How To Cook Up a Zero-Waste Kitchen

How To Cook Up a Zero-Waste Kitchen

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This page may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I have recommended. There is no additional cost to you whatsoever.

If your loved ones is something like ours, the kitchen is well probably the most used room in the home. With three youngsters, a canine, and two adults to look after, the waste can actually pile up if we let it.

For our household, a part of dwelling a extra aware life-style is looking on the on a regular basis issues in our lives and turning into conscious of their values and shortcomings — and searching for methods to make them higher for dwelling and higher for our communities and world.

These are just a few of the ideas we use to not solely scale back our waste but additionally simplify our lives and really feel higher within the course of.

Earth911 groups up with affiliate internet marketing companions to assist fund our Recycling Directory. If you buy an merchandise by way of one of many affiliate hyperlinks on this submit, we are going to obtain a small fee.

Food Storage

Plastic storage is just not solely wasteful, it’s unhealthy. Single-use baggies go straight into the trash, and even the “finest” of plastic storage bins will finally put on out, discolor, break, or warp — in the end ending up in a landfill.

Switching to reusable containers gives quite a lot of advantages. While the prices to get began could be extra, the funding will repay in the long term, and glass bowls are particularly versatile. We use ours for mixing, cooking, and storage.

Below are just a few of our favourite reusables in your zero-waste kitchen:

You may even buy gadgets in your fridge that may assist lengthen the lifetime of produce. I’ve been utilizing a BerryBreeze (an activated oxygen gadget) for the previous few months and have discovered that it positively retains fruits and veggies recent longer, serving to scale back meals waste.

What to Do With “Waste”

How to Create a Zero Waste Kitchen
Image courtesy of Kirsty Hall

My first tip: Buy solely what you want. This looks like a no brainer, however conserving impulse purchases to a minimal will scale back potential waste, and it’ll be a lot kinder to your price range too.

Next, attempt to purchase merchandise with little to no packaging, and select one thing that may be reused or recycled if no packaging isn’t an choice. Packaging waste might not be solely avoidable, however all the time take into account what you’ll do with the packaging earlier than you buy an merchandise.

Shopping bulk meals, native farmers, and markets are all nice methods that will help you keep away from packaging. Be certain to deliver your personal egg cartons, berry containers, and so forth.

Some concepts for reusing packaging:

  • Yogurt (and different) containers can be utilized to sprout seeds, develop an herb backyard, and extra.
  • Reuse glass jars for fridge meals storage and plastic jars for storing craft provides, small instruments, nails and screws, and extra
  • Find extra nice concepts on my ReUse Pinterest board!

Last however not least, compost or recycle something that may’t probably be used. Reusing is right, so it’s possible you’ll take into account Freecycling gadgets that you simply not use however are nonetheless in usable situation.


Cleanup begins with the apparent — ditch the single-use paper gadgets! Cloth napkins, rags, and “unpaper towels” will get the job finished higher and with out the fixed want to purchase extra.

I purchased about three dozen low cost washcloths from an enormous field retailer for just a few {dollars} per dozen. I’ve been utilizing the identical cloths to scrub with for about 5 years now. I’m a lot happier with material, as they actually do seize higher and so they don’t depart behind paper fibers.

Cloth napkins are one other simple change. You can easily buy some, however making them is pretty easy too. I used some cloth I had been given, however you may simply use previous costume shirts or blouses.

Cleaning supplies are an enormous strategy to scale back the quantity of packaging coming in, and the amount of cash going out. A bottle of really unhazardous cleaner might price upwards for $4 per bottle. You should purchase a gallon of vinegar for lower than that and it’ll refill a bottle (50/50 with water) many instances over. Add in your favourite important oils for some further cleansing energy, or for a pleasant scent.

Shopping Trips

How to Create a Zero Waste Kitchen
Reusable produce baggage. Image courtesy of Kate Fisher

Plan Before You Shop

Stores spend quite a lot of money and time organizing their aisles to maintain you there longer, which usually results in you spending extra money. All of this may be averted by understanding what you want.

Keeping an excellent grocery checklist is a good place to start out. And it can save you much more by taking the time to create a meal plan or use a meal-planning app. Even a versatile plan will end in huge financial savings. You’ll discover that you simply spend much less time within the retailer, much less cash on stuff you don’t want, and also you’ll even have fewer journeys to the shop. As a bonus, you’ll be much less inclined to order dinner or eat out since you’ll be extra more likely to have the gadgets you must create a meal.

Reduce Packaging Waste

Did you recognize there’s a rising variety of zero-waste grocery shops around the globe? I had no thought. Hopefully one will open up close to my house quickly.

When procuring, you’ll be able to remove an enormous supply of waste just by bringing your personal shopping bags. Plastic or paper? No thanks, I introduced my very own! You may even purchase your personal reusable produce bags. Within just a few journeys utilizing them might be second nature, and should you overlook them, purchase a brand new one. You’ll study rapidly and you may by no means have too many reusable baggage.

Another nice strategy to minimize down on prices and packaging is to ditch store-bought drinks. Water is reasonable and you should purchase an reasonably priced filter nowadays if that’s of concern to you. If you favor flavors, that’s simple too. Infused water is scrumptious, and including issues like lemon could even have some nice well being results.

For espresso and tea lovers like myself, espresso grounds and tea leaves are excellent for composting. And even should you like the benefit of a single cup brewer, there are stainless steel reusable K Cups. I am keen on my EkoBrew, too.

While the following pointers won’t solely remove waste, each step will get you nearer, and that’s one thing you’ll be able to be ok with. Bonus: Start-up prices apart, all of the following pointers can result in huge financial savings.

Feature picture courtesy of Ella’s Kitchen Company Limited

Editor’s notice: Originally printed on May 19, 2016, this text was up to date in May 2024 .