Monday, July 29, 2019

How to Zero Waste Your Kitchen 🍽️

Hey muffins! It has been a long time since I wrote a "How to Zero Waste Your [insert room here]" post... 🤔 Previously in this series, I have written about how you can zero waste your laundry room, your bathroom, and even your cleaning supplies. Today I would like to focus on one of my favorite rooms - the kitchen! As I love to cook and bake (plus eat haha), I spend a lot of time in this space. When I started my journey towards living zero waste, I made some of my first habit changes in the kitchen. Hopefully this post inspires you all to make these changes as well! 😊

Dishes, Silverware, Pots, Pans, and Other Kitchen Utensils
-Use what you already have! You don't need to go out and buy "sustainable" kitchen gadgets if you already have perfectly fine kitchenware.
-Shop secondhand. If you are looking to buy a new potato masher, ladle, etc., why not check your local thrift store, yard sales, or Facebook Marketplace? I was looking to buy a silverware holder the other day and found one for only $1 at a garage sale 🎉 Not only did I save a bunch of money, but I also prevented this product from going into the landfill.

-Acquire unused kitchen accessories from family and friends. A lot of people own too many dishes, mugs, utensils, etc. There is a high chance that if you ask around someone in your network will be more than willing to give you something that is just taking up space in their cupboard!
-Buy new products that are made of sustainable materials. If all of these other suggestions fail, then feel free to buy something new. Try to make sure it is stainless steel or glass (not plastic!) so that it will last a long time and can be recycled at the end of its use.

Storage Containers
-Mason jars! I own about 40 different mason jars in various brands and sizes, and I absolutely love using them to store food in my pantry, fridge, freezer, and for packed lunches. If you all are interested in me writing a post about my mason jar collection, just let me know! 👍

Goals for my mason jar collection 😍

-Use the plastic tupperware you already have. Just because your tupperware is plastic doesn't mean you have to give them away after becoming zero waste. The whole point of this lifestyle is to reuse as much as possible, so definitely continue to use those plastic tupperware containers!
-Buy stainless steel and glass containers. I find that the stainless steel ones are lighter to carry around with me, so I use them if I want to take out food somewhere or am taking lunch with me. Again, check around your secondhand options before buying new! 😊

Dish Towels
-Ask around for old towels. There is really no reason to buy dish towels new as no one really sees them... I have a gigantic collection of old dish towels and washcloths that I use for both cleaning and in the kitchen that were given to me by my parents and other close relatives.

Washing the Dishes
-Get a dishwasher if you can. It is actually better for the planet to use a dishwasher instead of washing your dishes by hand, as you save water using the machine. 💧 However, make sure you only run the dishwasher when you have a full load or that is wasteful!
-Do NOT use a sponge; try rags or a bamboo/wood dish brush instead. 

Kitchen Electronics (coffee makers, KitchenAids, etc.)
-Look on Facebook Marketplace. While you can find a lot of kitchen electronics at the thrift store, Facebook Marketplace is more reliable when it comes to the machines actually working. But, many thrift stores do have return policies in place, so I would still check secondhand stores before buying new.

How do you cut back on waste in your kitchen? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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