Your Definitive Guide To A Zero Waste Kitchen
A Kitchen has the tendency to produce a lot of waste within no time if not managed properly. Moving towards a zero-waste kitchen can be hard initially, particularly if you don’t have a plan in place.
For that matter, we bring you a plethora of ideas ranging from minimalism to food storage and from energy saving to zero waste tips in our guide to a zero-waste kitchen that will make the recycling and reuse of waste easy for you.
With our zero-waste kitchen ideas, guidelines, tips, and tricks, you will easily be able to recycle and reuse leftovers for more than one purpose and prevent things from filling the landfills up. So, let’s get started:
1. Bulk shopping – the first step to creating a zero-waste pantry
The first and foremost step towards creating a zero-waste kitchen is creating a zero-waste pantry, and bulk shopping is the way to go about it. Shopping in bulk means you will be investing in large family packs and jars for everything and reducing the bulk waste right from the beginning.
When it comes to dry products like nuts, spices, dried fruits, and cooking/baking supplies, you can easily find everything in bulk. So, invest in glass jars and zero-waste containers so that you can refill them every time!
Each time you go buying your refills, bring your jars along. Weigh your container in advance so that the weight of the container can be subtracted from the total weight before the cashier hands over the total bill to you. Lookup for a ‘zero waste store near me’ as they definitely have bulk corners as well as zero waste products like jars and containers to help you switch to the zero-waste lifestyle easily.
2. Reusable produce bags
Reusable produce bags are great for bringing home your produce. Not only do these bags keep your produce fresh but are eco-friendly as well. You can wash them whenever needed and you are good to go produce shopping. One great way to ensure zero waste while buying your products is to go shopping from local farmers’ markets in your area.
Invest in reusable bags for grocery shopping as well as reusable mesh produce bags to ensure plastic-free purchases. And don’t forget to bring your bags along each time on your shopping spree!
3. Zero waste food storage
The next crucial step in achieving the goal of your zero-waste kitchen is by storing your food in the zero-waste style. To make it possible, you will have to invest in containers and jars. Make sure these are glass jars or metal containers with silicone lids. You don’t need to throw away the wine bottle from your wedding for the sentimental value it holds for you when you can store your olive oil in it. Get creative and use your glass bottles and jars as well as metal and tin cans etc., for reuse and storage of products.
The zero-waste storage jars and containers are what you will use for pretty much everything kitchen-related from now on. Whether you go shopping for bulk products or need to store your leftover food, these jars and containers are the staples that will make your zero waste journey easier. Get yourself enough of these from a great online store if you don’t already have them.
4. Compost your way to zero waste kitchen
Another great way of reducing your kitchen’s footprint is composting. You can use all the food scraps that you can’t repurpose and compost them. Plus, with the huge availability of compact composters out there, you don’t even require a huge backyard anymore for composting.
Invest in a kitchen composter if you must, and reduce your footprint effortlessly. Or, if you have a backyard, get your own compost bin for outdoor or access your community composting.
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You can also get yourself a compost collector. A collector is great for collecting all your scraps before you can compost it all in a single go. You can also get collection bins that block the odor of the scraps in case the food starts to break down if you find the odor to be unbearable.
5. Lunchbox preps the zero waste way
On your journey towards a zero-waste kitchen, you will have to become a zero-waste chef as well. You will need to become a professional as far as the to-go meals prepping is concerned. You will already have the right food storage boxes from step 2. We recommend you invest in stainless steel containers, glass jars, and stuff like this to be ready to pack your lunch the sustainable way. Other tips to help you reduce your lunch packaging waste include:
- Instead of the plastic foil or Saran food wrap, opt for the beeswax wrap/vegan carnauba wax ones.
- Get yourself reusable snack storage bags to take along something to munch on while you work on the go.
- Bring in some reusable freezer storage bags as well to freeze away your favorite leftovers and take them as lunch sometime later during the week.
- Invest in a reusable water bottle as well as a reusable coffee mug to keep in your workplace so that you don’t have to get disposable ones each time you need coffee or water in the office. Reusable straws are also available if you don’t like to drink directly from your bottle or mug.
6. Coffee/Tea fix the sustainable way
Whether you are a tea lover or a coffee addict, you know you can’t go about starting your day until you get your morning coffee/tea fix. So, what to do about the coffee/tea waste every single day? Here’s what you should do:
- Start by getting your coffee/tea in bulk.
- Once you have made your coffee/tea, toss your coffee ground and the strained tea leaves in your compost, or you could simply add them to your backyard soil.
- Get yourself Zero Waste Reusable Coffee Mugs so that you can prep your morning coffee or tea fix and take it along easily. Think about getting yourself a flask, which is perfectly reusable for both indoors and outdoors.
7. Repurpose your food scraps
The food scraps make for a huge part of the landfill waste. Why waste something when you can easily repurpose or compost it and reduce methane production while being a responsible citizen and probably know already that food scraps can serve many purposes.
- You can use the spring onions, leeks, carrot tops and put them in a water tray to help them regrow or replant them in your garden.
- You can use vegetable scraps to make vegetable stock and use it in any recipe.
- Use your fruit peels for making cleaning agents that smell citrusy when you soak them in vinegar. Or you can dry them out and use them in your face masks, potpourri, etc.
You have countless possibilities of using the food scraps.
8. Zero-waste kitchen cleaning
Another important aspect of a zero-waste kitchen is to get yourself sustainable cleaning supplies for your kitchen. Going zero-waste doesn’t mean you can’t keep your kitchen squeaky clean anymore. Here’s a list of the right cleaning products that will help you go zero-waste:
Zero waste dishwashing soaps
Switch to the dishwashing soap blocks and bars in compostable packaging instead of the liquid form. Even if you choose the liquid form, try to look for bulk or zero waste stores so that you can bring your own bottle and get it refilled each time.
Plant-Based scrubbers and sponges
Go ahead and invest in plant-based scrubbers and sponges. For instance, a bamboo brush will do the trick. You can use it for cleaning your utensils and at the end of its life, use it in your compost. Make sure all your scrubbers and sponges are also plant-based so that they can be composted when they no longer serve for cleaning purposes.
Silicone baking sheet
Get yourself some silicon baking sheets that save both your money and time. They don’t require much cleaning after use as they are non-stick and can fulfill all your baking needs as they come in all sizes and shapes.
Avoid using plastic food wrap as you have eco-friendly alternatives for it. Rather go for the beeswax wrap, or if you are a vegan, go for the candelilla wax wraps. Not only do these wraps make the food last longer, but they are easy to clean as well. And not to forget that they can be composted.
Cloth napkins and cloth paper towels
Our grandparents used cloth napkins and towels for the right reasons. We need to get some advice from our grandma on this. Not only do the cloth napkins and towels save money, but they make the kitchen cleaning so much easier as well. And once these cloth napkins become worn out, you can use them for cleaning purposes.
You can DIY your own kitchen cleaner by finding a simple yet effective recipe online. On the other hand, you can also get your favorite cleaner from a zero-waste store where you can take your own bottle each time and get it refilled. Some brands even bring you their cleaners in compostable packaging now.
Charcoal block water filter
Filtering your water is significant to ensure good health. Charcoal blocks are great at filtering water. All you have to do is add a charcoal block to your drinking water an hour before drinking it and let it sit there. You must boil your charcoal block every month to reopen its pores. And you can use one block for around four months, after which you will need to replace it. However, you can repurpose the old block by putting it in the fridge as a deodorizer.
Whenever you go shopping for anything related to the kitchen, remember that wood, silicon, aluminum, glass, and paper are sustainable materials. So, get your packaging, storage, and everything else in one of these. You can also research eco-friendly products to be ready before going to shop for the right products.
9. Recycle what you can!
While going zero waste in your kitchen, you might still end up with some waste. This is where the recycling part of your zero waste journey comes in.
All you need to do is try to do your best while going zero waste in your kitchen. However, be responsible while you are in the learning phase. It is better to recycle stuff until you truly master the zero-waste lifestyle.
You can check out the guideline of your local council to carry out the recycling process properly in your area. Sort out your trash properly. Make sure to remove all food from your recycling container, or it can ruin the whole recycling batch.
You can even invest in your own Terracycle zero waste box for collecting your recyclable stuff in it. So, think twice before adding something to your trash as you can avoid sending things to landfills by recycling them.
So, go ahead and use our amazing guide to a zero-waste kitchen for transitioning towards a zero-waste lifestyle, starting with your kitchen. As the kitchen is the hub of waste in any household, what better place to start from when it comes to your zero waste journey.
We hope you find our guide to a zero-waste kitchen effective in taking you a step closer to your dream of living your life sustainably. Let us know if you find our guide to a zero-waste kitchen helpful or if you have one of your amazing tips to add to our list.
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