Life + Arts

Tips for staying clean, sustainable in the kitchen

Jose Gonzalez-Campelo/The Cougar

Food is a basic need for growing college minds, so it’s crucial to have what you need in your dorm kitchen for easy food prep and storage. More importantly, it’s important to purchase sustainable kitchen products.

Here are some budget-friendly eco-conscious kitchen essentials to keep you clean and green in the kitchen:

Reusable Shopping Bags

Eco-friendly grocery shopping 101 is having reusable bags in your pantry. Collect free tote bags from student events over the semester and use those as reusable grocery bags. H-E-B MacGregor, which is only six minutes away from campus, also sells stylish and durable shopping bags for just $1.50.

BPA-Free Storage Containers

Biphenol A, also known as BPA, is a chemical commonly found in plastic products. Research has shown it can be harmful to humans and the environment, so BPA-free storage containers, like glass and stainless steel, are better options. These can be purchased from Target, Five Below and pOpshelf for no more than $10.

Brita Pitcher

Save the planet by reducing plastic water bottle usage and opting for tap water straight from the kitchen faucet filtered by a standard Brita pitcher. This pitcher is BPA-free, can hold up to six cups of water and removes toxins from tap water. You can get a standard Brita filter from Amazon or Target with prices ranging up to $19.89.

Keep in mind that the filter would have to be replaced every two months. A longer-lasting but more expensive alternative would be the Longlast Brita filter, which you will only need to change every six months.


Being green in the kitchen means reducing food waste. BluApple, reusable produce savers, which look like TERRO fruit fly traps and are shaped like apples, are just what you need to ensure your fruits and veggies stay fresh week after week.

Just put the BluApples in your produce fridge drawers and the packets inside will absorb all the gas that causes produce to spoil. A two-pack can be purchased on for just $14.99.

Non-Toxic Liquid Vegetable Cleaner

Clean your vegetables and fruits with a non-toxic vegetable wash formula. Retailers like pOpshelf carry well-known eco-friendly brands like Ecos. These are chlorine-free and plant-based, so they won’t leave residue or give your veggies a bad taste. Arm & Hammer’s Fruit & Vegetable Wash is a good option as it is certified by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Non-Harmful Cleaning Supplies

Keeping the kitchen clean can be quick and easy using simple and readily available resources like those lemons you got from Cougar Cupboard, baking soda and Hill Country Fare distilled white vinegar from H-E-B MacGregor.

Speaking of H-E-B, your local store has a newly established eco-friendly line called Field & Future that carries relatively affordable biodegradable and toxin-free household cleaning products. You can also opt for more well-known brands like Seventh Generation, Ecos or Mrs. Meyers.

What you do or use in the kitchen should be good for you, your community and the environment. Be clean and green and consider purchasing these affordable and sustainable kitchen essentials.

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