A couple of days ago, I shared our ideas and insights about living a sustainable lifestyle. Today, I am going to share everything we use for having a (nearly) zero waste kitchen. My advice: start out slow. Going zero waste is making a choice to live with intention, so start by cutting things out, and adjusting your regular routine.
Our Zero Waste Kitchen Essentials:
Cloth Napkins:Don’t you feel fancy at restaurants with cloth napkins? Ditch your single use ones and pick up some of these. We’ve had the same set for over five years; not only is it a simple way to reduce waste, but you save a lot of money!
Reusable Cloths: I have never bought paper towels. Literally. When I moved out of my parent’s house, I started to cut down my waste and switched to reusable cloths. This is another simple way to alter your shopping list, and you can use them for everything.
Linen or Mesh Bags: It drives me crazy when I see people buying fresh organic veggies, and wrapping them in plastic! If you live in the Traverse City area, I purchased some similar ones at Oryana, but the ones from Package Free are great, and they ship zero waste!
Jars. And then more jars:We used mason jars for glasses at our wedding, so we literally have over 100. We use them for everything: canning, food storage, and its what we use to shop in the bulk section. I wish our pantry looked like this, but right now its pretty messy.
Canvas bags: Reusable bags are essential for a zero waste lifestyle. In the US, we only recycle 1 plastic bag in every 200. We keep reusable bags in our car, at work, and in our house, so there’s no reason we would ever get a single use bag!
Dish Scrubber: Say goodbye to sponges and tough bristles that are not recyclable. These dish scrubbers have a removable compostable brush, so you can replace it without hurting the environment. We have also had good luck finding these at TJ Max, they are not compostable, but recyclable.
Containers: Never take your lunch in a plastic container or disposable bag again. We have three of these containers, and use them everyday!
Wooden Utensils: We got these as a gift for our wedding, and they are a staple in our kitchen! The olive wood is beautiful, and they are so much better than plastic spatulas.
Recycled Glasses: These are stylish, and made from recycled glass! We have all three sizes.
Bee’s Wrap: Never buy plastic wrap or foil again. This is made with cotton and bees wax. If you live in Traverse City, Oryana, Green Island, and Edson Farms carry their products.
Growlers: We love our craft beer! Instead of purchasing 6 packs, we only refill growlers. If you have a mug club membership, ask your brewery if they have any deals. Pro Tip: Lucky’s Market has $8 refills. The same goes for kombucha, we always bring our own growlers. Plus, you can have fresh draft beer all the time!
Conserve water by not letting it run while you do dishes or cook.
We always keep water on our bedside tables, if we don’t drink it, we water our plants instead of dumping it.
Save on food waste by meal prepping and cooking what you have, rather than what you want to eat.
Compost food scraps. Stay tuned for a post about that!