In Germany alone, almost 13 million tons of food are thrown away every year - that's an average of 85.2 kilograms per household. However, the total is not only made up of food that has expired (although it usually has a much longer shelf life), but also of leftovers. For a long time, the reason for this was the convenience of many people: instead of packaging their food in such a way that it can be reused, they preferred to throw it away. Due to the increasing awareness of sustainable products, however, there are more and more kitchen gadgets that offer you the opportunity to make food last longer in just a few simple steps - and at the same time produce less waste.
In most households it is normal to store opened food in the refrigerator. To prevent them from drying out, they are often covered with cling film or aluminum foil - both products then end up in the garbage. Dishwasher-safe and extremely stretchy silicone lids, which are durable and leak-proof, offer a sensible and significantly more environmentally friendly alternative. They are simply slipped over bowls, glasses, cans, pots, pans or melons and can then be reused.
Waxed cotton towels, which are used like cling film or aluminum foil, are just as useful as they are practical, but they are made of 100 percent cotton, organic beeswax, organic jojoba oil and natural tree resin - which means they have antibacterial properties. In addition, the oilcloths can be washed and reused after use. So you produce less waste when you need to wrap, freeze or wrap food. To activate the wipes, simply rub them between your hands and warm them up.
Overuse of paper towels causes up to 3,000 tons of them to end up in landfill every day. If you still don't want to do without your kitchen roll, you can use all-purpose towels made of absorbent bamboo fibers: they are antibacterial, hypoallergenic and antimicrobial. The roll consists of a total of 20 towels that can be washed up to 100 times - after each wash they become even softer and more absorbent! But what's even better: A bamboo roll can replace up to 60 conventional paper kitchen rolls and protect the environment.
Did you know that baking paper is not only made of paper, but usually also contains silicone? The disposable product is used and thrown away as a matter of course in millions of households, although there have long been reusable Teflon baking mats that are heat-resistant, non-stick coated and even dishwasher-safe. You can even custom trim these to fit the baking pan you want. As a result, you produce less waste and save yourself the purchase of baking paper.
Do you know that too? You peel more onions or garlic cloves than you actually need - and don't want to throw away the leftovers, but you don't want to store them in the fridge either. To avoid the strong odor that would slowly spread through the kitchen, the food ends up in the trash even though it's still good. To avoid this in the future, simply use cling balls: the tightly closed halves keep your refrigerator odorless and the opened food can still be stored. And can be reused the next time you cook.
If you own a toaster, you've probably stood by and cursed as you scraped a burnt slice of bread off the grill. This is not only annoying, but also unnecessary - with the reusable toast bags you can toast the slices in the future without any problems and without crumbs. The bags are particularly useful when you want to make a sandwich with cheese in it. Thanks to the Teflon coating, the sandwich can be heated in the toaster without having to scrape the melted cheese out of the device. You can even heat a slice of pizza in it.
Many foods such as onions and garlic, cheese and fish have a strong inherent odor that lingers on our hands for several hours after each touch. This is not only very unpleasant, but also smells like it. To counteract this, many people use chemical soaps that are supposed to neutralize the smell - and thereby produce a lot of plastic waste. A rustproof stainless steel soap is just as effective and, on top of that, also long-lasting and environmentally friendly. All you have to do is rub the soap between your hands under running water for a few seconds to remove the odours.
By 2021 at the latest, you will no longer be able to buy straws made of plastic: from this year, single-use products will be banned in the EU. In Germany alone, 40 billion plastic straws are used every year. Straws made of reusable materials such as stainless steel, glass or silicone are therefore much more sensible and environmentally friendly. They're easy to clean, offer the same drinking experience, but don't pollute our oceans.
As delicious as watermelons taste, it is also difficult to chop them: With a knife, the slices or pieces are often cut out too generously, so that a lot of the pulp ends up in the garbage. Watermelons, honeydew melons, papaya and pitaya can be filleted much faster, easier and cleaner with the melon slicer made of high-quality, food-grade stainless steel. In just a few seconds you can cut evenly sized pieces from a wide variety of fruits - and without much effort or loss of fruit pulp.
Here, too, eating the delicious pulp involves work, which you can save yourself if you use an avocado slicer. You first remove the core and then cut the inside into six parts - which are immediately ready to serve. The device is dishwasher safe and has an ergonomic silicone handle so that it fits firmly in your hand and you don't slip when you want to cut the avocado.
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