When it comes to waste, it’s not a change that you make cold turkey. Real habits are formed from small changes and efforts over time, and the same is true for forming a zero-waste lifestyle, or just becoming less wasteful. Whatever your goal is, we’ve created this EASY list of ideas just for the kitchen.
I find the goal of becoming zero waste can be overwhelming, so I like to break it down by each room in my house. It feels more do-able that way!
I’ve never had paper towel at my apartment, but when I go visit my mama at her house – like twice a week – I’m reminded that she, just like so many people, uses paper towel to clean up spills and messes.
American and Canadian families use around 13 billion pounds of paper towels each year. That’s absurd! Source: ecofamilylife
The swap: rags.
Ideally, you can get your rags from old clothing that’s worn out or stained. I turn my old cotton t-shirts into rags when they become unwearable.
Under the sink, I have two drawers one for clean rags and one for dirty ones. It’s easy and there’s never anything to throw away.
Practically all snacks are pre-packaged. It sucks.
The swap: find a store with bulk options. Most bulk stores have nuts, crackers, candies, and tons of great ingredients, none of which have plastic packaging! Bring your own containers with you when you go
Think about how often you buy bread, and each time you get that narrow plastic bag that comes with it that you really don’t need.
The swap: find a local baker and talk to them! Express your goal of eliminating waste and they will for sure understand the struggle. That way, you can show up with your own container or just bring a cloth to wrap the bread in.
Chemical cleaners and sponges are cheap and easy, but they’re bad for our environment. Sponges end up in the landfill. Chemicals that you clean with smell bad and it isn’t just a smell – you’re ingesting that, and its going into our water resources.
The swap: Again, rags. There are also biodegradable sponges!
I buy Dr. Bronner’s castile soap in bulk, which is a great alternative to chemical dish soaps.
No one is perfect, it’s important to remember that wasting less and doing good for our environment is not an all-or-nothing type of deal. Any steps, no matter how small, that you make towards consuming less and consuming smarter will help propel good changes!