Zero Waste Kitchen – How to Lower the Waste in Your Kitchen

How to Run a Zero Waste Kitchen

A zero waste kitchen is quite simply a kitchen in which there is no unnecessary harmful waste being thrown away. Of course, running a zero waste kitchen can take a bit of effort, in this blog we want to walk you through some things that can help you run a greener kitchen. Before we get into it, we need to understand that it is practically impossible to have your kitchen produce zero waste (especially with the amount of packaging that comes with food and general kitchen items), however, you can aim to cut it down which will help the environment as well as helping you save money.

 

Swap Out That Plastic

Plastic kitchen utensils that will be wasted in the kitchen

One of the worse materials (and probably the thing we all chuck away the most) is plastic. Although it may be hard to get away from plastic packaging from foods, we can replace other plastic utensils, bowls or storage containers. Other items that you can swap out are plastic bags for reusable bags, plastic spice bottles for refillable glass jars (buy your spices in bulk and save money!), plastic ice trays for metal ones, plastic cooking items such as tongs and plastic crockery drainers for a different material drainer. Another item that we believe has a large impact on the environment is plastic bin liners. Millions of people throughout the UK use them2 weekly. Replacing them to a compostable material or a biodegradable plastic will have a huge impact.

 

Cook in Bulk

Cooking in bulk to save time and money
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Not only does cooking in bulk save tons of energy (which saves money), it also saves you time as cooking in bulk decreases the amount of washing up and drying you have to do and you are cleaning less as well as using less water and washing up liquid. When you cook a large quantity of food you can either freeze it for later or take it into work/school for the following days. Taking in your own foods means you won’t buy food and therefore throwing away the packaging that comes with it, making your kitchen an approved zero waste kitchen!

 

Fill Your Dishwasher

A dishwasher full of plates, cutlery and cups

This one is an obvious one. Make sure you fill your dishwasher to its max capacity so you save water, electricity and time. Now when we compare dishwashers to hand cleaning, the average dishwasher uses around 4 gallons of water whereas cleaning the same amount of plates and cutlery by hand, uses approximately 27 gallons of water! The electricity used is also much lower as dishwashers have built-in heaters to heat the water much more efficiently than your taps.

 

Freeze Extra Food

Frozen food in a zero waste kitchen
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Next, to achieve a zero waste kitchen, we need to look at cooking in bulk. Because cooking more food means you will have extra portions, you may want to freeze that food if you don’t want to eat it within the next few days. An important food to note is bread. It is very common to freeze bread, and people often chuck away stale bread because it has been sitting in the freezer for a long time. But why not use that stale bread for bread crumbs? There are always ways you can use your food, try your best not to throw it away. Freezers also use a lot of energy in general, so keeping your freezer stocked up is actually more economical as that energy will be used regardless.

 

Recycle, and Recycle Some More

Glass bottles being recycled for an eco friendly environment
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Probably the most important point in this blog is of course recycling. Whenever you do have packaging or waste in your kitchen that needs throwing away, also make sure that it can be recycled before you chuck it into the bin! Click here for more information on recycling in the kitchen

 

Reuse Packaging

plastic takeaway boxes being reused to stop waste in the kitchen

Whenever you do have any packaging, make sure you ask yourself if there is any way you can reuse it. A great example is takeaway boxes, you can always reuse these boxes to carry your food to work or school. Why buy a brand new Tupperware when you can get them for free with your delivery?

 

Sell or Donate Items to Charity – Don’t Bin it

A whole box of old kitchen items and food being donated to charity

If you have any kitchen items or utensils that you don’t need anymore, instead of chucking it, why not take it to your local charity shop or sell it online. This will largely help you achieve the goal of a zero waste kitchen! Giving away food that you wouldn’t have eaten is another fantastic way to reduce waste, there are plenty of sites that you can give away canned and boxed up food, but if you’re looking to get rid of food that is soon to expire, we recommend using OLIO. If you’re thinking about replacing your kitchen and getting a new one, you can sell your kitchen through kitchen exchange and buy a used kitchen from like-minded people like you! This is the ultimate zero waste kitchen tip and if you would like to learn more about Kitchen Exchange, click here to read about how it works.

Take just ten minutes to have a look around your kitchen to see what you don’t need, what you can replace (to something more eco-friendly) or how you can save money and prevent waste following the above points to get closer to a zero waste kitchen.