Looking to reduce waste in your home? Building a No Waste Kitchen is a great way to start out. With simple steps, you can reduce your homes carbon footprint and lead to a cleaner healthier Earth. This Earth Day take some time to make small steps towards your own No Waste Kitchen.
Why build a no waste kitchen?
When it comes to waste the kitchen is the biggest waste maker. From shopping bags to food packaging and veggies forgot in the crisper every step from store to table and even after can be wasteful. As you create a no waste kitchen no only are you helping to save the Earth you are helping to save money. Instead of paying extra for useless packaging that goes into the trash or letting food go bad you will eliminate the things that cost you so much in the end.
No Waste Bags
The first place we see waste take over is the supermarket. When it comes to taking smell steps towards your zero waste kitchen bags are the best place to start. Cloth shopping bags can be purchased for cheap or even made. Some stores offer a discount if you bring your own bags. If your favorite store does not you may want to suggest it.
You can go a step further and use cloth produce bags. The number of produce bags we go through is crazy and by using cloth you can even keep your produce fresher longer by giving it the ability to get rid of gasses it releases while it breaks down.
Skip the bags altogether. At Aldi, the cashiers just toss everything back into the cart. You could bag everything yourself or take the lazy way out like I do. We put large two-bushel laundry baskets side by side in the trunk. As I unload the cart I split everything into cold and pantry baskets. With my husband’s help, the groceries get in with only one trip. On my own in two. The kids carry the bread and milk in. So easy and no waste.
What to do with bags you do get? Even the best of us forget bags from time to time. When possible ask for paper bags that can be used as book covers and such before making it into the recycling bin reducing waste further. Many stores are now collecting plastic bags for recycling. My sister and I collect plastic bags for one of her friend’s parents that turn them into sleeping mats for the homeless so they get put to good use.
Reduce, reuse, and recycle packaging.
Reduce. Buy in bulk. Weather in large packages or at the bulk bins using reusable containers. This reduces the amount of packaging you are buying allowing you to save both waste and money.
Reuse. When buying foods in packages look for containers that you can reuse. Up-cycle into crafts to make new use of items, opt for containers you can use for storage. Turn cereal liners into sandwich wraps. Do what you can to use things again.
Recycle. When you find yourself with items you can not reuse send them right to the recycle bin rather than the trash. Your trash can will become emptier each week and the end result is a cleaner earth.
Reduce food waste
One really cool trick is to regrow foods you use often from the bits at the end. The bottom of a batch of celery can be placed in water and regrown. Other great options are potatoes, leftover garlic, and even pineapples if you live in a warm climate.
Love banana bread? Put overripe fruit to use by making bread, muffins, and other fun treats. You can do this with any fruit you have sitting around just use your favorite recipe and swap the fruit choice.
Turn your food waste into compost to feed your garden. Nothing beats recycling what you no longer want into something you need.
Store your food right. Invest in air tight containers, Wash fresh produce in vinegar to kill off mold spores, and clean your fridge often so things are no hiding from you at the back of the fridge.
Inventory your fridge daily and plan to use leftovers and food close to expiring. When you leave food in the back of the fridge it goes bad. These things can easily be forgotten if you do not make a habit of using them.
Ditch the disposables
Stop buying one-time use products. No more bottled waters, paper plates, and plastic cutlery. While reusable dishes take more work you are saving plastic from hitting landfills or the ocean. You are saving trees that give you the oxygen you breathe.
Ditch the paper towels for washable kitchen towels. Just toss used towels into a bucket at the bottom of your cleaning closet and toss in with your next wash of linens and such.
Small steps to a zero waste kitchen.
Getting your Zero waste kitchen started can be a bit hard. Start out slow making one change at a time and remember that no one is perfect so give yourself some time to breathe and adjust to big changes.