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The kitchen is one of the best places to start if you have decided to try and live a more zero waste life. But how do you go about it? Here are a few easy zero waste kitchen swaps to help you live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Zero Waste Kitchen Swaps
When starting out on your zero waste journey, you do have to think about the basics of being zero waste:
- Reduce how much you use
- Reuse what you can
- 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 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.
1. Swap Kitchen Roll For Reusable Towels
We throw away so much paper each year in the form of paper towels. So firstly, one of the biggest and easiest kitchen swaps you can make is using reusable kitchen roll instead of paper towels.
2. Swap Plastic Washing Up Sponges For Unsponges
Plastic sponges are horrible bacteria breeding things! Why not make your own unsponges that can be made from fabric remnants and can be washed and reused time and time again? They can even be composted once they have worn out.
Or buy some on Etsy.
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.
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 the plastic box.
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 Plastic Cups For Reusable Bamboo 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.
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.
8. Swap Chemical Cleaners For Natural Ones
There are lots of recipes out there for natural alternatives to chemical cleaners. I am currently putting together a couple of posts about some of these.
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 getting rid of your old plastic washing up brush in favour of 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 right on my doorstep within . 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.
Do you think that you could incorporate some of these zero waste kitchen swaps 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.