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Whether we like it or not, many of us have been spending a lot more time in the kitchen. Throughout the first few weeks of quarantine, it was impossible to avoid the multitude of cooking projects tempting us on the internet (looking at you, banana bread). But if you are anything like me, you are probably craving a bit of a detox by now. After all, we are in this for the long haul.
So what better way to solidify our new cooking regimens than by upgrading the tools we use to shop for, cook, and store our food? If anything, quarantine has taught me to be much more mindful about not wasting any food, and to support local growers and grocers whenever I can. With this ethos in mind, it's only natural to crave an arsenal of kitchen essentials that will make it easier to live a little greener. Below are my must-haves for any kitchen in need of an eco-conscious upgrade.
Set yourself up for success with these shopping essentials. While any canvas tote is better than paper or plastic, you’re likely to be more diligent about bringing a reusable bag if you find one that is equipped to hold everything. Fill it up with canvas produce bags and don’t forget your water bottle—this one from Kinto is hands down the best I’ve encountered (I’ve tried them all).
$35.00, NEED SUPPLY
$32.00, NEED SUPPLY
Cook With Ease
There is nothing more satisfying than a nice collection of cookware—and less is more in this department. There are so many great brands selling high-quality non-toxic cookware these days. Caraway is one of my favorites. Classic cast iron is also pretty hard to beat. Staub and Smithey both make beautiful pieces meant to last a lifetime. Once you have these basics, may I suggest a donabe as your next investment? The beautiful Japanese clay pots make it easy to produce super nourishing one-pot meals.
$429.00, SUR LA TABLE
In my experience, people most often make excuses about their environmental impact when it comes to liquid consumption. But I promise, you will never miss the taste of bottled water if you invest in a Berkey water filter: it is the Rolls Royce of all filtration systems. I know it may seem impossible to give up the convenience of an espresso pod or plastic tea bag, but you can learn to love the ritual of French Press coffee or concocting custom brews to steep. And since we are stuck at home, why not try out making your own nut, oat or seed milk?
$98.00, MOMA DESIGN STORE
$499.95.00, SAKS FIFTH AVENUE
The vejibag might just be the greatest invention ever: it keeps produce fresh and crunchy for double the amount of time. Beeswax wrap is also a great plastic wrap alternative. Clear glass storage containers are ideal for leftovers; if you can see the food in your fridge you are more likely to eat it, not waste it.
$19.95.00, SUR LA TABLE
$24.5.00, SUR LA TABLE
Tackle the Never-Ending Dishes
There’s a reason these basic kitchen towels are in every restaurant kitchen across America. They are super affordable and highly versatile. Not only do I think they are chic as dinner napkins, but they also drastically reduce the need for paper towels in the kitchen. If you are going to dip your fingers in the world of composting, this bin is the best looking one I’ve come across.
$7.00, PACKAGE FREE
$8.00, CRATE AND BARREL
Originally Appeared on Vogue