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10 Sustainable Kitchen Decorating Ideas: Tips for Designing Your Eco-Kitchen (Updated 2020)

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They say that “life happens in the kitchen.” It’s where the fondest memories are made and seasoned with love. You have to admit: if someone you’re close with stops by, the first place they often settle into is not the living room—it’s your kitchen.

At Rainforest Bowls, we promote sustainable living and eating through our eco-friendly kitchen products. Redesign your sustainable kitchen and take your pick from our wide eco-collection!

If you’re a combination of a foodie, a home cook, and a nature lover at heart, redesigning your kitchen into a sustainable space might have already crossed your mind several times. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place.

10 Sustainable Kitchen Decorating Ideas

Documentaries and news about global warming have been prompting more and more people to become more eco-conscious. And the first room in a house where anyone can easily practice sustainable living (and eating) is the heart of the home: the kitchen. 

To help you reduce your carbon footprint while redesigning your kitchen, we’ve rounded up some of the 10 best sustainable kitchen decorating ideas.

1. Choose Eco-Friendly Kitchen Products

What better way to redesign your sustainable kitchen than with eco-friendly kitchen products?

When choosing eco-friendly kitchen products, you have to make sure that they are sustainably sourced and made. Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself before getting one:

Did these products undergo mass production, generating significant amounts of pollution?

Are they made of materials that are harmful to the environment?

Are natural resources being exploited or depleted when making these products?

If the answers to these questions are a resounding no, then you’re most likely getting eco-friendly products. 

Learn what eco-friendly means and the seven sins of greenwashing in this article.

One of the things you can consider when getting an eco-friendly kitchen product is if it’s handcrafted from a biodegradable and long-lasting material. 

But let’s talk about longevity first. The more you have to replace a kitchen item, the more waste you’re going to produce from your kitchen. And that’s not sustainable at all. So you have to take that into consideration when choosing a product for your kitchen.

A plus point of that product would be if it’s crafted from a natural material. 

Because natural products are typically biodegradable or compostable, they’ll neither harm the environment nor end up in landfills for years when it’s time to discard them. Unlike plastic or glassware, for instance, these products will naturally decompose and return to the earth as organic matter.

Rainforest Bowls offers bowls, utensils, and more that are made of natural, sturdy, and sustainably sourced materials. All of them are sourced from local farms in Vietnam and handcrafted by rural artisans. Find out how our products are made here.

Not only can eco-friendly kitchen products support the planet we live on—they also help you make better choices. By surrounding yourself with healthier choices, you’re already on your way toward creating a sustainable kitchen.

2. Use Upcycled Materials

Here’s another eco-kitchen decorating idea: find products made of reclaimed or upcycled materials.

If you’re still in the works of building your kitchen or if you need to reface your kitchen cabinets, you can choose refurbished or repurposed building materials. Or if you want to spruce up your kitchen, consider getting recycled or “pre-loved” items as your choice of decoration.

Need some more utensils for when you’re entertaining guests? Impress them with a set of cutlery that has a story behind it.

Our wooden utensils are carved from offcuts of wood or bamboo or reclaimed coconut shells. Plus, they add a taste of style to your everyday dishes!

Or perhaps you’re looking for the best bowls for your breakfast smoothies. How about bowls that are handcrafted from upcycled coconut shells?

Each year, billions of coconut shells are discarded and burned as waste. Rainforest Bowls reclaims these coconut shells, which artisans turn into lovely bowls for your kitchen.

And if you have some of our products in your kitchen already but want to try out other styles, you can exchange them with those of our other customers. Join our Facebook swap group!

3. Practice the 3 Rs in Style

Kitchen and household waste isn’t the most delightful topic to go into when it comes to kitchen decorating ideas. But it is a huge part of living a sustainable lifestyle.

How can you practice the 3 Rs in style? Well, it all boils down to the choice of kitchen products.

Reduce

Choose only what you need and refuse what you don’t. The fewer products you have in your kitchen, the less likely you are to throw them away. Plus, isn’t a minimalist interior design trendy nowadays?

Here’s a tip: get an eco-friendly kitchen product that isn’t only functional and long-lasting but also visually pleasing. That way, you can avoid replacing it with a new one in the future when you suddenly find it dull-looking.

Our Coconut Wood and Bamboo Plates come in different shapes and sizes, so you have a lot to choose from. With their well-crafted designs, you would hate to hide them away. They’re great for enjoying everyday meals, and they complement your sustainable kitchen to perfection!

Reuse

Reusing waste in style takes a bit of creativity. If you have some spare plastic takeaway containers, don’t toss them away just yet. Wash them, paint over them, and use them again as stylish lunch containers to bring to school work.

Another example would be choosing a more stylish yet eco-friendly alternative to disposable plastic straws: bamboo straws. 

What’s great about bamboo straws is that they’re made from the world’s most highly renewable resources. Because these straws are crafted from all-natural bamboo, they’re reusable and compostable. Just clean them with a straw cleaning brush and use them again! 

When it’s time to discard these straws, simply cut them into small pieces and throw them into your compost bin—they’ll naturally decompose as healthy food for your plants. 

And if by any chance you have coconut bowls in your kitchen and suddenly want to get rid of them, reuse them as pieces of decor. You can use them for making candles or even for repotting plants! 

Learn more about the creative ways to use coconut bowls

Recycle

Have a lot of discarded paper, plastic bottles, or glass? Put them in a recycling bin and let your recycling facility take care of them. 

But aren’t recycling bins… ugly? They don’t have to be. 

There are lots of wicker recycling baskets or other stylish recycling bins available online. You can even make your own recycling bins with wooden pallets at home! Just like reusing, recycling in style needs a dash of your imagination.

If you find it a bit tricky to sort your waste, read this article to see the differences between degradable, biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable.

4. Add a Natural Element 

One of the most common kitchen decorating ideas is breathing life into your sustainable kitchen—literally. That’s right, you need some plants, lots of ‘em.

Try searching “eco-friendly kitchen” or “sustainable kitchen” on Google or Pinterest. Did you notice that most, if not all, eco-kitchen photos feature plants?

Plants have a way of adding vibrancy and life to any kitchen. Take good care of them, and they can significantly enhance your eco-friendly kitchen design. And you don’t have to shell out too much cash to decorate your kitchen with plants!

Some of the best houseplants you can put in your kitchen require bright, indirect light. Peace lily, rubber plants, and snake plants are examples of these plants.

And what better pots in which to put your indoor plants than planters made of all-natural materials? Just like our Coconut Bowls, our Coconut Shell Planters are handcrafted from upcycled coconut waste. They’re the perfect natural homes for your natural plants! Turn your kitchen into an island oasis with these planters.

Adding a natural element isn’t restricted to plants. As was mentioned in our #2 kitchen decorating idea, it’s best to get kitchen products crafted from natural materials.

Compared to porcelain and ceramic, natural kitchen products appear like they have a story to tell. Because they’re made from nature, they bring an earth-friendly vibe to any kitchen. 

5. Accessorize Your Kitchen Sink

The kitchen sink is more than just a place to wash your dirty dishes in. Spruce it up the right way, and it can instantly help you create an eco-friendly kitchen design.

One example is your soap dish. Instead of placing your sponge on a plastic soap dish (which gets grimy too fast), put it on a sustainable, island-style soap dish. 

Our soap dishes are crafted from reclaimed coconut shells, and they sport the earthy color of real coconuts! They also come with wooden stands at the bottom to keep them upright and drainage holes at the center. Not only are they perfect for bathrooms—they also add a natural stylish touch to your kitchen. 

Another example is your hand soap bottle. Rather than using hand soap that already comes in a regular plastic bottle, find a lovely colored glass bottle that you can use over and over. With a glass soap dispenser, you can even create your own hand soap blends instead of buying from the grocery store.

Putting fresh flowers or potpourri near your kitchen sink, for instance, can not only liven up your kitchen interior—it also reduces unwanted smells from your dirty dishes. 

If you’re planning to make potpourri, place them in the best bowl for flowers: the Flower Coconut Bowl!

6. Energy Efficiency Is Key

What’s a sustainable kitchen without energy-efficient appliances and fixtures? 

According to a report by Environment America, power plants—which provide households across the country with electricity—generate more pollution than cars. And if you’re not living off-grid with a set of solar panels or wind turbines, the best thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is lessen your energy usage.

When you’re shopping for kitchen lighting and appliances, one thing you need to look for is their Energy Star label. This kind of certification proves that an electrical appliance meets the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard for energy efficiency.

Here’s one tip: use candles from time to time. They bring a romantic touch to any dinner setting while helping you reduce your lighting and electricity usage. A lot of our customers use coconut bowls to craft homemade candles!

And on that note, don’t forget water-efficient faucets or other plumbing fixtures. Water-efficient products come with the WaterSense label, so you have to look for that certification when buying eco-friendly plumbing fixtures.

7. Hang Your Wooden Cooking Utensils

Don’t have enough drawer space for your cooking utensils? There’s an easy solution to this: hang them on your wall to decorate your kitchen. It hits two birds with one stone!

Of course, you have to get cooking utensils that come with handle holes and are lovely enough to display. You wouldn’t want to show off shabby, discolored tools and utensils, now would you?

Crafted from offcuts of coconut timber, our Coconut Wood Cooking Utensils boast a rich wood grain, adding a rustic touch to any kitchen. Because of their sustainably sourced material, they perfectly suit your eco-friendly kitchen design!

Apart from aesthetics, what makes wooden cooking utensils a great choice for sustainable kitchens is their material. They’re biodegradable yet sturdy enough to last a lifetime. Plus, they won’t scratch your cookware, and they don’t conduct heat. Leave them in your heated cooking pot, and their handles will stay cool to the touch.

8. Steer Clear of Plastic

Let’s face it: plastic is cheap and looks cheap. It’s readily available in stores, making it difficult to eliminate from our day-to-day lives.

But don’t you think that plastic products seem inappropriate in eco-friendly kitchen designs? We think so too.

Plastic has already done irreparable damage to the environment. You know this. And while it can be hard to live a completely plastic-free life, such a lifestyle is definitely rewarding to the Earth and you. 

Start by getting reusable glass containers rather than plastic. You can use them for packed lunches or even when you’re buying some takeaways from your favorite local restaurant.

 We’ve already talked about how bamboo straws are a sustainable alternative to single-use plastic. Apart from that, you can use reusable bamboo utensils or bamboo bowls rather than plastic utensils for picnics or plastic bowls for feeding your toddler. Not only are they environmentally-friendly but also stylish enough for your sustainable kitchen design!

9. Keep Your Windows Open

Unless, of course, it’s freezing outside. But even during the winter months, it helps to crack open your windows occasionally.

Proper ventilation is key to reducing carbon monoxide released by your kitchen appliances. Ventilation systems and extractor hoods exist, true, but nothing beats the fresh outdoor air. By keeping your windows open, you’re also reducing your use of electricity from ventilation systems.

One kitchen decorating idea that also helps improve your indoor air quality is adding plants. Yes, plants, again. Who doesn’t love livening up a room with plants?

NASA agrees. Plants can help purify indoor air and remove indoor air pollutants. Some air-purifying plants that are great for your kitchen window include aloe vera, English ivy, Boston fern, and spider plant.

If you don’t have enough space for plants on your kitchen windowsill, hang them instead in one of our Hanging Coconut Planters! You can even hang three different plants with our space-saving 3-Tier Hanging Coconut Planter.

10. Get Handcrafted Tableware 

Last on the list of our sustainable kitchen decorating ideas is handcrafted tableware. You don’t need to stow this type of tableware away—it doubles as a piece of decor for your eco-friendly kitchen.

Our Art Coconut Bowls, for instance, are perfect for everyday smoothies and vegan bowls! With their hand-carved designs, they can instantly spruce up your kitchen counter or dish rack.

Another functional piece of decor for your kitchen is our wooden utensil holders. Keep your wooden utensils organized in one of these holders, then place it on your dining table for a practical yet lovely table centerpiece!

Feeling thirsty? Choose from our collection of wooden drinkware. Made of bamboo or coconut wood, our natural cups complete your eco-friendly kitchen design.

As you already know, we at Rainforest Bowls offer eco-friendly kitchen products that are entirely hand-carved by hand. But we do more than just sell them. With your purchase, you’re helping us plant more trees and promoting the livelihoods of local artisans in Vietnam.

Design your sustainable kitchen and take your pick from our wide range of bowls, utensils, plates, planters, and more. Have peace of mind knowing that what you’re getting will not only complete the look of your eco-kitchen—but also help create a better Earth.

Have an eco-friendly kitchen you’d like to show us? Tag us on Instagram @RainforestBowls, and we’ll share your sustainable kitchen design with our community!

Note: For out-of-stock items, you can keep up-to-date when the items are back in stock by subscribing to our newsletter (scroll to the bottom of our homepage, enter your email address, and get an extra surprise!) or following us on Instagram @RainforestBowls. You can also pre-order out-of-stock items by sending us an email at sales@rainforestbowls.com so that we can reserve them for you once they become available.

Author Profile

A mother of succulents, various indoor plants, and a white mini Chewbacca, Diet Immarie Salazar simply adores living closer to nature—literally. In her home nestled in the mountains, she frequently writes about how and why people should enjoy a more natural and eco-friendly lifestyle.


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