February 11, 2021 - Braina Laviena

February 15, 2021 - Natalie Kay

7 easy tips
for a Zero
waste kitchen

Eliminating plastic & single-use items from the kitchen is a step by step process, but it is possible to work towards zero-waste. I think for a lot of people the words ‘zero waste’ can come off quite daunting, but once you start implementing little changes into your life every month, it gets easier and easier, I promise!! Some of these tips you may already be doing without knowing you are making a zero waste choice. Kitchens are known to have A LOT of waste, so it’s always a great place to start if you are working towards a sustainable, zero waste lifestyle. This list gives you 14 super easy switches you can probably even start, today!

1. Ditch plastic wrap for reusable beeswax food wraps

Since I just did a post on a brand who makes amazing reusable food wraps, I thought I’d start here! We can be so quick to grab plastic wrap when wrapping up bowls or half eaten fruit, but there are better ways to store those items. Z Wraps reusable wraps are made from cotton and has a layer of beeswax that helps cling to food and bowls. You just need the heat of your hand to activate the stickiness, and there you go! They are super easy to wash, and come in all different fun prints to add some color and fun to your kitchen.

2. Compost your food scraps

My family is new to composting because it’s been fairly difficult to do it in the past. I now have a backyard composting system, so my kitchen now has its own little caddy. This one from simple human is awesome because you can easily hook it on your trash can, and everything stays in one place. I made an Instagram reel showing this guy off. I have a post in the works showing how you can compost at home, & I will link it up as soon as it is finished. I’m having fun with this new venture!

3. Ditch plastic storage containers and switch to glass

I’m sure you have heard the saying ‘zero waste starts with what you already have’, & this is totally true, but sometimes the things you already have aren’t the most healthy. Take plastic storage containers - plastic is made up of many different chemicals, & when you heat it up or add in hot food, no matter if it says ‘microwave / heat safe’ chemicals will leak out. My suggestion would be to use your plastic storage containers for organizing drawers. By switching to glass, you can rid your food of possibly being infiltrated by toxic chemicals. These ones by Pyrex even have a wood lid!

4. Ditch paper towels & napkins and switch to cloth

This was one of the first things I did in our kitchen. We used to use paper towels all the time, but I still felt guilty even buying recycled paper towels. We still have a few rolls in case of something really gross; however, most of the time we are using cloth towels and napkins. A lot of my cloth towels we own were ones I had in the kitchen I grew up in. They aren’t all pretty, but they work. Cloth napkins are the ones I prefer to have more aesthetically pleasing since they will grace the table. I love my Minna Lago Stripe Napkins pictured on the right. They are woven by a man named Manuel in the village of Nahuala.

5. Ditch toxic dish detergent and switch to eco-friendly biodegrable pods

I just started using a new brand called Dropps for our dishwasher, and I love it. They come delivered to my door in just a cardboard box and I fill up a jar to leave by the dishwasher. These pods will dissolve food debris, fight stains and do a great clean for all of your dishes. Even though they are natural, they can cut through the toughest grease and food particles, but they are gentle enough to protect glass and crystal from etching. Cleancult is another great brand you can try out for biodegradable dish detergent pods.

6. Ditch plastic bottle cleaners and switch to refillable bottles

There are many ways you can make this tip happen! If you feel comfortable making your own cleaner, there are tons of recipes you can find online. Either you use an old plastic spray bottle from an old cleaner to put your DIY spray in there, OR you can use a glass bottle if that makes cleaning more fun for you. This one from EarthHero - use code Natalie10 for 10% off - is made from sustainable materials like glass, bamboo, silicone, and recycled plastic. I recently started using ThreeMain, which sends you refillable packs for your cans. Their products work really really well!

7. Reusable bags for freezing, microwaving & more

Stasher bags are one of the most versatile reusable items you can have in your kitchen. These bags are made from platinum silicone and  are completely free of BPA, BPS, lead, latex, and phthalates. They come in many different sizes, and tons of gorgeous colors. “Stasher has passed all U.S. and Canadian food safety standards in addition to the most strict guidelines of all, the European Union food safety standard. Even our colorants, which give Stasher bags their “to-dye-for” hues, are completely safe for food.”