Green Clean Makeover: The Pantry

This month we've been talking about cleaning the kitchen in general and even under the kitchen sink, and now there's one last, important spot we'd like to focus on: the pantry. Check out these tips and tricks for cleaning and organizing your shelves, whipping up pantry-clearing recipes, and keeping the cupboards free of unwanted visitors.

Don't let food go to waste: A teaspoon of mustard here, a handful of beans there. When cleaning the pantry, you should get rid of any foods that are expired, of course, but instead of tossing other odds and ends in the trash or compost, use them creatively in your next meal. Here are several tasty tips:

Use non-toxic cleaners: Vacuum or brush away crumbs and then wipe down cupboards and shelves with warm, soapy water, vinegar, or another green cleanser. We like these safe homemade and store-bought solutions:

Prevent and control pests naturally: Along with thorough cleaning, ingredients like borax, vinegar, essential oils, and herbs can help keep your pantry bug- and rodent-free. Learn more:

Make good use of jars: Jars and other reusable containers are essential for storing bulk foods, consolidating smaller items, and keeping the pantry free of clutter, crumbs, and bugs. Check out these posts for inspiration and advice:

More Green Clean Makeovers:
Green Clean Makeover: The Kitchen
Green Clean Makeover: The Living Room
Green Clean Makeover: The Bedroom
Green Clean Makeover: Under the Kitchen Sink
Green Clean Makeover: The Entryway
Green Clean Makeover: The Garage

(Image: Faith Durand)