Aluminum foil is highly versatile.
I often use foil to wrap sandwiches, grill on the air fryer, cook potatoes in the microwave oven, and more.
Probably, you still use it as it is popular and adaptable in any kitchen. However, in the quest for a healthier, zero-waste lifestyle, I found an alternative to aluminum foil.
In this post, I’ve narrowed down a list of green alternatives to aluminum foil for you.
In addition to seeing the list, read about where to buy each sustainable option and what it has for you as you set zero-waste goals.
Is Aluminum Foil Bad For The Environment?
Yes, it is terrible for the environment. But, unfortunately, most people think that foil is good for the environment.
To produce a ton of aluminum, the manufacturer requires 170 million BTUs (British Thermal Units).
This is approximately 1,400 gallons of gasoline. Also, during the manufacturing process, it releases about 12 tons of greenhouse gases.
Greenhouse gas production impacts the environment, water toxicity, and human health.
The energy from fossil fuels is proof that this process needs a huge volume of energy.
Bauxite rock, which is the raw material, is extracted from soil.
This triggers damage to the earth’s surface and plants. It can also cause soil erosion in the coming days.
Ways of Minimizing Exposure to Aluminum
To some people, exposure to aluminum is entirely unsafe.
You’ll come into contact with aluminum most often in the kitchen. If you want to decrease a significant amount of aluminum around you, then these are things to do:
- Replace aluminum-made kitchen appliances such as pans and pots
- Dispose of the foil properly after use. Don’t use it to wrap tomatoes, citrus, and flavors.
- Opt for a green alternative to foil, e.g., silicone
What Can I Use Instead Of Aluminum Foil?
When you want to cover something in your microwave oven, use parchment paper, baking sheet, silicone lid, metal lid, or silicone mat rather than foil.
I usually use parchment paper in my air fryer. It’s safe to use when baking, heating, or cooking.
Best Eco-Friendly alternatives to aluminum foil and Where to Buy Them
Luckily for you, we did discover the best green substitutes for aluminum foil.
Our recommendations will enhance the heather, green lifestyle. The section also reveals the best online stores and shops where you can buy them.
1. Silicone Lids
Where to buy: Amazon
Silicone lids are way better for the environment than aluminum foil.
They’re food covers that you need if you care about food freshness.
The lid is ideal for packing waste food.
Hard-press the lids over the containers to cover pizza and leftovers after dinner.
The lids come in different sizes.
Meaning the set will be compatible with any of your pot, bowl, cup, dish, pan, or any other culinary.
For color coordination, the covers feature polished colors to choose from.
Go with the one that matches your décor – clear, aqua, blueberry, lime, and more.
Most importantly, these food-grade silicone lids are dishwasher and microwave-safe.
While they’re resistant to stain, you can throw them in the freezer. Thanks for their non-porous feature.
2. Beeswax Food Wraps
Where to buy: Beeswax.com
Today, people are using food wraps to pack food, and beeswax wraps aren’t exceptions.
Beeswax is a better option for the environment than aluminum foil and plastic wraps. You can use it to wrap a sandwich for lunch or food before placing it in the fridge.
It is an eco-friendly and plastic-free wrap made from GOTS-certified organic cotton material infused with beeswax and oils like coconut and jojoba. The cotton fabric is ethically sourced.
The fact that you can shape the wraps around the containers makes them flexible and versatile for use in different and desired ways.
Although plant-based and vegan-friendly wraps are available in the market, beeswax wraps remain the best alternative for foil.
The food wraps are reusable. However, don’t clean them with hot water.
They can melt. But if you take care of it, beeswax wrap can serve you for 12 months.
3. Silicone Baking Mats
Where to buy: Amazon
Without a doubt, silicone baking mats or sheets by Velesco are incredible.
They come to the rescue when it comes to baking as it is better for the planet.
Silicone baking sheets beat the competition because they’re thicker.
And instead of curling up, they lie flat. The most exciting thing is that you can reuse them as many times as possible.
The baking sheet is essential for every cooker when baking crunchy cookies.
Each mat is made from a quality, nonstick silicone and fiberglass – no food will stick on the pastry bottom.
Apart from baking, you can use the mat to freeze foods such as vegetables, fruits, dumplings, and meatballs at low temperatures.
When the mat deteriorates, you can add it to your compost pile. It decomposes more quickly than plastic wraps and aluminum foil.
4. Unbleached Parchment paper
Where to buy: Amazon
Another exciting choice for you is the unbleached parchment paper by If You Care.
The company mission is to create the most environmentally friendly home, kitchen, and household products to provide highly effective alternatives.
Parchment paper acts as a greaseproof surface for baking. Keep in mind that it’s a high-tech substitute for foil.
With it, you can store your food but for a short time, like a lunch box.
Unlike aluminum foil that takes some years to biodegrade, parchment paper proves to be a distinctive biodegradable choice.
For any meal prep, use parchment paper as it’s eco-friendly.
It comes in agreement with an unbleached certification, which means that it meets the required eco-standards.
Though these papers are a one-use solution, they’re compostable.
5. Vegan Cedar Wraps
Use cedar wraps to wrap the food that you’re putting on the grill.
This foil alternative is made of cedar woods and is friendly to the environment and human health.
Grilling your dish with cedar wraps infuses aroma without adding any calories. Wraps are suitable for grilling scallops, vegetables, seafood, cheese, and more. There will be no mess, clean up, neither.
On the flip side, you can’t reuse them, but you can recycle them or add them in your compost pile to make sure they don’t go to waste.
6. Glass Storage Containers
Where to buy: Amazon
Once your food is ready, you’d want to store it in the refrigerator, and that’s where glass containers come in handy.
These are a go-to simple and classic option that enhances suitability.
Choose glass because it can be reused as many times as you’d want.
It’s odorless and eco-friendly than both aluminum foil and plastic covers.
These glass containers are transparent, allowing you to monitor food in the storage.
You can easily prevent the accumulation of food waste.
Everyone now distinguishes the harm the use of plastics can bring to the environment.
We further know the health dangers that come with aluminum foil. Although old-school, glass remains one of the best alternatives.
You can reuse and recycle it for many years.
Glass products are non-porous as they don’t influence your food quality or taste buds.
7. Fabric covers
Where to buy: Joom
Instead of adding leftovers to your trash bin, you can wrap them with fabric covers for the next round.
The manufacturer crafts them in a way that they’ll fit tightly over the serving dish.
When you finish cooking your food, use the covers appropriately to store it in the fridge.
They’re reusable. Just watch them in advance for use once more.
The use of fabric covers encourages greener life.
8. BBQ Grill Mesh Mat
Where to buy: Amazon
Last on our list is the BBQ Grill Mesh Mat by Cook Time. This is another green alternative to foil to add to your set of collections.
The mat features 3 mesh liners made of fiberglass fabric.
Plus Teflon, this grilling tool eases the cleaning process. It’s versatile yet compatible with seafood, meats, and vegetables.
It’s even a safer substitute for silicone grilling mats.
Throw it in your dishwasher and keep it clean when not in use.
Is Aluminium Foil Safe?
Do you feel comfortable when using aluminum foil for cooking or storing waste food?
My guess may not be as good as yours – whether it’s a yes or no it’s only you who can tell.
It depends on your age or diet, or health.
CDC reports suggest that US consumers take approximately 24 mg of aluminium every day.
The amount is considered safe, though.
Avoiding aluminium exposure isn’t easy since it’s an abundant element.
Its impact highly depends on whether you have an underlying health condition or not.
Don’t use aluminium foil to cook acidic food.
Using it provides a highway for the metal to enter your body.
Although the exact effects of aluminium exposure aren’t agreed upon, it may disturb the growth of human brain cells.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should you avoid the use of aluminium foil?
We consider it safe, but it releases aluminium traces into acidic food such as tomatoes, sauces, and cheese.
Is aluminum foil eco-friendly?
No. Aluminium foil isn’t earth-friendly.
For one, the foil isn’t. Its production process requires a lot of energy, thus releasing toxic gases.
Opt for green alternatives to aluminium foil, including silicone sheets.
This one is much better for the environment and will cost you less.
Can you recycle aluminum foil?
Yes, but it depends.
Aluminium foil is recyclable, just like aluminium tins and cans.
However, you need to clean it thoroughly so that your local recycling center can accept it.
Many recycling depots won’t accept messy foil (contaminated with foodstuffs). Check out with them first.
Are beeswax wraps better than aluminum foil?
Yes. You can reuse Beeswax wraps much longer than foil.
Other things that make beeswax a great deal includes:
You don’t require energy to produce beeswax.
Wraps are compostable
It’s less costly
As evident, there are so many green alternatives to aluminum foil.
All are better for the environment than foil from beeswax food wraps, and cover wraps to silicone sheets and parchment papers.
I may not know your motive for replacing your aluminum foil, but I hope you’ll find our guide helpful.