Have you heard of the zero waste movement?
In the recent years, more and more families are making the switch to a lifestyle that aims to create as little waste as possible from their own homes. Some even go as far as generating only a jar-size amount of trash every year. It makes sense too, with so much waste going into our landfills, that it’s the perfect time to go beyond waste segregation and work towards waste reduction.
The kitchen is a great place to start going zero waste, especially with all the packaging and food we end up mindlessly throwing into the bin. Here’s a beginner’s guide to going zero waste in the kitchen.
Watch your packaging
Next time you head over to your local grocery store, make sure you have the essentials: a reusable shopping bag, cloth bags, glass jars and reusable food containers.
Since most supermarkets sell pre-packed goods, you might need to find grocery stores that have a bulk aisle so you can fill your containers and get them weighed after. The farmer’s market is also a great place to find fresh produce at bargain prices where you can easily go without plastic bags. Place your purchases in your own reusable bags. You’ll be surprised at how little plastic and paper you’ll have to unwrap and throw away once you get home.
Buy only what you need
Yes, that means no more impulse purchases – even when they’re on sale. Most times, we end up buying more than we consume, especially when we come across buy one, get one promo deals.
With just enough supplies in the kitchen, it’s easier to keep track of what you’ll need to buy on your trips to the grocery store. Buying less also means you’ll be stocking up less food in the fridge and pantry, reducing the risk of forgetting food before its expiry date.
Cook Your Own Meals
Sure, getting take-out is convenient but you’re also bringing home plastic and paper containers you’ll have to throw in the bin. Cooking your own meals is satisfying! Learn to love your kitchen.
By preparing your own meals, you’re consuming food with whole ingredients. There’s a lower chance of taking in excess sugar, and you’re not using disposable containers during your meals. You’ll also end up spending less than the amount you’d normally spend eating out in restaurants.
Choose to Reuse
If you’re planning to bring food with you to the office or packing for your kids’ lunches, go for reusable lunchboxes and water bottles.
Metal lunch boxes and straws have become more popular in the recent years. Consider investing on stainless steel containers for easy cleaning. Glass and ceramic containers are good options too, and there are plenty on the market.
Swap Your Chemicals
Another way to reduce your household’s carbon footprint is by going green in your cleaning supplies.
Regular cleaning liquids contain plenty of harsh chemicals that end up as toxic waste. Try switching to more natural alternatives like this homemade all-purpose cleaner by Kathryn of Going Zero Waste.
Zero waste doesn’t mean zero food waste. Do your part to give back to the earth, by composting your food waste.
You can compost food scraps, spoiled leftovers, and even coffee grounds by collecting them in a separate bin in the kitchen. If you don’t have a garden, consider partnering with your town’s nearest composting facility.