where green living, parenthood, and interiors intersect

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Green(er) Kitchen

I love food.  Anyone who knows me is aware of my total obsession.  I love eating it, learning about it, sharing it, preparing it, shopping for it, and now in my little backyard containers, I even love trying to grow it (for this black-thumbed ex-urbanite, "trying" is the operative word in that sentence).  My heart races equally fast in Dean & Deluca and Whole Foods as it does in Bloomies.  The farmers at the Green Market are my celebrities. I actually make noises of pleasure after an especially divine bite, it doesn't matter if I'm in public or not.  I read every label. 

Despite my long time obsession fueled by the wealth of amazing restaurants that dot downtown Manhattan where I resided for 14 years, I'm still a beginner foodie.  I'm like a wide-eyed baby on an organic farm, I still use cook books and recipes (I'm years away from the natural culinary improv talents of Martha or my mom), I burn things occasionally, and I have no idea what about 50% of the products at Sur La Table actually do.   So, for part of my training, I recently did a 'green scan' of my kitchen to make sure it aligns with my sustainability and design principles while still having what every kitchen needs, transcending the requirements of mere 'utility' into an authentic extension of me and my passion.  Just like every bed needs great (organic) sheets for the pleasures that the bedroom hosts (I'm talking about sleep of course)......every kitchen needs the right accessories to support a blossoming food passion.  Feast your eyes on the the top 5 eco-friendly culinary products I found in my journey:

1. I absolutely love the bright, vintage-looking mixing bowls, measuring cups, and more made from biodegrable bamboo fibers in the sustainable Melaboo collection (by Reduce) available at www.reduceeveryday.com.

2. Recycled glass is a great step in the right direction, but furthering the mission are these striking reclaimed glasses, that are simply sandblasted into re-use:

3. Yes it's healthier in many parts of the country to drink bottled water, but it's wreaking havoc on our landfills with only about 30% of bottles getting to our recycling plants nationwide. Here is a solution that should be stocked in every US kitchen: the bobble.  It is BPA-free, has a replaceable water filter system inside, and is every bit as cute as its metal, non-filtering counterparts.  Go to www.waterbobble.com to learn more.

4. My dinnerware is beautifully basic, to which I love to add punches of nature through napkin rings, accent plates, and linen napkins.  Nothing matches the earthy, natural appeal of the VerTerra dinnerware collection interspersed with your basic bone china, a collection of plates and trays made from nothing more than fallen leaves and water.  And the best part is that all pieces are microwave and oven safe as well as 100% compostable. To learn more, go to www.verterra.com.

5. Much of my kitchen is stocked with used or vintage finds, which is an inherently green way to serve your favorite meals.  Check to make sure that your feistaware isn't from the lead paint era, but otherwise most re-use is perfectly safe and saves a fortune (I especially covet my melamine owl themed set of trays that I bought for a dollar at a tag sale years ago and some cheery yellow-stripe glasses I picked up at Goodwill). Sign up at estatesales.net to receive notifications of tag sales, estate sales, and auctions in your area.

Happy eating!!