A Green Holiday Kitchen
- December 11, 2012 |
- by Laurie David
Why is it that during holiday parties or gatherings, we almost always end up hanging out in the kitchen? Because it’s the coziest room in the house where great food and conversation are regularly dished out. In our opinion, the best gifts you can receive are those that are homemade. But, if that’s not an option, here are some other suggestions for keeping your holiday kitchen green and your family table looking a little prettier this year:
Glass Water Bottles
Make serving tap water at your dinner table a little more fun! We love these pretty colored glass bottles from Uncommon Goods and the clear glass ones from Ikea. We’re also huge fans of the eco-friendly reusable glass beverage bottles from Lifefactory.
Fill them up and keep them in the fridge so they’re always ready, just like they do in great restaurants. To make drinking water even more special, add a sprig of mint or a slice of orange.
Bowls for Participation Meals
We love meals that are started in the kitchen and finished at the table, allowing everyone to customize their own dish. (like our Tortilla Soup on page 76 and Pasta as You Like It on page 65 of The Family Dinner book). These colorful bowls from Anthropologie make participation meals even more fun than they already are. The mini version of these bowls work well too!
And while you’re at Anthropologie (or their great online site), check out their retro aprons. Whoever is designing those kitchen aprons at Anthropologie is clever indeed. The patterns are retro fun and putting one on makes you feel instantly like a fabulous chef. In fact, I would go so far as to say they make me feel sexy! That’s quite an accomplishment for an old standby like an apron.
Dressing up your table shows respect for the mealtime ritual and cloth napkins are the simplest way to start. Reducing our disposable paper use is also another great bonus! Because they’re one of those things that you may not buy for yourself, they make a great gift. Check out these tie-dye napkins from Uncommon Goods and these old-fashioned ones from Cath Kidston. And let us know where else you find great napkins, we’re always looking for more options!
Produce Bags and Grocery Totes
Keeping with our personal “enough with all the plastic” campaign, we do our best to bring reusable bags when shopping. Williams-Sonoma offers a great set of produce bags for your holiday trips to the farmers’ market or grocery store. Perfect for bagging your lemons, onions and potatoes. We recently read a statistic that every shopper grabs around eight of those wasteful store plastic bags every shopping trip! Wow! Reusable produce bags to the rescue! We also recommend the grocery totes made by the Earthwise Bag Company, which are available at Whole Foods Market.
Reusable Lunch Boxes
I’m not sure if this is a gift for the parent or the child, but there are so many great reusable lunch boxes available now. We love no waste lunches and these lunch boxes with reusable containers from Laptop Lunches will help towards that goal!
In addition to The Family Dinner, (which we think makes a great holiday gift for anyone on your list!), here are some recommendations for cookbooks that can also assist in preparing healthy, eco-friendly meals:
Jonathan Safran Foer, “Eating Animals” — while this one isn’t a cookbook, it’s a truly thought provoking book that just might change the way you eat.
The Solar Cooker Project
A donation to a worthy cause is always a great gift for anyone on your list. This one is an effort committed to protecting refugee women and girls from rape and other violence. Women and girls who have fled the genocide of Darfur, Sudan are particularly vulnerable while performing the critical task of collecting firewood for cooking. The mission of the Solar Cooker Project is to reduce the frequency of these crimes by providing women from refugee camps with an alternative cooking option: the solar cooker.