Going zero waste isn’t an overnight change, it takes a few months of slowly switching products out in each section of your home. This winter I decided to go zero waste room by room. Starting with my kitchen! I am almost completely zero waste in my kitchen now, besides the roll of emergency paper towels in my cupboard (just in case my dog has an accident). This change isn’t about going 100% right away, it is about changing your daily habits so you make less trash and can keep up with it so you can sustain living with making no waste!
Below is a list of products that I have purchased so that I could stop buying the products in my kitchen that would go to waste. I hope you can implement some of these products into your own household, not only does it feel good to make less trash it also saves some serious moollahh! Who doesn’t like that?
If you feel like you can’t make a difference… YOU CAN! Every choice you make affects the earth and also inspires others around to take action!! It all starts with one person!
Reusable Produce Bags
Plastic produce bags at the store? What a waste. I bought these mesh Produce Bags in a 12 pack for $16.95. Yeah I know you’re not saving money with this one, but come on… coming home with 5 little plastic bags every week can’t make you feel good. There are tons of bags like these on the market and personally I think this is the easiest change you can make! Store them in your grocery bags so you are always prepared! Easy peasy!
I am an avid straw user. I used to buy the huge bags of plastic straws from IKEA and use them every morning to drink my smoothie. I found different facts all around the internet but it seems like it will take at least a few hundred years for a plastic straw to breakdown (peep the graphic at the bottom of this post for a wake up call). 1 straw everyday, 365 a year. Nope nope nope! So, I made the switch, it was too easy. I bought myself some stainless steel straws for a little less than 7 bucks and now I am free to drink all my drinks with my straws and not feel the guilt! Also, these straws came with a brush to clean them! Yippee! There are so many different types of reusable straws available, there is one for everyone.
Compostable Sponge Cloths
Okay a biggie… paper towels! It’s time we all made the transition away from them. I challenge you today to make a mental note of how many paper towels you use in one day, most likely it is more than you think! So, what should you buy instead? Compostable sponge cloths! These cloths will completely replace paper towels in your home. Use them in your kitchen, bathroom, where ever you would use paper towels! Throw them in the wash once in awhile and compost them when they are worn and at the end of their life. These cloths last a long time and each pack comes with 4. Each cloth replaces about 15 rolls of paper towels so expect to save some money!
Silicone Lid Cover
This was a huge one for me, I don’t know about anyone else but I was constantly using foil or plastic wrap to cover my bowls, pots, containers before serving food or to keep them from going bad in the fridge. These silicone lid covers come in lots of sizes and suction to any bowl, pan, you name it! I use them every night when I am cooking and to cover my drinks when I am outside!
Silicone Baking Mat
Similar to the lid covers, buying silicone baking mats saved me from using lots of foil. I am an adventurous and messy cook so these guys make clean up easy and no waste, whoohoo!
Reusable Coffee Cup
If you frequent coffee shops than you should really carry a reusable coffee cup with you! They also come in handy when you make coffee or tea for on the go at home! There are tons of different types, bamboo ones, glass, ceramic and more!
Reusable Coffee Filter
Just like a reusable coffee cup, a reusable coffee filter allows your daily coffee habit to become eco-friendly! Get rid of the guilt and replace your disposable coffee filters with a reusable one! They also have reusable k-cup filters. So really there is no excuse, under $5 or $10 and you have a green solution!
Silicone Baking Cups
This purchase is only necessary to some, I’m talking to you bakers and pastry chefs!! If you are making muffins or homemade peanut butter cups these silicone baking cups come in handy. Your confections pop right out and they clean easily! I just put them inside out in my dishwasher and bam they are ready for the next cupcake session.
Self explanatory maybe but glass jars are a huge kitchen hack at least for myself when it comes to saving on ziplock bags! I have a few jars that I have bought to store my grains, pasta, nuts, you name it but I tend to reuse the jars that my food comes in! I just wash the jars out and now I have a new container for anything my little heart desires!
Silicone Ziplock Bags
If you just love your ziplock bags and can’t make the switch to containers or jars.. I still have some good news for you! Amazon carries reusable silicone ziplock bags, for whatever you need! So yes, you can go zero waste and still have it all.
Natural Fiber Dish Brush
Switch out your plastic dish brush or sponge for a natural fiber bristle dish brush! There are tons on the market so look around and see which natural brush or sponge will work for you!
So, these are from Etsy but I just had to include them!! I love Etsy, especially when it comes to vegan and zero waste products. If you like to use foil or baking paper to wrap your sandwiches or snacks you have two wonderful options, vegan wax wraps and PUL lined fabric sandwich wraps! With these two and the rest of the products on this list, you won’t ever have to buy foil again.
Don’t feel like reading?
My Kitchen Zero Waste must haves SHORTLIST:
- Produce Bags
- Stainless Steel Straws
- Compostable Sponge Cloths
- Silicone Lid Cover
- Silicone Baking Mats
- Reusable Coffee Cup
- Reusable Coffee Filter
- Reusable K-cup Filters
- Silicone Baking Cups
- Glass Jars
- Reusable Silicone Ziplock Bags
- Natural Fiber Bristle Dish Brush
- Vegan Wax Wraps (ETSY)
- PUL Lined Fabric Sandwich Wraps (ETSY)
Graphic from 4ocean.com
That’s it! I know switching to zero waste can seem pretty daunting. It takes some time, some money and adjustments but I promise you it is so rewarding to feel that you are doing your part to help our Earth. You don’t have to be a genius to see that our society needs to make some changes or we are in big trouble so do your part and try it out! Go room by room, or go cold turkey on trash tomorrow! Plant based diets and living a more sustainable lifestyle is a process, so don’t feel rushed or overwhelmed. Pick one item you can afford and start there! By the time you get going you will be saving money and living your best life making less trash!
Thanks so much for reading! I will be working on my Zero Waste Bathroom Starter Kit next, stay tuned!
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