For many of us the kitchen can be a special place.🍳 Even in our busy lives where we may not cook every single day, the kitchen offers an in between space. Maybe to pause, to drink a cup of coffee, to make a drink. To ease into our evening, or into our new day ahead of us.
Our kitchen, like other spaces in our lives, has an impact. Not only on us, but also on our actions...and therefore on the planet as well.🌍
If our aim is to align our actions with our values, then we should begin to align our space to match those actions. We at LastObject hope to do just that in this article.
Here is a guide to a more zero-waste kitchen.
Food (as we may already know or have learned from The Footprint of Food) has quite a large footprint. Whether it be from growing, raising, shipping, or wasting food. Water, energy, emissions, and land are all used very intensively for food.
Because of this, 🧇the food we bring into our kitchen is a very important piece to a zero waste kitchen.
Avoid wasting food
🚮The world throws away a third of all the food generated. This is a massive amount, so we should do our best to not add to this in our own kitchens. We can do this by making sure we eat the foods that will spoil soonest, first.
Also, pay attention to the differences between use by and sell by dates. And if it is something rather harmless, a good smell or taste test can often prevent throwing something out too.
If it’s difficult to eat the foods that spoil first, consider buying fewer groceries, but more often. This leaves a lot of visual space in the fridge so we know what is what and when it needs to be eaten.👀
But, we are only human. And sometimes humans waste things. So, when that happens…
Composting, as you can learn in this blog post, can be a very great way to have an impact in a rather simple way.
Purchase less waste
Apart from the resources that go into food, there can also be unnecessary waste that goes into the packaging of food.♷
A way to avoid this is to purchase more unpackaged produce along with more food from the bulk section. Not only is this better for the planet, it’s also better for our health!
And when we start purchasing more food from the bulk and product section, we’ll need ways to store it.
Buy zero waste food storage
Normal big bulk containers (preferably glass) work great for the fridge too!
And for general produce, any reusable small bag would work.
For unrefrigerated things, there are tons of options available out there for bulk storage. It’s always best to use what we already have, but most stores that sell kitchen supplies will have a plethora of options.
Use wash cloths as opposed to paper towel
By having reusable and washable rags as opposed to wasting single use paper towels, we can save thousands of 🌲trees from being cut down and millions of gallons of water from being used.
Maybe set up a dirty and clean bin to stay organized and to make sure there are always reusable rags available.
Pro tip: turn unusable clothes into rags too!
Or for smaller messes, use LastTissue!
LastTissue is a reusable tissue pack that is great for compact use and smaller messes. But it can still be a possible kitchen staple if proven useful for you specifically. 👍
Utensils made from more sustainable materials
Spoons, stirrers, dish brushes and sponges, etc. can and should all be made from natural and more eco-friendly materials.🎋However, these things should only be purchased once the things you currently have are unusable.
Our water treatment systems are far from perfect, which means we should be cautious as to what we put down our drains. Pay attention to the ingredients of our cleaning supplies found in the kitchen. Oftentimes all natural ingredients make the best cleaners, all while keeping you and the planet healthy.💚
Companies like Seventh Generation have been making very natural soaps for quite a long time. 🧼And for less packaging, turn to more concentrated soaps that last longer like Dr. Bronners. Or even look into zero waste solid soaps instead!
A waste-less kitchen will look different for everyone. Some of us use our kitchens all the time, some rarely. Some of us have big kitchens with a lot of space for various gadgets, and others are small with less things, or even big with less things!
The point is, these articles can only serve as a guide, and not a strict plan to follow. Because just as our products must work for us, so does the space that we create and build. 🌱
Written by Aaron Burr
A writer dedicated to working solely with companies on a mission to help the earth and people on it.