The Eco-Friendly, Made in America Wedding Registry- The Kitchen Cookware and Storage

by - Saturday, May 06, 2017

This was first posted in summer 2015, but I come back to these long lists every year to make sure all the links work and to add the new things I have learned. And because what you need this year has probably changed too. 

kitchen wedding registry

Alright, it's back! This epic list has been updated once again, and it is ready to help another round of couples. Here begins our huge (but fun) dive into the world of the wedding registry.

It's a pretty monumental moment in your life as far as getting stuff is concerned- oftentimes, the biggest. Can you think of any time where you get as many gifts?

There are always these massive lists of what you should be getting, and it can be overwhelming to navigate, much less to seek out options to make it fit the kind of home you want to have. But because you are making such an extensive set of requests and purchases all at once, you have an amazing opportunity to be good stewards and start your marriage off on a positive foot.

Don't believe me? ABC News reported that if every American spent 64 dollars a year more on American-made goods, it would create 200,000 jobs. If you only register for American products, so many of your guests will have filled their quota already! Even better, gifts made locally use way less fossil fuels being shipped all over the world, and vintage or used gifts can keep things from becoming waste. Even gifts made from recycled materials are saving that much more from landfills.

All this good can come just from how you pick your registry.

When we got married, I honestly wasn't thinking about this much. I would choose the Made in America option over the imported if I noticed it, but wouldn't think of it much. As we move forward, I am blown away by how many good options there are out there, and I wish I had thought more about it then (because it isn't exactly eco-friendly to toss your breadmaker for a new one, even if the new one does seem way more ethical- use what you have).

If you want to start off your new family with eco-friendly or Made in America tools and goodies, you can do it! And that's awesome! Here are my tips for choosing things that will have a positive impact on our country and our world.

As a side note, if you are not newly engaged, but just were thinking you need to replace your janky stockpot, this list is for you too. I will never replace our cookware with something made in China again, or buy non-recyclable food storage, and you don't have to either.


The 3 Steps to Making a Kickass Eco-friendly and Made in America Registry


1. Make Your Own List. The first secret to rocking a wedding registry is that you already know what you need. If you are reading this with genuine and applicable interest, we can assume you already function, at least nominally, as an adult. You know what you already have, what will need to be replaced, what you would use everyday, and what you will never in a blue moon touch (a fish poacher? Really?).

I am going to point you to the many options you have, but the truth is you take a list online and then you cross off everything you already have between the two of you that still has plenty of years in it. Then you cross off everything you don't want or would never use (be honest, do you need a special phone holder for when you are reading off a recipe? Plenty of things will hold your phone, including your hand and the table). What's left is your actual starting point.

No one needs everything on this list. No one. The things you get are also the things you have to drag along with you, so better to not get too weighed down with stuff. Start with the basics you really need, and then throw in a handful of things that are fun. That's plenty. Honestly.

2. Avoid Sets- Yes, you can register for a set of six baking pans. Or you can register for the two you actually want as single items. It's easier for your guests and you get what you want without the waste. This is especially important for kitchen stuff, because they love to package a bunch of nonsense together.

3.  Shop Consignment- My husband loves kitchen gadgets. Maybe more than he loves me. He could spend hours perusing that wall of kitcheny doohickies. They are all made in China. Mostly, also out of cheap non-recyclable plastic. Lately, we have noticed you can find some of those awesome gadgets at Goodwill, because someone else did not love it as much as they thought they would (this can be for things as simple as a lemon press- we aren't just talking Pasta Express here).

 There are a thousand already unused vases in the world, and about half are at a consignment store nearby. Maybe you will find a bunch, maybe none, but the more you can get off the list used, the fewer new things have to be made (this is especially important for anything on your list made of plastic). Also, try Buy Nothing! Your neighborhood might have some key things off your list already.

4. Buy Made in America, Recycled, or Recyclable- If it travels shorter distances, leaves less waste, or can be used by your great grandchildren, you are on to something. There are tons of fantastic options. I will point out our picks, but I also just want to drop as many options on you as possible with these posts, so you can pick what works for your family. These are affiliate links, but I encourage you to register and support local businesses wherever you can.



Alright, let's get to the good stuff. I should warn you that I am a terrible cook, just awful, and am generally relegated to sous chef and dishwasher roles. So this list is approved by the actual cook in our house, because I know nothing.



chicken pot pie


Bakeware and Cookware

Things To Register For 

This short list is backed up with details (and links) underneath, but you can always start off by crossing out what you don't need: 

Baking Sheets (1 Large, 1 Smaller)
Cake Pans (I Rectangle and 2 Round)
Casserole Dishes/ Glass Pans (1 Large and 1 Smaller)
Cast Iron Skillet
Cooling Racks (3)
Dutch Oven
Griddle
Muffin Pans (2)
Nonstick Skillet (12") and Sauce Pan (2 Quarts) 
Pie Pan
Sauce Pan (3-4 Quarts), Skillet (12"), and Saute Pan (10")
Stock Pot

In this case, everything in the Buy New list could potentially be bought used, but I don't see too many of these things at consignment stores when I am there. Still, it is worth it to be on the lookout and just take it off your list if you can find it.

Baking Sheets (1 large, 1 small)

Our Pick- USA Pan, based out of Pittsburgh, makes baking sheets in multiple styles and sizes, all in the US, all awesome.  USA Pan has a set of three baking sheets if you would like more than one large one.Williams Sonoma also sells 2 lines of bakeware that is made in the US (by USA Pan- it's all connected), including their Goldtouch cookie sheet (which gets all the love from America's Test Kitchen). Sur La Table's Professional Platinum line is also made in America by USA Pan, so you can register for cookie sheets from them too!

Other Options- You can also get your cookie sheet from Jacob Bromwell, based out of Indiana and Vermont or Island Ware, another well-reviewed family line of baking sheets.

Cake Pans (1 Rectangle and 2 Round)


Our Pick- For a metal cake pan, I recommend USA Pan again (9 x13).  USA Pan really is the bomb, and there is a reason all of the big, fancy chef stores (and professional kitchens) have this company make their pans. And getting their regular line means you aren't paying any more than you would for a much shoddier pan. USA Pan also sells 9" circular cake pans, which is the standard size. If you are registering at Williams Sonoma or Sur La Table instead, their own lines are made by USA Pan in Pittsburgh. Everyone stop buying pans made by anyone else!

Other Options- If you want a more complicated pan like a Bundt Pan or some sort of family tradition cake pan, I suggest Nordicware (just keep an eye out, because it isn't all Made in the USA). Some of them are so dorky, I have fallen in love. Other simpler options are Allied Metal pans, Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum pans, and Parrish Magic Pans (who can fight with a name like that?).

exploded lasagna pan

Casserole Dishes (1 large, 1 smaller)

 Our Pick- Besides being made in the US with glass, Pyrex Easygrab dishes are also freaking genius enough to come with lids. A+! I love all Pyrex. Pyrex is all made in the US as far as I can see, they last forever (you can always find Pyrex at consignment stores and grandma cupboards) so you just can't go wrong with this classic company. If you want something simpler, they have a set of two as "basics".

 Other Options- Anchor Hocking also has baking dishes in square and rectangular sizes (some with lids, some not). This all-American company also sells casserole dishes (they call them baking dishes in case you want to browse your options) in lidded (sometimes the lids are not made in America) and lidless. They also do a glass casserole line exclusively for Crate and Barrel. If you want ceramic ones, Emerson Creek Pottery has an amazing Go Green Line (made in the USA with no chemical glazes!) with casserole dishes in it Rada Cutlery sells stoneware casserole dishes made in the US as well.

Cast Iron Skillet

 My dad makes Christmas scrapple (sp?) and Seafood Amazingness (TM) in his cast iron skillet, but we didn't get one for our wedding and are still married. After posting this, I got the advice that you can often find a cast iron skillet at an antique store for 5 bucks, give it a good clean, and have it be even more awesome than the ones you buy new. Something to think about for sure!

Our Pick- If you are a manly cook who wants a nice sturdy skillet, Lodge makes a whole variety of sizes right here in the US. In one of the reviews, it says families fight over these like heirlooms when their loved ones die, so something for your children to look forward to? Pretty dark for an Amazon review. They have ones with Grill Pans too. In general, Lodge is all kinds of awesome, but they now have a "color" line that is Made in China. So keep an eye out! What a bummer that even the good ones fall prey to the lure of cheap manufacturing.

Finex is a small company based out of Portland Oregon that also sells Cast Iron Pans and Skillets; you can get them at Williams Sonoma.

Cooling Racks (3)

You usually don't need more than that, but it depends on the size. Jacob Bromwell sells some made in the USA. You can get them here on their website. Kind of a lame dearth of options, so I highly encourage checking your local consignment store. Nothing good there? Don't despair- Etsy has tons of options. My favorites are these vintage round ones- I honestly didn't even know things like this existed, and they are so pretty!
le creuset dutch oven
Le Creuset from Amazon

Dutch Oven

A perfect thing to register for, because they are so great you probably want one, but so expensive you will have trouble talking yourself into buying it.

Our pick- Le Creuset are made in France (it seems the of America ones are as well), and it will last you forever. Lodge (manufactured in Tennessee) makes a less pretty version as well.

Added- Thanks to some Christmas gifting, we actually have both of these now, so I can vouch for their greatness. Le Creuset is great for pasta, and the Lodge works perfectly for pork carnitas. 

You do have lots of other options in all kinds of materials. All-Clad sells a Made in America version and one with a copper stripe, so even All-Clad fancier. Nordic Ware has a dutch oven at a more affordable price, and only the knob is imported.

williams sonoma griddle eco friendly wedding
from Williams Sonoma

Griddle/Stove top Grill

 A lot of lists include them both, but you can get them combined! One more thing instead of two.Or be honest with yourselves about what you will actually use.

Our Pick- We are hardcore pancake eaters in this house, but honestly, we would never use the other side.We have a griddle like this Calphalon one made in America.  We grill outside. Lodge is my favorite for the multi-purpose piece, and it sells a griddle/grill combo that looks pretty awesome if you want that winter grilling.

Other options? You can also get a double burner eco-friendly griddle from Ecolution that uses recycled materials. Nordic Ware makes their double-sided grill/griddle in the USA as well. All-Clad has a nonstick square griddle if you are an all-pancake couple like us.

usa pan muffin pan
from USA Pan

Muffin Pans (1 or 2)

 I make cupcakes more than the average bear, and we have gotten on fine with one cupcake pan. It gives me time to clean and make my frosting before the cakes are all done. Still, you can follow your heart on this one.

Our Pick-  USA Pan muffin pans, because they are awesome. They have mini muffins and other sizes as well. Sur la Table also has their own line of bakeware made in the US (and at least partially made by USA pans), which includes a 24 cupcake pan, which is genius if your oven can hold it, or you can buy a set that includes a lot of these things. Williams Sonoma also sells Goldtouch muffin pans (loved by America's Test Kitchen and also manufactured by USA Pan) and a more traditional pan.

  Nordic Ware also makes their commercial scale muffin pans out of aluminum (that will never rust!) in the US. Granite Ware has a ceramic and stone combo muffin pan also made in the US if you don't want a lot of cupcakes. American Bakeware has a muffin pan made of natural stoneware as well.

calphalon nonstick pan made in america
Calphalon from Amazon

Nonstick Skillet (12") and Sauce Pan (2 quarts)

Our Pick-  Non-stick pans are a great example of how finding better solutions for the Earth is also better for the consumer. Ecolution sells nonstick pans with more eco-friendly surfaces (that are less likely to scratch off and poison you). They also claim to want to educate the public about how to reuse and recycle pans, so they are making Earth-friendly products. You can register for single pans or sets. On the other hand, they manufacture their pans in China, so there is a definite downside.

If in America is better than the pan ecolution, Calphalon also makes a more traditional (and affordable) set of nonstick pans in Toledo Ohio. They would be my pick, as they specialize in non-stick). The other Made in America nonstick pan that has glowing reviews is the Tramontina commercial pan. It has a lifetime warrantee, which seems like a stretch for a nonstick pan, but it might be worth looking into!

 Even more options- Greenpan also makes a ceramic nonstick with more "eco-friendly" features (but they make it in China), but they do seem confident that the coating would chip or scratch off.   All Clad has them as well- we got the warning not to spend too much on nonstick pans because you will have to replace them, so I might invest in something that is trying to be Earth-friendly rather than picking something that you want to last the length of your marriage in this case. American Kitchen by Regal Ware also sells frying pans in non-stick as well as stainless steel.

pyrex pie pan
Pyrex pie pan from Amazon

Pie Pan

 Some people prefer metal, some prefer glass. You are getting pie, what else could possibly matter? We have both, and honestly, they work about the same. I may slightly prefer glass. Pie pans, thank goodness, are probably one of the easiest things on this list to find Made in America.

Our Pick- We have the Pyrex glass pan, handed down from my mom, because they last forever.

Pyrex's mortal enemies (I have no idea if they are actually rivals- I hope not) at Anchor Hocking also sell glass pie pans which look beautiful and have great reviews. USA Pans sells a simple metal version, as does Parrish Magic (what a great name). You can even get the stone version from Rada Cutlery, Haeger Natural Stone, or American Bakeware. I LOVE these ceramic pie pans from Leslie Freeman Designs as well. Fiesta sells a beautiful ceramic version that would look great on the table, or you can get a more handcrafted ceramic dish from Clay in Motion. There are also tons of vintage pie pans on Etsy that still look great and will probably last your whole marriage.

 If you are gifting and want to go big, I might throw in a silicon crust shield, to save tons of aluminum foil.

Giving a gift and want something a little more fun? Etsy store  Gone Girly sells fun etched glass pie pans. Might be cute for the right bride and groom!

all clad sauce pan made in america
All Clad from Amazon


Sauce Pans (3-4 quarts), Skillet (12"), and Saute Pan (10")


Yay Pans! If you cook, I am sure you care about them more than me. I am going to send you to some sets, but any company that sells sets sells great individual pieces as well. Poke around for individual pieces, because you are more likely to get them.

Our Pick- All Clad stands at the top of the heap of Made in America pans. Super nice, but also so fancy that I feel like a schlub just looking at them. That being said, if you are (or are marrying) a huge cook, it might be work your while to register for the sauce pan, skillet (they have a pair too), or saute pan, because they are made in America and are absolutely beloved and long-lasting. Individually, they are simply expensive, but someone might go for it. As sets, they are genuinely ridiculous (they do have a basic set with just five things, but that still seems rather expensive to me). We don't have anything this nice, but you could very well be much fancier than we are.

Is anyone fancy enough for the copper core set? Or you can get the special Thomas Keller All Clad set at Williams Sonoma (who has this life? I've said it before, I will say it again, things like this might be doable as individual pots and pans that fill gaps or get you started, so I would work of that premise.

Want something a little more affordable? USA Pan offers a number of great sets of pans, or you can register for each thing individually to fill in the blanks in your collection. American Kitchen also sells each individually on their website. From what I can tell, Calphalon's nonstick pans are made in Toledo, Ohion, but their regular pans are made in China, so just keep them in the nonstick section.  360 Cookware also makes saute pans.

Want something even more expensive? Just not fancy enough yet? Sur la Table sells Wolf Gourmet pans and sauce pans which are steeper in price but might be worth it for those pans you use the most (bonus, they are really pretty).

Stock Pot

Our Pick-  I love when the stock pot comes out, because it always means soup in our house. USA Pan offers an 8 quart pot with glowing reviews.

Wolf Gourmet has a well-loved stock pot too. Calphalon has a less pricey, slightly smaller soup pot as well, though I am not sure if you really want a non-stick stock pot (don't trust me; I am not a cook). All Clad has a number of Stock Pots in different sizes. Or you can get the All Clad Thomas Keller version, because you live in a movie or something (who knew there could be such a stock pot?).



rice skillet

Things You Might Try to Get Used

Ok, these are all things you can easily get on the way cheap at most consignment stores. Honestly, some piece of Pyrex is bound to be in this mix as well. But here is some kitchenware that need not take up space on your registry, because you can find one for 2 bucks used. If you don't see anything, I have lots of great eco-friendly and made in America options as well-

Loaf Pan
Measuring Cups
Measuring Spoons
Mixing Bowls
Roasting Pan
Steamer
Strainer
Tea Kettle
usa pan bread loaf pan made in america
USA Pan from Amazon

Loaf Pan

Are you a bread baker? Then please send me pumpkin bread. Then this one is probably a once in a blue moon tool. If you need one, I would track it down used before getting a new one. They are always there. We got ours completely for free on Buy Nothing, because no one really needs much loaf pan. USA Pan does offer one though if you are interested. If you want glass, Pyrex and Anchor Hocking both sell good options. Here is a stoneware Bread Loaf Pans or you can get one from Lodge. So many options for something you mostly don't need!

Measuring Cups

 You can find those great old school tupperware ones on sale on etsy and in lots of consignment and antique stores (the downside being what is in that plastic, but you can decide how much that matters to you.) You can find all kinds of measuring cups and spoons on Etsy as well.You have plenty of used options. These geese cups must have been popular, because you can find a bunch on Etsy.

If you want a straightforward set, our pick would be Preserve's set of dry measuring cups, made out of recycled plastic in the US (a steal at 7.85).  Pyrex also has a glass measuring cup for liquids that basically can't be beat in our kitchen.  Reduce Melaboo has a set that are totally biodegradable and compostable. Architec has a set made of plastic-alternatives that are "natural" and recyclable. Nordic Ware has a set made in the US that look like miniature bundt pans, in case just having a normal-size bundt pan isn't enough.

measuring cups made in america
from In a Glaze
You can buy beautiful or vintage measuring cups on Etsy. In a Glaze sells ceramic measuring cups in beautiful colors. Blue Room Pottery (from St. Paul Minnesota) makes similar cups in a different slightly less cutesy sets of colors if the gradient is too much for one of you. Barden Woodworking sells beautiful wood measuring cups. I think they are pretty, subtle, and the kind of thing your grandchildren will remember.


Measuring Spoons

 There are sets of measuring spoons in so many consignment stores. You can also get vintage spoons in so many styles and materials: AluminumAluminum with a copper colorClassic Tupperware (in a traditionally ugly color), Stainless steel, and Copper (these are gorgeous- why aren't coppery kitchens more popular).

These sometimes come in sets with the cups. Our pick is Natural Home's Pistachio Green Moboo spoons, made of bamboo instead of plastic or wood (I also like their curvy design). Nordic Ware makes these measuring spoons in the US. Our other pick would be these wood measuring spoons from Allegheny Treenware, which are beautiful and perfect for the job. Architec also has a matching (and beautiful) set of their measuring spoons.

carved wooden spoons measuring spoons
from Carved Wooden Spoons
Etsy of course kills at this as well- I really love these sweet metal sets with birds or other cute details on the end by Beehive Handmade in Rhode Island. Crosby and Taylor in Oregon also makes pewter measuring spoons. Kitchen Carvings makes amazing two-ended measuring spoons that look like they are from a fairy tale. Carved Wooden Spoons makes a very pretty set of wood measuring spoons. You can also get customized ceramic spoons from 7 Door Studio if you have something particular you want. .


calibowls made in america mixing bowls
Celibowls from Crate and Barrel

Mixing Bowls

 When we first moved in together, we bought a Martha Stewart set of mixing nesting bowls. We loved them, because they matched our color scheme, but they haven't lasted. 2 of the 5 already broke, and we are using the glass hand me downs again. So having some used glass or ceramic bowls would actually be better then buying plastic bowls made in China!

Our Pick-  Pyrex Smart Essentials mixing bowls, because the glass will last and they come with lids (making them perfect for multiple uses, though the lids are plastic). If you are less concerned with multi-function and more interested in having a wide variety of sizes, I would recommend this set from Anchor Hocking, which has 10 bowls from big mix bowl to tiny pinch bowl.

There are so many options here. Our other favorite are Calibowls (here at Crate and Barrel in such pretty colors), which are spill proof and made in the US out of 100% recycled materials. I mean, awesome! My Dad got me these for Christmas, and we use them everyday. Perfect if you want to cook with kids. You can also get them on Amazon in a single color set.

You have so much to choose from, you can turn your back on Martha forever. You can also get these stoneware bowls made out of Texas (don't they look like cookie dough belongs in them? Like you would still use them as a little old lady or gentleman?). I feel like these stoneware bowls, made in Ohio, are a perfect combination of traditional and clean modern lines.

Zak! Designs makes tacky fun mixing bowls with 40% recycled materials. Natural Home makes Moboo bowls out of bamboo (though they seem small), as does One Hundred 80 Degrees. Preserve has nesting bowls made of 100% plastic (in a color set that is quite beautiful).

Nordic Ware has a heavy duty plastic set, Made in the US in bright colors. Williams Sonoma also sells a set of glass prep bowls that come in two sizes (that I suspect are made by Anchor Hocking). If you want stainless steel (the recommended material from my Mother in Law, because they will last forever), these are your bowls.
granite ware roaster made in america
Granite Ware Roaster from Amazon

Roasting Pan

 Some genius decided that everyone would use this the same one day a year, so even though 364 days it stands dormant, you can't really share yours. It's the Santa Clause of pans. We don't have one, and we have survived, but if you conquer birds or pilgrim-related holidays, this may be a fun treat. Our pick would be the Granite Ware roaster which is Made in the USA out of porcelain and metal (they also have one without the lid).  Nordic Ware has a made in USA roaster as well. This roaster from All Clad is made in the US, but be careful, because there is also a Made in China roaster floating around. Calphalon also has a non-stick version made in America.

Steamer

Super fun to play with, but not necessary for yummy steamed veggies. I couldn't find one made in the US or with any redeeming qualities, but we did see one at Goodwill the last time we were there. Maybe start there? I also found a fancy steaming set up from All Clad, but it's a pretty huge financial commitment.
preserve recycled and made in america colander
Preserve Colander from Amazon

Strainer


 The best, most Earth-friendly colanders you can get are used, getting a metal or ceramic one might work well (avoid plastic). You could try one from Preserve, in a number of colors, but only one (pretty traditional) design. Granite Ware has a really pretty colander that I think is small, but pretty affordable.

Natural Home makes colanders made of bio-materials and bamboo, which is great if you want to stay out of plastic completely, but still maintain a traditional design. If you like the look of metal, Jacob Bromwell has the strainer for you. For space saving and practical reasons, our favorite colander is over the sink and collapsible like this one, but you can't find anything like that recycled or Made in the USA. So I would just say keep an eye out for that kind of thing when you are consignment shopping.

Tea Kettle

 Great if you drink tea, totally unnecessary if you don't, but this is the kind of object they have been making for a long time in essentially the same way. Look around and see if you can get a cool mod one for cheap at a consignment or antique store. If you don't find anything you like, there are options (many of them so pretty- why don't I drink tea again?), but watch out because companies like All Clad or Revere, which are mostly manufactured in the US, still make their kettle in China. The Alessi Michael Graves Kettle has an adorable Mod feel (designed in 1958), and it is still made in Italy. Kalita's kettle is made in Japan. Etsy has 3,500 tea kettles to chose from, many of which are really pretty, so if you are doing an Etsy registry, this is your best option.

paella on a family table

Things You Can Probably Wait On

Bundt Pan

 Ok, I know I mentioned the Nordicware ones above, but unless you are baking nothing Bundt cakes (bwahaha, puns), you don't need this pan. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

Cookbook Holder

 You can also use your hands for this? The counter? I get that the incline is helpful, but come on. What's worse than a first world problem? Lean it against the wall people. That being said, you can get all kinds of neat, pretty options on Etsy if this makes more sense for your life than I can imagine it does.The Yankee Builder Shop makes one that tucks under your shelves, so no one has to give counter space up, so slightly more genius. It might be a great gift if you want to stray from the registry without landing in decorative plate territory.

Double Boiler

 On the list of things we have often said "oh we should get this" but we have never actually needed enough to buy. I figure, if you can't think of what you would use it for... On the other hand, if you can't live without it, Nordic Ware has a nice, Made in America version. All Clad has one as well, though it is more of an investment, and the ceramic insert is made in China.

Fish Poacher

 I did not even know this existed until I read it on two separate registry lists. It might be one of those things you don't know you need until you need it, but until then, you can do without it. There are also no recyclable or Made in the USA options for this. How many  fish have you poached in your life?

Fondue Pot

Really? What kind of fancy pants life are you signing up for? My mother in law had one, and we had fun with it that one time. Then it got passed off. These should really just live in transit between family members, because fondue is only fun once of twice before it becomes a pain. Just wait. Fate will bring a fondue pot into your family rotation, but it doesn't need to be through you. If you can't live without it, Le Creuset has one.

Added- I was later informed by a friend that fondue pots are a central part of her kitchen (I think she had like five of them? Is this what happens when you move to the Midwest?). So, I stand corrected- if you also host a lot of fondue parties, I do not judge you. If you would like to start hosting them, maybe she can help you, because they are experts. 
lodge paella pan made in america
Lodge Paella Pan from Amazon

Paella Pan

 You don't need this, but we do have one like this (from my dad), and we do love it. Nordic Ware sells a Made in America one as well, though it doesn't look quite flat enough for me. Basically only good for when we have company, but we are thinking we could also fill it with ice if we ever wanted to do oysters at home. So only for when we feel absolutely crazy fancy.

usa pan pizza pan made in america
Pizza Pan from USA Pan

Pizza Pan

 If you are going to buy pizza stuff, I suggest a stone or a paddle (info on those later on). Our pick would be this pizza pan made by the beloved, Pittsburgh-based USA Pan exclusively by Sur La Table (or you can get one on Amazon). They also sell a baking steel, which looks like a hardcore cookie sheet. Nerd Chef has just now won a special place in my heart for the name, and they make a pizza stone/pan (it kind of lands in between) here in the US. Our regular baking pan worked before we got the pizza stone , and now every pizza just lands on it. Not a great investment to buy something special when a cookie sheet does the trick.

Silicon Mats

 Silicon baking mats are great replacements for parchment paper, but that is only eco-friendly if you used parchment paper to begin with. I didn't see any that were explicit about where they were manufactured, and they generally looked about the same, but here is an example if this is an important option for you.

Sifter

 We bought a sifter at Goodwill in the last year, and I have since sifted one thing. Incidentally, it turned out badly, but it wasn't the poor sifter's fault. Before that, we used a fork. That seems to work fine. Still, 4 dollars was probably a good investment. Jacob Bromwell does sell a very pretty little sifter, so if you want one, I would direct you to this beauty.
usa pan springform pan made in america
USA Pan Springform Pan from Amazon

Springform Pan

These are particularly good for cheesecakes and listening to me shout profanities while I try to get them open. I kind of hate my springform pans, enough so that I donated one, but I have only ever used them for regular cake. It might be better for you, though you might try a consignment store so you can have mine (and good luck to you!). I am pretty sure my pans are these ones from Sur la Table, made in the US, and perfectly good if infuriating due to my own clumsiness. USA Pan makes theirs in the US (but they make so many other things that aren't stupid).   Nordic Ware's are made in Germany.

cookie cutters

Things That Could be Cool, Depending on the Couple

anchor hocking glass batter bowl made in america
Batter Bowl from Anchor Hocking from Amazon

Batter Bowl

 We got one mixing bowl that works this way, and I do think it is great for pancake batter, cookie batter, and the like. I think it is great that you can get one with a lid too.

Our Pick- We use ours from Pyrex all the time.  Unbeatable.

 Anchor Hocking has one too. Truefit makes one with  a lid, but I suspect that lid is from China. Still, with a better option and a serving tray, you could make a pretty cute breakfast in bed gift set. Pyrex also has a big bowl that might work that way, but it doesn't have the spout. I also found some pretty stoneware bowls with a spout too.

funny christmas cookies

Cookie Cutters

 One year, for Christmas, my Dad just bought me a big box of cookie cutters, and I love them, because I can imagine making all sorts of weird cookies with my kids, or writing things in their name with the letter cutters. It's a gift that was funny and odd, but also wonderful and full of future traditions and family. The American Cookie Cutter Company makes all sorts of great cutters, and you might not want to register one by one, but it is another great gift opportunity for a guest who wants to get you baking stuff. The Ann Clark Cookie Cutters look very similar, but if you are looking for something special, I might start here! Not for everyone, but it could be a great gift for the right couple. You could also get them from Copper Cutters.
california pizza stone made in america
from California Pizza Stones

Pizza Stone

 Does everyone need a pizza stone? Probably not. But we use ours more often than some of the things everybody says you "need." Made in America options are stones from Old Stone Oven  and Rada Cutlery. A company called California Pizza Stones sells their wares on Amazon, makes all their pizza stones in the US, and come in a very wide variety of shapes and sizes (with mostly glowing reviews), so you could pick exactly what works for you (pretty tempting in my opinion).
epicurean pizza paddle made in america
from Epicurean on Amazon


Pizza Paddle

 If your love of pizza doesn't stop there, you can also get a pizza paddle!  Our pick is J K Adams Pizza Peel, which is currently hanging in our kitchen as decoration (but if you look close, you can see how many times we've used it). Epicurean sells a paddle that is specifically from forests with managed chopping and growth. This one is also made in the US.


Popcorn Popper


 Jacob Bromwell sells an on the stove popcorn popper (most are made overseas) and even have a light version. We bought a popcorn popper as a housewarming gift for a friend, and I know they really get a lot of use out of it, so I think it is a fun gift.
lakefront woods serving tray made of reclaimed wood
from Lakefront Woods

Serving Tray

You can get this all kinds of ways, but a cute "Breakfast in Bed" set might make for a fun wedding gift that includes something practical and something more sweet. Just a gift idea in case someone's registry is already tapped out. Walnut Hollow makes breakfast trays in the US. I also found oodles of gorgeous reclaimed wood serving trays

Wok

 America's Test Kitchen generally argues against cooking with a wok, saying you can get pans you already own to do the same thing. Not everyone uses it, but if you will use it, you can register for one like Nordic Ware's, which is made in the US. All Clad also has a Made in the US version, and since part of the point is to "season" it, I imagine you could keep it a very long time. Calphalon also makes a non-stick wok for Williams Sonoma.



cookies on a cooling rack

Kitchen Storage

This category can be ignored, but these are things we use everyday. My biggest advice? No tupperware. No Glad ware. No plastic storage. We save The Boy's yogurt containers and put our leftovers and half-used produce in them. We reuse containers our food comes in instead of replacing our tupperware junk which has inevitably been split into pieces and lost over the years. We don't have to worry about losing it, and we use glass for everything else. Here are a few storage things you may want on your list:

Countertop Compost Container
Drawer Organizers
Dry Goods Containers
Garbage and Recycling Can
Grocery Bag
Storage for Leftovers
countertop compost container wedding registry
from Amazon

Countertop Compost Container

 Crazy fun, right? Still, if this is something you would like to do, a prettier container that keeps bugs out and smells in can make composting convenient, easy, and a no brainer (it is!). Maybe not for everyone, but if you have been curious, I say take the leap. We use this one. You could also do an under the sink number like this guy, made of recycled plastic.

Drawer Organizers


 Even if you aren't big on this kind of thing, you probably want to organize your silverware. You can get all sorts of plastic junk at Bed Bath and Beyond, but you have other options. No perfect option here (other than finding it used), so weigh your priorities. You could buy one made of bamboo, since it is more sustainable, though Totally Bamboo and Bellemain both make theirs in China. Kozol Rio makes a version that is recyclable and made using minimal energy.


Dry Goods Storage


 One of the best things you can do to cut down on packaging is to have permanent packaging at home, then just get things like flour, sugars, and whatever cereal you like from bulk aisles. It's a harder change for us as we have been switching, but I do like that we have lots of canisters in our cupboards instead of as much packaging and brand names. We may even need a second round of these, because now we get our pasta, chocolate chips, and raisins from the bulk bins as well.

 We got a plastic set when we got married, and they are still holding on, so we will stick with them until they kick it, but I can point you to some things that look better than our plastic does five years in. Spoiler alert- Use glass.

Our Pick- If you want something with a little polish (so your kitchen starts looking like a dream space),  Anchor Hocking has a couple different lines of storage jars and canisters that all look snazzy and effective. I do love that they have some gallon size  and quart-size jars too, since I like a flour jar with some room. On the other side of the coin, you could use Anchor Hocking (or pyrex snapware which is squarer) food containers for smaller goods like raisins or chocolate chips (they have mini jars too).

You could just go very simple (and country) and do Ball Jars as your kitchen storage- they are super cost-effective (while still being bpa and lead free since they aren't plastic). They exist in every size. You can even find other lids for them if you are worried you'll tire of the screw tops. I love this idea- super affordable and way more green.

 If you are looking for a specific style, you can check Libbey's containers as well; also glass, also made in the US. I have had less luck with Libbey glasses (they are almost all broken) but their containers might be better.

Garbage and Recycling Can


 What a glamorous gift, right? But you need them, and if you can register for them, why not?

Our pick- I wish Rubbermaid used recycled plastic in all of their products, not just some, but at least their garbage cans are reliable and Made in America. We also use their out of sight recycling container, which is kind of small, but the material is recycled and you can clean it.

They also have a garbage can made specifically for reusing grocery bags as your liners, so if you have lots of plastic grocery bags sitting around, please stop using plastic grocery bags. You are embarrassing yourself. It's over. Get something reusable. Also, consider this garbage can and you can actually re-use up that stash.


Grocery Bags


 You might already have a solid collection of reusable bags, but if not, this can be the perfect opportunity to turn over a new leaf. Plus, registry shoppers are often looking for something little to finish off their gift. This could be it. These bags are made of recycled cotton. reUtility sells grocery bags out of 100% recycled plastics that are also recyclable (they look pretty big too). You could also register for reusable produce bag. You can get way more ideas for this in my Greening the Basics Part 2.
lifefactory glass containers
from Lifefactory on Amazon


Storage for Leftovers/ Freezer Meal Containers


 You may not think of your leftover storage as worth your registry, but they serve as the perfect addition. Rather than getting some janky tupperware or plastic glad junk, think about getting something that can last your new family through the years.

This also becomes more important if you think you will do a meal prep day. I am telling you, no one pushes this, but it is something actually worth getting.

Our pick- We use a classy mix of Pyrex storage containers and yogurt tubs from the grocery store (I am not kidding. Tillamook yogurt containers are a staple of our kitchen- re-use, tight? And they are free, and all the same size, so no lid dramas).

 Anchor Hocking sells multiple sets of storage, so you could pick what works best for you. This set is particularly pretty in my opinion.  Lifefactory also sells a set surrounded in silicon sleeves (we love their baby bottles) that would be perfect if these were also traveling with your lunch, but The Boy says wouldn't work for a freezer very well. Glasslock and Snapware also have glass sets. If you don't want as big a commitment, Preserve has a line of kitchen storage made of all recycled plastic in the US.

If you are thinking something more lightweight, these plastic containers are made in America, look unfussy, and they hold a lot.





Well, did you survive it? Only like 13 parts left to go. You can find all of the updated Wedding Registry lists here or you can Browse the Green Registry on Amazon.

But you have the information now, and you can see that there are price-comparable American-made and eco-friendly options that will last as long as your marriage (a long long time!). I hope this is helpful to you, and I will see you for The Kitchen, Part 2, next week!

You May Also Like

3 comments

  1. I love this and it's so detailed! I wish I would have read it before I did my registry! Specially the sets part, it's sooo true, I haven't used half of my sets for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am in the UK so doesn't really apply to me, but it is a great idea to support local products. Plus I will be picking my wedding registry this month too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. congrats on your wedding! You can still use some of the ideas and I bet you have amazing local products at your fingertips as well.

      Delete