It was time to make dinner and I decided on a simple meal: chicken and salad. I pulled my prepackaged chicken from the fridge, unwrapped it, threw away the wrapping and started cooking.
I then started to prepare the salad, taking lettuce from prepackaged plastic bags, cherry tomatoes from plastic containers and baby carrots from more plastic bags.
I placed my meal on a plate, grabbed a paper napkin, a plastic bottled drink and sat down to enjoy my meal.
To top it all off, I cleaned the kitchen with disposable wipes when I was done.
This was a normal night for me prior to my Zero Waste awakening. And this is probably a normal night for most people. But all of the plastic packaging, paper products and disposable everything just gets thrown into the trash and taken to a landfill.
It doesn’t have to be that way! We can become more aware and improve our lives and our community through Zero Waste Living.
Side note: If you’re not convinced, read “Why’s & How’s Of A Zero Waste Lifestyle” to see just how impactful these ideas are.
Zero Waste Kitchen Tips:
Most of our waste comes from the kitchen, so I put together 15 tips to help you create a Zero Waste Kitchen. Keep in mind, it might take some time and retraining of old habits, but you can create a Zero Waste Kitchen.
- Replace paper towels with hand towels. For drying your hands or wiping down the counter, hand towels work perfectly.
- Replace disposable storage with tupperware. Glass tupperware is the best for you, as plastic tupperware can leak chemicals into your food. I love the options from Mighty Nest. They tell you exactly why the products they feature are good for you. You can also use a stainless steel Bento Box for your lunches.
- Replace plastic wrap or aluminum foil with Bee’s Wrap or Silicone Lids. You can learn more about using silicone in the kitchen with Wellness Mama’s “Is Silicone Safe For Baking Or Cooking?”. My summary: she recommends not using silicone at higher temperatures, like during baking, as there is not much research available to prove it is safe.
- Replace plastic or paper bags while shopping with your
own reusable bags. Find some great choices at Mighty Nest, a second-hand store or from companies handing out free bags. (Most of my bags I got for free!) Tip: keep your bags in your car, so if you decide to go shopping or need to stop by somewhere, you have them handy.
- Replace buying drinks in disposable cups with your own reusable cup. This is a great tip if you like buying smoothies, tea or coffee drinks. Bring your own cup, mug or thermos and don’t buy the disposable cup that you later have to throw away.
- Replace plastic water bottles with a reusable bottle. I love Hydro Flask or LifeFactory. Hydro Flasks are stainless steel and insulated, so your drinks stay cold for 24 hours or hot for 6 hours. LifeFactory bottles are glass with a silicone sleeve for drop protection.
- Replace sandwich bags with reusable snack bags. Find some great ones online or reuse plastic bags you already have lying around and make your own.
- Replace plastic straws with reusable straws. Stainless steel and glass options are available at Mighty Nest and Life Without Plastic (another great site for Zero Waste products!!).
- Replace whatever you’re using to make coffee with a french press. Your coffee will taste better and you won’t have waste from filters or single serving cups.
- Replace tea bags with loose leaf tea. Take it a step further and buy your tea in bulk, using your own reusable containers at the grocery store. For a quick tutorial on how to do this, check out this article from Trash Is For Tossers.
- Replace disposable products with reusable products. No more paper plates, napkins, cups or plastic cutlery, use what you have in your kitchen.
- Replace trash bags with… nothing! Compost your wet kitchen waste and recycle everything else. If you do still have trash and you’re composting, it shouldn’t be wet so you won’t need a bag. Check out this post for more great tips.
- Replace cleaning wipes with rags. Old rags, used towels or worn out T-shirts are great for cleaning. You can even make your own reusable wipes, if you can’t give up
the convenience of a wipe.
- Replace plastic packaging with your own reusable containers. Use produce bags when buying fruits and veggies or mason jars when buying nuts, grains or other bulk foods. You can even get your own glass spice containers and buy bulk spices.
- Replace baking waste with reusable solutions. Use silicone muffin cups or silicone baking mats, at your own discretion.
If you really feel like going the extra mile, check out these tips from Bea Johnson to create a 100% Zero Waste Kitchen.
Trust me when I say that every little Zero Waste step you take feels good. And every journey broken down is just a bunch of little steps. Good luck on your Zero Waste journey and tell us:
What changes have you made to cultivate your Zero Waste Kitchen?
This post contains affiliate links. However, all of my opinions are my own and are not swayed by being an affiliate.