Whether you’ve been dabbling with ideas on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle or have been deep in the trenches, you’ve most likely heard the term “zero waste” before. This little buzz word has been creating a lot of traction in recent years–and with good reason!
With the amount of plastic entering our pristine oceans, trash littering beautiful landscapes (even the tippy tops of mountains!), and unnecessary waste heading to landfills, making a few zero waste swaps here and there can result in a huge impact.
And while it’s impossible to go completely zero waste overnight, making little sustainable changes in the kitchen is an awesome place to start! With that said, here are our top tips for a zero waste kitchen that you can start using today.
1. Ditch the Disposables
It’s time to ditch the nasty plastic wrap, ziplock bags, paper napkins and paper towels! (And yes, before you ask, paper towels are remarkably better than plastic but hey, we’re trying not to produce any waste, right?)
Instead, switch to reusable cloth towels to wipe up messes, cloth napkins for meals, and all-natural beeswax wraps to keep food fresh. Even a plate on top of a bowl works well to store food in the fridge!
2. Consider Compost
Did you know that food waste is the single biggest occupant of landfills in America? And the situation isn’t much different in Canada.
But it’s not just filling up landfills… it’s releasing harmful methane gas, too. When food waste piles up in a landfill, there’s not enough oxygen to break it down, which results in the food sitting there much longer than necessary.
You know what helps with that? A handy dandy compost bin! Not only will this reduce the amount of waste you toss into landfills, you can also take advantage of some nutrient-dense soil — perfect if you’re an avid gardener!
3. Jump for Jars
Who else loves a good jar? They can be used for so many different things! Bulk food (think rice, dry beans, oats, and nuts), a to-go coffee cup, container for a packable lunch, leftovers box, and more.
Next time you’re shopping for groceries, bring along a few jars and head to the bulk section. Not only will you reduce your plastic consumption (because, woohoo, no packaging!), it might even work out cheaper!
Even better, our parent company, Left Coast Naturals, carries over 200 organic and natural bulk items to help you stock your kitchen with sustainable foods!
Tip: Repurpose jars from food like pickles, olives, pasta sauce, and more. This is not only a great way to reduce waste but also save money!
4. Plastic-Free Produce Bags
When it comes to shopping at the grocery store, it’s not just the plastic grocery bags you have to worry about… but also the plastic produce bags! Thus, we recommend stocking up on some reusable cotton or mesh produce bags to keep you zero waste at home and in the veggie and fruit section.
5. Support B Corps
Not sure what a B Corp company is? Certified B Corporations are verified brands and companies who go out of their way to be more responsible, sustainable and eco-friendly. Essentially, certified B Corps want one thing: to positively impact their employees, communities, and the environment.
While many aren’t completely zero waste, by supporting B Corps, you’re supporting a change in the world and how brands operate within it.
As a certified B Corp, we strongly believes it’s our responsibility to leave the planet better than we found it, so we looked into various ways to assess ourselves and obtain a meaningful sustainability measurement! Cool, right?
If you’re ready to move towards a more sustainable home, start with these actionable zero waste kitchen tips! In no time, your plastic usage, waste production, and environmental footprint will be remarkably smaller.
Sophie Anderson is a vegan and sustainable travel blogger over at The Wanderful Me. Most days, you can find her in a weird corner of the world (always with her fav eco-friendly essentials in tow), munching on mouthwatering vegan food, or just simply cooking away in the kitchen (aka her go-to way to pass the time when back home).