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If you are looking for zero waste kitchen tips then this post is for you. Having a no waste kitchen or even just a low waste kitchen is one of the best places to start if you have decided to try and live a more zero waste lifestyle. You just need to know the easiest zero waste swaps that work for you
But how do you go about making your kitchen zero waste? Here are a few easy zero waste kitchen ideas and zero waste kitchen swaps to help you live a more eco friendly and sustainable lifestyle.
*Ad-gifted – this is a collaborative post – I was gifted some of the zero waste kitchen essentials in this post for review, but all opinions are my own. This post has been updated, it was originally published in December 2019.
- Zero Waste Kitchen Ideas
- Should I Aim For A Plastic Free Kitchen?
- 1. Swap Kitchen Roll For Reusable Towels
- 2. Swap Plastic Washing Up Sponges For Unsponges
- 3. Swap Your Shopping Bags For Reusable Ones – Even Your Produce Bags
- 4. Swap Clingfilm For Beeswax Wraps
- 5. Swap Sandwich Bags For Sandwich Wraps
- 7. Swap Plastic Straws For Bamboo or Metal Ones
- 8. Swap Chemical Cleaners For Natural Ones
- 9. Swap Your Plastic Washing Up Brush For A Wooden One
- 10. Swap Where You Shop To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Zero Waste Kitchen Ideas
Before we focus on getting a waste free kitchen in your home, it is important to think about the basics of being zero waste.
- Reduce how much you use – which means you end up with less food waste
- Reuse what you can – like plastic reusable food storage containers or glass jars to store food scraps and ingredients
- Recycle where possible – or upcycle
- Repair if it breaks and can be repaired
- Rent and borrow items if you are only going to use them infrequently
- Refuse to buy what you don’t need – or refuse to buy things wrapped in plastic wrap etc
- Rot – if an item can be composted once finished with then this is much better for the environment.
And so all these easy kitchen swaps take these basics into account.
Should I Aim For A Plastic Free Kitchen?
To start, I will say that having a zero waste home kitchen is not something to be achieved in a day. And a totally plastic free kitchen may not suit your lifestyle and may not even be achievable for you. But you should not beat yourself up about this.
When I started out on my journey to being more sustainable, I started with one small swap at a time, swapping sustainable kitchen products for the disposable or plastic packed counterpart. If it worked for me, I carried on and aded another. If it didn’t work, then I’d try a different swap. It is about progress rather than perfection. And the small steps you take are still making a difference.
So what are some of the best zero waste kitchen products and ideas I have found?
1. Swap Kitchen Roll For Reusable Towels
The first of the zero waste kitchen products that has worked for me is unpaper towels or reusable kitchen roll.
We throw away so much paper each year in the form of paper towels. So one of the biggest and easiest kitchen swaps you can make is using reusable kitchen roll instead of paper towels.
You can use snaps to keep them in a roll if you prefer. But you could also just stack them in a box to use as needed.
2. Swap Plastic Washing Up Sponges For Unsponges
The next of my low waste kitchen swaps was moving from using plastic sponges to using a compostable alternative.
Plastic sponges are horrible bacteria breeding things. So why not make your own unsponges that can be made from fabric remnants and can be washed and reused time and time again? These zero waste dish sponges can even be composted once they have worn out.
Alternatively, You could make a towelling sponge from an upcycled old towel. Or buy ready made unsponges here.
3. Swap Your Shopping Bags For Reusable Ones – Even Your Produce Bags
The fact that a price tag has been put on shop bought bags has made a difference. But it is still easy to see people using plastic bags at the supermarket. Please do reuse! Or you could go one step further and make your own.
With this tutorial you could even make small mesh bags for getting your produce in at the supermarket. Reducing plastic waste even more.
Or just refuse to use small plastic bags when buying things like bananas.
4. Swap Clingfilm For Beeswax Wraps
I do use and reuse old tupperware boxes rather than use clingfilm these days. But another alternative is using beeswax wraps.
See here on how to make your own, it is really simple.
And honestly, I do not agree that buying totally plastic-free kitchen storage is the way to be. Some critics would say that using plastic boxes is hardly being ‘plastic free’ – but to my mind if something comes in a plastic box that I can reuse and is food safe than this is just as good an option to me than throwing away any plastic boxes you already have.
5. Swap Sandwich Bags For Sandwich Wraps
Again, you could reuse old plastic boxes for your lunch, but these sandwich wraps are a great alternative to the plastic sandwich wraps.Find out how to make your own with this tutorial.
6. Swap Disposable Plastic Cups For Reusable Bamboo Or Stainless Steel Coffee Cups
If you get a coffee in a takeaway cup every day, it is amazing how quickly the waste mounts up. So now I take my reusable coffee cup with me. It’s the best way to have a more zero waste coffee!
Again, don’t throw any plastic cups you already have, just replace with more sustainable plastic free utensils, bottles and cups when yours breaks or runs out.
7. Swap Plastic Straws For Bamboo or Metal Ones
I have actually just bought some metal straws for using out and about. Mine have a handy bag clip, and come in lots of colours.
But bamboo straws are also a brilliant eco friendly idea. I was recently gifted some amazing bamboo straws from The Other Straw. They come in several varieties and all are durable, handmade and sustainable solutions to using plastic straws.
8. Swap Chemical Cleaners For Natural Ones
There are lots of recipes out there for zero waste cleaning products, more natural alternatives to chemical cleaners and dish soap. See this one for a natural floor cleaner.
I hate throwing disposable wipes away, so I make my own cleaning cloths. And also have made a reusable mop pad for my flash speed mop (Swiffer mop)
But one of my favourite discoveries is that horse chestnuts can be used to make clothes washing liquid. Did you know this? See how you can make your own zero waste washing liquid from conkers!
9. Swap Your Plastic Washing Up Brush For A Wooden One
Another good swap is to remember that once your old plastic dish brush wears out to replace it with a wooden, loofah or coir hair one that can be composted at the end of its life. I do intend to use my plastic one until it is totally worn out first though!
10. Swap Where You Shop To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Finally, if you can, shop local as much as you can. Not only does it put money back into the local economy and businesses (which is better for your town) , it lowers your carbon footprint. I am actually very lucky to have a thriving set of local businesses and a local farmers market right on my doorstep within walking distance. But it is so important to ‘use them or lose them’!
And most importantly, please do not get too overwhelmed with all these. It is very hard to be totally zero waste. I haven’t achieved it. But I do think that every little helps, so by trying to do something you are definitely making an impact.
Love these swaps? Why not try some easy zero waste bathroom swaps too?
Do you think that you could incorporate some of these zero waste kitchen swaps and plastic free kitchen products into your lifestyle? I would love to hear your stories. Comment below or find me on social media.
And please do pin this post for later.