Steps to a Zero-Waste Kitchen

If you’re trying to make your home more earth-friendly and are looking for ways to reduce your waste, you’ve come to the right place! From packaging to food scraps, we have simple solutions you can implement in your home that will help keep you from tossing so much in the trash.

1. Ditch the plastic wrap.

If you have leftovers or need to pack food for your kid’s lunch, there are excellent alternatives to plastic lunch bags, wrap or aluminum foil. You can purchase reusable silicone food storage bags that won’t break the bank. In fact, it will help save you money in the long run, since you won’t be buying baggies all the time. They’re easy to wash, fit inside a lunchbox and hold everything from a sandwich to chips or fresh fruits and veggies. Only need to cut up half of an onion? Wrap the remaining half in a reusable beeswax-coated cloth. It’s sticky enough to cling to foods or bowls, plus you can rinse and reuse it!

2. Switch to cloth.

Paper towels and napkins might seem convenient, but they contribute to a lot of waste and deforestation. Instead, switch to cloth napkins and towels that can be washed and reused. If you’re feeling extra thrifty, you can give new life to old t-shirts or sweatshirts and cut them into smaller sections to use as rags for cleaning up kitchen spills and messes.

3. Go to the farmer’s market.

The farmer’s market is a wonderful place to buy food for the freshness and quality alone. Not to mention, you’re supporting local farmers and can buy the quantity you need, not what’s pre-packaged at the store. But there’s another added benefit that is often overlooked. Produce at a supermarket often has unnecessary packaging — think, potatoes in a bag, rubber bands around lettuce or herbs, metal twist ties around bags, stickers on fruit, etc. When you shop at the farmer’s market, the produce doesn’t come with these added components, which means less waste to be thrown away.

4. No food in the trash.

If you accidentally buy too much of something or realize you won’t be able to use it before it goes bad, try freezing or canning it. These will keep much longer and can be reinvented in new dishes. Even meat and veggie scraps can be used! Add them to a pot of water to make a stock for soup or other dishes. After you’ve used them, toss veggie scraps in a compost bin to be used as fertilizer for your plants.

If you can incorporate these simple steps into your life, you’ll be seeing less trash in your bin and more money in your wallet. That’s good for you — and the planet.