Zero Waste Kitchen

Zero Waste Kitchen

20 July, 2017
5 easy steps
Prevent waste from entering your home

Of all the rooms in your home, the kitchen is where you accumulate the most waste, but it doesn’t have to be this way. You can work toward significantly reducing the amount of waste that comes into and out of your kitchen. It is an easy lifestyle change that simply begins with being more aware of your current waste habits. Here are some straightforward tips for a greener kitchen, which will immediately contribute to a greener planet:

1. Compost it
Composting is arguably the most important step of all. If you can’t compost your own food scraps, see if someone else will or whether your local government offers solutions. Most cities and towns have a yard waste/organic waste pickup. This will reduce your landfill waste so much that your garbage bill will go down significantly. Plus, the food waste is given a second life: rather than wasting away in a landfill, it can be put to productive use. Compost it—don’t trash it!

2. Say yes to bulk
Packaging is everywhere and it’s filling up your trash bin. Bulk foods are typically cheaper and you can bring your own reusable bags and jars when purchasing them. One of the biggest and most problematic sources of household waste comes from single-use plastics, notably from food packaging. You’ll soon see a tremendous reduction of waste in your kitchen.

3. Reusable bags
Here are some statistics from the Ocean Crusaders: “It is now believed that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean” and “Shoppers worldwide are using approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year”. Clearly, plastic bags are incredibly wasteful and also threaten marine wildlife and other ecosystems. The good news is that this is probably the easiest switch you can make. The hardest part is remembering to bring them with you! It can be helpful to get in the habit of keeping reusable bags in the trunk of your car. Some stores give you cash back for bringing them, and there's no better incentive than that (Portlandia did a hilarious bit on this). Cotton produce bags are now a thing and a super easy swap for plastic.

4. Glass containers
How do you store your food? You need to replace the plastic containers, bags and wrappers with glass containers. Invest in a collection of glass jars and containers, in different sizes, that solve all your food storage needs. You can buy your glass containers in any IKEA store. Glass tupperwares are also a cool item to switch out plastic alternatives for, and they don't bear the associated health risks of using plastic packaging, such as exposure to BPAs.

5. Replace paper napkins
This simple change in the kitchen can make a big difference in reducing waste and saving money: switching entirely to cloth instead of paper. Replace paper napkins with cloth napkins and give your dinners a bit of class. For drying your hands or wiping down the counter, hand towels work perfectly.

Zero waste lifestyle with Bea Johnson
If you want to invest yourself in a more conscious lifestyle you should certainly take notes on and follow Bea Johnson. Since 2008, Bea and her family have dedicated their lives to living a zero-waste lifestyle. They generate a mere quart-size jar of waste per year. Through her blog and with her book "Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste", Bea has launched a global movement and continues to inspire a growing community to live simply and take a stance against needless waste.

Give it a try—no one will complain when there is no more trash to take out!

By: Caroline Beber


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