Going zero waste or waste free is all the rage right now. And I am hoping that it will continue. We are past the point where we can keep throwing our garbage in the sea and hoping it goes away.
Even the third world countries that we were shipping all our “recycling” to has stopped buying it. Recycling centers world wide are being backed up with trash that we simply don’t have the infrastructure to recycle.
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Sadly, we all thought we were doing the right thing sorting the rubbish in to the recycling, and then we presumed it was being recycled.
What actually happened was most of it was sorted and sold to places like China and India, who would pick out the bits they needed and much of it still ended up in land fill or the sea.
Zero waste is the better option. While buying from a bulk food store reduces the plastic packaging created, it doesn’t totally stop it – find out why here.
I have done a post on a zero waste bathroom, showing all the things we have swapped out for zero waste options here. Now it is time for a kitchen edition!
Top 20 Zero Waste Kitchen Ideas
1 Storage Jars
Open shelves and glass jars full of dried goods just look fantastic! And they help keep your cupboards tidy. How many half empty packets of the same food have you got in your pantry?
Keeping your dried goods in jars allows you keep them organized and see at a glance what you need more of. Also if you use a bulk buy store, you can take your jars and refill them there.
I have a whole bunch of these jars and I love them! You can just re-use jars you already have too, but I love these BIG jars for real bulk storage.
2 Soda stream
If you are like me and you LOVE your soda water or fizzy drink, consider getting a soda stream. You don’t even have to buy syrup to put in it, you can make fruit syrups at home easily.
I got one of these last Christmas and we have saved SO MANY plastic bottles of fizzy water over the hot Summer.
3. Silicone plate covers
I got these from my mother in law at Christmas and they are great! The even keep chopped celery fresh on a plate and we all know how tricky that is!
4. Silicone fruit and veggie covers
Food huggers are the best things for keeping your half fruits and veggies fresh! Perfect for kids lunch boxes.
5. Beeswax wraps
6. Metal lunch boxes
Plastic lunch boxes all eventually break, or stain or stink, or all of the above! We swapped our lunch boxes to stainless steel and really like the change!
They are far more durable, easy to clean properly and don’t retain smells when the lunch box was left in the school bag for the holidays!
These little bento boxes are amazing for s lunches.
7. Metal drink bottles
This is a NO BRAINER. Plastic drink bottles taint your water with plastic and other petrochemicals. Even if you aren’t trying to go totally zero waste, getting a metal drink bottle is really a necessary thing in this day and age.
A double walled stainless steel drink bottle will keep your water cool and without taint even when you leave it in the car! I love this one.
8. Metal bowls and cups
I don’t know about you, but my family smash glass and ceramics faster than I can buy them!
I have started to replace our bowls and cups with stainless steel cups. The children are only allowed to use the stainless steel cups to drink from, and hubby actually prefers them as well.
Suddenly my glasses and bowls have stopped getting broken!
9. Metal straws
Plastic straws are some of the worst plastic rubbish. When you are out and about just say no to the straw. If you really want a straw (my kids love them) then you can get reusable stainless steel straws for very cheap!
10. Glass bowls
Plastic bowls are so last century! Yes they are light, but they are generally unable to be recycled and who knows what rubbish they are adding to your food when you use them!
As they break, swap them out for microwave safe glass bowls.
11. Silicone freezer bags
If you are looking for ways to freeze food without plastic, silicone freezer bags are revolutionary! Sturdy and long lasting, they are worth grabbing some.
I have these ones, they have lasted a few years and are still going strong!
12. Steamer pans
Buffet steamer pans are perfect for freezing meat or premade meals. They last forever, they stack and are dishwasher safe.
You can buy them here. Make sure you get ones with lids!
13. Apple Cider vinegar
You can make your own vinegar at home from apple scraps. Then you can use the ACV as your cleaning products!
Making bread is one of the most significant things you can do to reduce soft plastic consumption in your house. Also, sourdough is so much better for you!
15. Cast iron pans
Cast iron pans can live forever. Spend some money and invest in a good quality cast iron pan and keep it for generations.
Be aware of the cheaper pans, the steel is lumpy and bumpy and you won’t get the true nonstick finish that well seasoned cast iron is known for. OR grab a second hand one if you can find one.
16. Dish brush
Your nylon bristled, plastic handled dish brush can be swapped out for one of these next time it needs replaced. Much better for the environment!
17. Ice trays
Next time you twist your plastic ice tray too hard and the plastic cracks, grab a metal one instead! This is what they used to use pre-plastic, and it is about time we go back to using them!
They have a handy lever that separates the ice cubes. No more twisting!
18. Refillable spice jars
You can either buy new matching spice jars like these, or you can simply keep reusing the jars you have. Find a bulk store that lets you fill your own jars with spices.
19. No more paper towels
What do you really use paper towels for? Anything you can do with a paper towel, you could do with a cloth or an old rag. Save the trees and use old cut up cotton t-shirts as rags.
20. Reusable produce bags
These are probably my MOST USED zero waste kitchen item. We use the mesh bags every week without fail for getting our fruit and vegetables from the grocery store.
I love these ones, they stretch to hold so many apples and they have lasted for years so far.
Or you can get handy with the sewing machine and re-purpose old net curtains.
20 Best zero waste products for the kitchen
Whether you are wanting to go totally waste free, or you are wanting to reduce the amount of waste you are producing, take what you will off this list and start to implement them as you can.
It is not a race, but every plastic item not bought, is one less to end up in the landfill or our oceans.