Going zero waste can seem overwhelming. We have been conditioned to buy, buy, buy and changing that can be a little scary. But going zero waste does not have to be difficult. You just need to take one step at a time. The easiest way to do that is to start room-by-room. So why not start in the kitchen? After all, that’s where the bin is.
How to get started
To be honest, I’ve cheated a bit. For the past week I’ve been documenting all of my waste. Every time I threw something in the bin I wrote it down. I was shocked. On the first day, I’d already filled two pages with things I’d thrown in the trash. Think about how much that turns into in a year!
However, it did provide a good overview of items that could be easily replaced with reusable ones. Buying all these items did take a little toll on my wallet, but it’s an easy way to start your new zero waste life and the money spent are quickly saved again, as you don’t have to buy any of the items again in the nearby future. It’s a win-win!
Before we get started please note one thing: if you have any of the below items at home don’t just throw them away. You’ve already bought them. Throwing them away without using them doesn’t make a difference. What you need to do is to make a conscious choice the next time you need any of the below items and then make the swap. Getting a zero-waste lifestyle takes time. But don’t worry – we’ll get there.
Top 5 zero waste alternatives for your kitchen
1. Paper towels
Paper towels are so easy to swap. Cloth napkins, dish towels or microfiber cloths will do the trick just as easily and you can use them for everything. Instead of buying them from new, try making them yourself from old bed linen or children’s clothes.
2. Plastic bottles
If you love the ocean as much as I do you will stop buying plastic bottles immediately! Besides being an environmental issue, reusing plastic bottles isn’t good for your health either. Buying a reusable water bottle made from sustainable materials will keep you hydrated without the hazards.
3. Plastic bags
Plastic bags are one of the biggest environmental sinners as most plastics are not biodegradable. Instead, always pack a tote bag so you’re ready for any planned or unplanned shopping trips. Buy a cool designer one or make one yourself from an old pillowcase or a t-shirt.
4. Aluminum foil, cling wrap, and freezer bags
Normally, I use these things for everything! But the matter of fact is that it’s just as easy to use reusable bowls and containers. If you don’t have any make sure to buy containers from sustainable materials such as glass – do not buy plastic! You can easily find them in IKEA or other home stores. Or you can simply reuse your glass food containers. It’s definitely cheaper and looks great in your kitchen closet.
If you need to replace your plastic containers, do so responsibly, for example by using our Zero Waste Box.
5. Replace all plastic utensils with metal
Not only will they last longer – it’s also better for the environment. You can easily find these items in IKEA or any other home stores. However, there’s no need to overdo it. Only buy what you need to avoid kitchen drawer clutter. If you’re worried about not having enough for dinner parties, ask your friends to bring their own. Mixing up the place settings at the the dining table can add a fun twist to the evening!