The aim of a zero waste kitchen is not to have the least amount of things out of everyone you know - it is to own things that are reusable and have a purpose. We as humans tend to impulse buy or buy silly gadgets (an example is a pancake batter dispenser or fancy avocado cutter) because we are influenced by trends. Ask yourself, do I use this gadget weekly or even monthly? or does it collect dust stored away somewhere in the kitchen? I hope the following tips will help guide you to rethink what you buy for your kitchen.
Replace the disposables
What's the point of a single use item that only serves a purpose once and then gets dumped? Invest in one durable and reusable product such as a reusable baking sheet instead of baking paper or using cloths instead of paper towels. We should draw our attention to items made of sustainable materials such as cotton, linen, bamboo rather than plastic and paper.
Here are a few extra ideas:
Cotton napkins, instead of paper napkins
Cotton tea towels, instead of paper towels.
Metal or bamboo straws, instead of plastic straws
Metal tea strainer, instead of disposable teabags
Glass or bamboo containers for leftovers, instead of cheap plastic ones.
Clean, Save, and Reuse Single-Use Items
Just because we recognise something as a single use item doesn't mean that we can't get creative and repurpose it anyways. For example, I've baked cookies on baking paper and it wasn't dirty so I folded it up and used it next time I baked. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, the complete opposite.
Here's a few more examples:
Plastic shopping bags. Reuse next time you go grocery shopping (if you get delivery then use it as a bin bag).
Tinfoil. Wipe down, fold and store for reuse.
Plastic packaging bags from various products (bread, deli, newspaper, cotton balls) can be reused for pet waste, storage bags, and/or packaging.
Jars from food products (jam, peanut butter, spice containers). Use them as storage containers or preserving jars
Gift-wrap paper, boxes, bows and ribbons. Store and use for future gifts. I even used rustic string to tie my plants.
Rethink where you shop
Refill or zero waste shops are popping up everywhere and it is a beautiful sight! Even some large supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl are introducing zero waste sections and selling reusable fruit and vegetable carriers for just 30p. Bringing your own containers is not only satisfying but helping our precious environment because together we can reduce the demand for plastic packaging.
Click here to see a list of zero waste shops that we are stocked in Nationwide.
If it the case that there are no options like this locally then shop with reusable bags and containers picking up loose fruit, vegetables, nuts. Opt for carton, cardboard and tinned packaging.
Use up what you have
Let's avoid food waste when we can get creative! Have a gander in your fridge and cupboard and get your thinking cap on.
Here's a few ideas:
Fruit peels - candy them, add them to salads, flavour water.
Veggie peels - make crisps, make a stock, blend into a soup.
Or.. compost it if you can.
Please check out my post on how to "Reduce food waste" where you will find a list of creative ideas on how to use the top 5 thrown out food items.
Support a small eco-friendly business
When you are making certain swaps and are looking to buy some pretty beeswax wraps, bamboo straws or reusable coffee cups then seek out a small business to buy this from. I truly understand that it is a huge inject of happiness when a business owner receives an order so make someone's day and give our beloved planet a helping hand too.
Thank you for reading!
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