types who galvanized the early work of decontaminating the Hudson River”.

Anne Lamott has written a whole book on this: I can only find it in the UK here on Amazon*.  

4.  How the waste leftover from making metals could help reduce CO2.

5.  Britain’s first supermarket with a sizeable plastic-free zone has opened in London.   Hopefully, it can become the norm, rather than the exception.

6.  Trump’s administration finally acknowledged climate change but tried to bury it by releasing the report the day after Thanksgiving.  

7.  The shop where customers can spend hundreds, walk away with nothing and feel great about it.

8.  Germany has big plans, including taxing producers on their packaging.    Products packed in less environmentally friendly packaging will incur larger fees.  One can only hope this idea will make it’s way to the UK, where there is currently no penalty for manufacturers.   

9.  A petition to sign.

10.  Finally, this is what community means.  

Have a great Sunday!  I’m going to do some Christmas shopping for my kids.  Speaking of gifts, I’m running a fantastic fairtrade giveaway with Oxfam over on Instagram, where you can win a wonderful hamper packed full of fairtrade goodies that would make a lovely gift for a friend (or a gift to yourself!).  Hurry, it closes today at 5pm!