Eco-friendly cookware means it is good for the environment, whether it is biodegradable, made from sustainable materials, or is made in a way that does not hurt the environment. Cast iron is good for the environment because these pots and pans last for generations, if cared for correctly. The cast iron cookware I have was my husband’s grandmothers and I believe it was also her mothers. It works great. I love making my chili in it because it does not stick to the bottom of the Dutch oven. Stoneware is another sustainable cookware that I love which is similar to cast iron, because if you care for it properly it can last you forever and the older it gets, the better it becomes. My pizza stone not only cooks pizza without it sticking but also is great to bake cookies or biscuits on. These pots and pans will get black with use and this is what is going to happen the more you use them — it is called seasoning. You do this by rubbing vegatable oil on the inside and outside then cooking it at 250 degrees overnight before you use it for the first time. Believe it or not bamboo, has been used to steam rice and vegetables for ages.
One brand of environmentally friendly cookware is Man pans. This company has gone to great lengths to shrink their carbon footprint. To emit less carbon, this company does the anodizing and application of the cookware’s coating at the same place. They reuse and recycle excess raw materials and incoming packing materials. This is not only earth friendly, of course, but is also cost effective. This anodized cookware needs little or no oil or seasoning. This manufacturer also puts an eco-friendly release coating on its pans that lasts for years. The coatings are also 100% PTFE free and fluropolymar coatings.
Looking for green cookware is easy if you go online and type “eco friendly cookware” into your search engine. It will come up with a list of different websites for you to look at. If you would rather go shopping in a kitchen store, then I would read the box, but be careful if you see 100% recycled — make sure it is the pots that are recycled and not the box. The pots are most likely not going to be made of 100% recycled materials. Another way to buy earth-friendly cookware is to look in cooking magazines — they sometimes have reviews on different pot sets and they usually have “best of” in all the categories. Reading the reviews of other people can be very helpful also. When reading the reviews you need to read both the good and the bad ones, because you want to know what other people liked and didn’t like about the set you are looking at. If you do this, you will have a better idea of what you want and don’t want in your pot set.
More companies are realizing the cost benefits of being environmentally-friendly, not only does their carbon footprint shrink but people that want environment-friendly products will buy their brand before someone else’s. Just because a company doesn’t make cast iron or stoneware doesn’t mean it is not eco friendly. Emitting less pollution in the manufacturing process and making its products all in one place are just two steps that companies can take to be friendly to the earth. Some others are using less water by putting low-flow toilets in the bathrooms and using solar lights if possible.
You can be environmental friendly with your old pots, too. Instead of throwing them out, use them as plant holders by drilling some holes in the bottom for drainage, giving your old cookware to a thrift store (it may be old to you but may be the only cookware someone else can afford or exactly what someone is looking for). When giving your cook set to a thrift store, make sure all the pots are in working order, by this I mean all pots should have their handles and the set should not have any chips. You should also try to find the lids, so the person who buys your set has a set of pots.
Going green is not as hard as some people think it might be, it also does not need to be expensive either. Green cookware is not much more expensive than other cookware you would buy. In order to buy green cookware you need to know how the cookware is made, what it is made of, and what the company does to reduce its carbon footprint.
You don’t have to do anything but Google the company’s name. By buying pots and pans made out of renewable materials or buying really well-made pots that are made to last for years, you keep pots out of landfills.
Photo Credit: m kasahara