Essentials for a more eco-conscious kitchen

Simply replacing your paper towels and coffee filters will go a long way.

Simply replacing your paper towels and coffee filters will go a long way. (Photo by Erol Ahmed via Unsplash/)

The convenience of disposable napkins and paper towels is undeniable, but making the switch to reusable products will save you money and cut down on your contributions to landfills. Add class, style, and elegance to your kitchen and dining room. We picked out some favorites to get you started.

Look at you, all grown up.

Look at you, all grown up. (Amazon/)

Cloth napkins run the gamut from wedding-fancy to outdoor-barbeque-utilitarian. These 100 percent cotton napkins are generous in size, affordably priced, and you can toss them in the laundry with your t-shirts and jeans. The mitered corners offer a tailored look, and the patterned design is both appealing and forgiving in a way that solid light-colored napkins can never be. Pass the ketchup, please.

Stubbornly and adorably absorbent.

Stubbornly and adorably absorbent. (Amazon/)

Replace up to 17 rolls of paper towels with just one of these cute llamas. Made from wood pulp and cotton fibers, they absorb up to 20 times their weight in liquid and feel like a cross between a dish towel and a thin sponge. Designate different llamas for different uses if you’d like. After cleaning up a spill, you can rinse them by hand or pop them into your washing machine.

Ditch the plastic containers.

Ditch the plastic containers. (Amazon/)

If your hipster cousin has already eschewed travel mugs in favor of mason jars, get them some real pretty mason jars. Actually, just buy everyone Mason jars. Mason jars are genuinely great. And these are a nice retro shade of blue.

Tablecloths don’t have to be fussy.

Tablecloths don’t have to be fussy. (Amazon/)

It’s true that vinyl tablecloths and plastic-covered furniture keep wooden tables and microfiber couches free of damage, but at what aesthetic and environmental cost? This jute (vegetable fiber) and recycled denim table runner helps protect the center of your table from serving dishes, without sacrificing style. Bring it out for special occasions or enjoy it every day as a complement to a bowl of fruit.

Never buy paper filters again.

Never buy paper filters again. (Amazon/)

If you make drip coffee at home, you know the moment of panic that sets in when you realize you forgot to buy filters. Save some trees, save some money, and eliminate possible barriers to caffeine with these organic cotton muslin “socks”. After each use, compost your coffee grounds, rinse the filter, and hang it up to dry. Every so often, boil them to get rid of oil buildup, and continue making great coffee! Just be sure to order the correct size for your dripper.

Resists heat and stains.

Resists heat and stains. (Amazon/)

Lightweight, reusable utensils are a camping staple. This set of stain-resistant flatware is made of bamboo and comes with a fork, knife, spoon, and chopsticks. The carrying cases are made of recycled plastic and each set adheres to your pack with a carabiner.

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