“To save the world, we must think in circular concepts, and this brings it all the way to the kitchen.”
The number one place in your home that makes the most garbage is probably your kitchen. From packaged items to food wastes, this is one area in the home that may need the greatest attention when it comes to zero waste transition.
The simplest strategy to reduce waste is to limit purchases of food in plastic packaging. Of course, because most of our food is packaged, this is easier said than done, but with a little planning, it is possible. The great thing is that you are automatically avoiding preservatives and other toxins from your diet because you are not purchasing packaged items. In my opinion, this is a win-win situation.
Here are some strategies to reduce or eliminate packaged foods.
- Buy fresh bread straight from bakeries
- Shop around the perimeter of the supermarket store for local and homemade products
- Visit local farmers markets for local and homemade products
- Look for a bulk market that sells grains, beans, rice, and paste in bulk bins.
- Instead of single-use plastic bags, start carrying cloth bags and containers to keep these food products.
- Choose packaging that is free of plastic. Glass can be recycled at any time.
- Recyclable paper packaging is available.
- Create your own snacks, cereals, and mixes. These are simple to make and can be kept in jars.
Start your own home compost. Save your organic kitchen scraps and find a place to compost them. You can build your own compost or find someone in your local area. This idea provides you an opportunity to make some great compost for your plants to use up.
Cloth Napkins or Paper Towels
You’ll very certainly find a lot of paper towels in your garbage. Switch to reusable cloth napkins and additional dish towels as an alternative. These are simple to clean and will help to reduce waste. You can use biodegradable cloths made out of pulp. It will most likely prevent the trash from filling up with rolls and rolls of paper towels. In addition, you can have a few dish towels that can be rotated not only to dry hands, but as food covers and as a rag in case.
Lunch, Take Out, Leftovers
Food is another common thing seen in the trash. Bring your lunch to work to avoid wasting food. It will help you to use up the night’s leftovers and avoid wasting food while also saving money. Purchase a high-quality, reusable container. Invest in a reusable stainless steel box or a silicone bag to avoid the weight of glass containers. The same containers can subsequently be used for takeout or leftovers. It’s another way to reduce kitchen waste by saving food.
Another easy transition is to convert to a wooden dish brush with a replaceable brush head. A good alternative is to use a wooden brush that last a long time and can be composted once you are done with them.
You should also consider moving towards a more eco-friendly dish detergent by avoiding the onetime usage of the bottle and refilling it from the stations rather than buying a new bottle every time.
- Use Dishwasher as t uses less water than washing dishes with hand. Make sure it is loaded fully before running and it will save up to 1000 gallons per month.
- While washing pots with your hand, turn off the water if you are not rinsing. Try soaking in the soap water to get rid of stains and oil easily and quickly.
- Use a refill water bottle or glass all day allowing you to cut down the number of glasses to wash.
- Wash fruits & vegetables in a pot of water and defrost food in the refrigerator rather than under running water.
- Utilize the dropped ice cubes and water used for washing fruits & vegetables by watering your indoor plants.
- Cook food in less water and this will also help in retaining the nutrients.
When transitioning your kitchen, take it slowly. You may still have a long list of tasks to complete first. To ensure you don’t forget, make a list of the things you wish to shift to. Don’t buy something new just because it meets the zero waste requirements because you’ve previously made purchases.
Make do with what you have now and use those until they are not longer usable because doing so still reduces trash.