The Zero-Waste Kitchen: Removing Kitchen Waste for Good!
The average household in Australia throws away about one shopping bag of food for every five purchased. That’s equal to about $3,800 in wasted food every year!
Unfortunately, leftover food isn’t the only kitchen waste in our rubbish. In fact, a bin audit in nearly any household would reveal the majority of waste sprouts from right there in the heart (or stomach) of your home.
Of course, as you’ve likely already guessed, this doesn’t have to be the case!
Keep reading to unveil our favourite tips for transforming your kitchen into a zero-waste haven and the handy helpers that make it possible!
How to Reduce Kitchen Waste
As with any area of the home, the first step to reducing your waste is observing where you are at. This is done with the lovely aforementioned bin audit.
That’s right, for one week, all you need to do is keep tabs on what kitchen waste is piling up in your bin. This will help you get a handle on which zero-waste replacements will be most beneficial for your household.
As unsettling as it may be at the start of the process, after a few short weeks of conscious waste-police duty, we’re positive you’ll be proud of your results!
So now that you know where your biggest problem areas are, it’s time to get to work!
1. Think Ahead and Plan Your Shop
No matter what’s in your bin, this tip goes a long way when keeping kitchen waste out of your home.
Before you go to the shops, take a moment to plan out exactly what you need. Write yourself a realistic list (to help avoid spoiled food at the back of the fridge) per your meal plan. Break your list down into stores where necessary such as the butcher shop, bakery, and bulk food store.
This doesn’t have to be complicated, but often having a list with you helps avoid impulse buys that often end up finding their way to the bin.
Once you know what you are getting, stock yourself up with enough shopping bags, produce bags, and bulk-food shopping containers to get the job done. This will prevent you from being forced into buying another plastic bag or picking up packaged goods instead of stopping at the bulk food shop or picking up fresh meat from the butcher.
Once you’ve got your shopping habits down, you’ll find the amount of packaging, food waste, and unnecessary rubbish in your kitchen significantly drops!
2. Switch to Reusable Kitchen Products
Now that you’re bringing less waste into your home, it’s time to attack those single-use tools that add up so quickly in the bin. We’re talking about those pesky products such as aluminium foil, paper towel, and plastic cling wrap.
There are multiple easy alternatives to plastic wrap, foil, and even paper towel that can be reused over and over again and still never end up in the bin.
Products such as cellulose dishcloths replace paper towel as a durable, handy tool to wipe up spills or clean the dishes and are 100% compostable at the end of their life.
When it comes to baking up a batch of hot chips, trade in your aluminium foil for silicone baking mats and enjoy the crisp results. What’s even better is that you can pop your baking mat right in the dishwasher for easy, stress-free cleanup!
Still using plastic wrap to keep your food fresh? More about that to come!
3. Keep Your Food Fresh for Longer
We know what you’re thinking, how am I going to keep food out of the bin if I can’t wrap it up? Worry not!
Products like our silicone ziplock pouches, food covers, and beeswax wraps all work hard to keep your food fresher for longer without the dangerous leaching side effects of plastic wrap!
Store your leftovers in the fridge, freezer, or even reheat them in food-grade silicone pouches or wrap up your half-used produce with easy to shape and all-natural beeswax food wraps.
Need to take your fruit and veg with you to work? Pick up a lunch swag and keep any produce fresh, crisp, and out of the bin! This clever food-preserving pack is breathable, insulated, and easy to clean for endless reusing.
4. Clean-Up Without Plastic and Chemicals
Now that we’ve eliminated pantry waste, baking paper, and extended the life of our refrigerated goods, it’s time to clean up your - well… clean-up!
Although you may not purchase items like dish soap and dish brushes quite as often, there’s no question that the plastic dish liquid container and scrubby plastic bristles are contributing to the good of our planet.
While some of these items can be recycled to save greenhouse gas formation in the landfill, the recycling process still uses an incredible amount of energy to sustain. To truly reduce this clean-up waste, your best option is to ditch plastic altogether.
Instead of liquid dish soap, opt for a natural and toxin-free dish block. This block has the cleaning power of soap without any of the harmful ingredients that contaminate our water and our so-called ‘clean’ dish ware. As a bonus, you can even use this dish block to make your own surface cleaning spray and do your laundry! How’s that for a multipurpose hero?!
And last but certainly not least. Save space in your rubbish bin (and at the landfill) by disposing of food scraps, coffee grounds, and multiple other kitchen waste products in your composter.
Pick up a handy under-the-sink composter for apartment living or feed your garden with the nutrients of your compost with an in-ground Subpod composter. No matter which option you choose, you can rest assured knowing you’re doing the best you can for the planet and your wellbeing!
Put Kitchen Waste to Rest
Now that you know the simple ways to switch up your kitchen routine, it’s time to get to work. Launch your bin audit, adopt a new weekly habit, or perfect your composting routine. No matter what stage you are at, we’re honoured to be a part of your journey.
From planning your trip to disposing of kitchen waste in an environmentally friendly way, we can’t wait to hear all about your zero-waste kitchen success!
Leave your favourite zero-waste kitchen tips in the comments below and share this post with friends and family to help your fellow enviro-lovers reduce their waste and move towards a better tomorrow!