For most of us, the kitchen is an area that generates a lot of wastes, which includes food, liquid, organic wastes etc. However, most kitchen waste comes from plastic products. Despite the fact that a lot of wastes are difficult to dispose of (especially food packaging), specific kinds of kitchen waste can be very simple to get rid of. What better way to achieve this than investing in reusable options?
There wouldn’t be any waste issue if you have a ‘zero-waste’ kitchen. While it may sound impossible, all it requires is determination and some life changes. To achieve a zero-waste kitchen, start by paying attention to your shopping, cooking habits, and storage.
If you love cooking, you certainly spend a lot of time preparing delicious food in the kitchen. No doubt, you will try to make your kitchen inviting, which inspires you to cook more. Having a zero- waste kitchen is good for your environment, body, and soul. Also, a neatly arranged kitchen with no waste will give you peace of mind.
To achieve this, you need to make conscious changes around the kitchen and your shopping too. Also, the interesting part of having a zero-waste kitchen is the chance to connect with nature and help keep the environment clean. So, let us dive in and explore top 10 tips for a zero-waste kitchen.
Swap paper for cloth
Getting rid of kitchen papers will reduce waste in your kitchen and help transform your kitchen greatly. Switch your paper towels for reusable microfiber and cloth rags. Microfiber and cloth rags get the job done better – wiping down the counter, cleaning oven and window, and mopping up spills.
Additionally, switching to microfiber and cloth rags involve having a special basket, to keep away and store grimy rags for laundry. Try not to buy cloth rags while shopping; assuredly, you can make your own by cutting old towels. To keep your kitchen organized and tidy, dedicate one kitchen drawer for storing your cloth rags.
Drink Water From the Tap
If the tap water in your home is safe, why not drink it? Drinking from the tap when you are at home means no more plastic bottles. Also, to have a zero-waste kitchen, buy reusable glass or stainless bottles or jar and fill them up. When leaving the house, do not forget to go out with one of your reusable bottles.
Bottle water companies believe their product is better and safer than tap water, which is not true. Now, this is important, tap water is more regulated than bottled water. Also, plastics contain ‘Bisphenol A’ – bad for your health and for the environment. In any case, water utilities strive to meet strict federal and state water quality standards.
Shop with reusable bags and containers
The number of reusable bags in grocery shops is highly encouraging. You can also take a step further and remove plastic bags from your kitchen. Before you go shopping, I suggest you write out the groceries you need and organize them accordingly:
- Cloth shopping bags – for bulk foods and produce.
- Glass jars – for bulk items, flour, nuts, seeds, spices, tea, honey, coconut oil and so on.
- Metal containers – for fish and meat.
Shopping bags made of cotton are the best swap for plastic as it keeps your vegetables hydrated and fresh –from the store to your home. After shopping for grains and meat, transfer them into your glass jars and metal containers. This does not only remove plastic waste from your kitchen but makes your neatly stacked cabinets admirable.
Buy Long-Lasting Products
Why spend your money on products that will not last long? One ridiculous product is: plastic stirring spoons – did the inventor forget that cooking requires heat? Consequently, do not put up with the throwaway lifestyle. Do not be wasteful; invest in quality products that can last you a lifetime.
Assuredly, all quality products are not expensive, cast iron cooking wares, are affordable and last for generations. Wood utensils are another inexpensive long-lasting kitchen utensil; it is a good investment for your kitchen and for the environment.
Adopt old cleaning method
Our grandparents had their own natural way of cleaning surface, room, and home appliances. However, marketers – in a bid to sell their products; convince people they need special cleaning products. This is not true; moreover, our grandparents’ generation cleaned their home using white vinegar and water; which worked fine.
Use an all-purpose cleaner – one part of vinegar to four parts of water, with drops of essential oil to scent, in a glass bottle. Use this solution to clean stove, counters, windows, floor, and cabinets. For cleaning your dishes, use pure soap in reusable glass containers, use wood dish brush with a compostable head.
Plan your meal
A lot of food is wasted when you don’t plan your meal. Wasted food makes trash bins stinky and the kitchen unpleasant. Few people take time to plan for their meals; undeniably, when you start you can make more accurate grocery lists and avoid unnecessary food items.
Certainly, with little planning, you can reduce the food you throw away and the waste in your kitchen. The best part of planning your meal is; gathering your family around and creating a weekly meal plan.
Buy fewer ingredients
While shopping, buy only what you and your family need. Try to devise a means of reusing excess ingredients; buying a lot of baking soda is not bad. Besides, you need it for baking, washing – pots, pans and hair, cleaning, and making deodorant. The road to zero-waste is an inventive one – read and try your hand on new stuff. For example, you can make a baking powder out of four parts of tartar cream and one part of baking soda.
Make more from scratch
The idea of making food from scratch might sound strange and confusing, yet, it is so easy that you can’t fail to try it sometime. Learning how to make food from scratch is a crucial part of zero-waste. How hard can it be? Your first food can be, a frozen fruit, salsa or granola – just get your hands dirty.
You have got to try it to prove to yourself that it is fun, easy, delicious and cheaper than buying from a non-zero-waste store.
Zero-waste actually means, zero trash and recycling – because you have cut down packaged products. If you are not composting, you are really missing out. Peradventure your city offers composting service, contact them immediately. If it does not, you can start your own compost heap in your backyard. Conclusively, if you are not composting, you cannot have a zero-waste kitchen.
After getting rid of wastes from your kitchen, give out plastics for recycling. Plastics are non-biodegradable, and even after recycling them to other products; they still end up in the landfill, unlike metal or glass.
To achieve a zero-waste kitchen, you have to take baby steps – start with the easy one, then advance to the hard ones. Give it a try, besides, no one will complain when there is no trash to take out.
Overall, these great tips will help you discover new methods to reduce waste in your kitchen.