Getting to a Zero Waste Kitchen
Achieving a Zero-waste home or kitchen is a process, and each small step in the right direction make s a difference. In our ongoing quest to achieve this, we have come across a few strategies that are easy to implement.
SHOPPING AND STORAGE
Always shop with reusable bags and containers. Ideally these should be breathable so cotton or mesh work best. To make life even easier, we love using produce bags that can be zipped closed so that our shopping and storage vessel is one and the same.
For smaller items like spices, nuts or tea glass jars are great. Take them with you especially if you are lucky enough to have a bulk food shop near you. The beauty of shopping this way is that when your supplies are finished you don't have any packaging to throw away, you just clean and re-use these jars.
ALTERNATIVES TO BAKING PAPERS AND PLASTICS
From food-prep to serving and storing there are some great alternatives around. If you can't shake the idea of not using baking paper, there are some fully compostable ones available. "If You Care" makes a two wonderful alternatives - neither of which have the metal cutter on the box, and Multix has its "Greener Brown" version which is also fully compostable.
When it comes to plastic wraps, use a plate or even better a cloth. This can be something as simple as your regular tea towel or a purpose-made dish cover that fits various sizes of bowls and dishes and keeps your food fresh while preventing condensation from happening.
There are a number of alternatives to wraps - including cotton and bees wax. The thing we love about cotton is that the food doesn't "sweat", and they are easy to wash and reuse over and over again.
REFUSE AND RECYLING
Recycling should be a last resort. We know that sounds crazy, but unfortunately recycling isn't always best - products like plastic have a limited recylabe lifestyle as they degrade when they go through the process. Glass on the other hand can be recycled infinitely.
Ideally we should be moving away from any form of packaging as almost all of it ends up as waste.
As far as food waste is concerned, even the most dedicated "zero-waster" will occassionally had food waste. The great news about that is it can be composted - something which is actually good for the environment. Did you know compost actually sucks carbon out of the air? Not only that, it can increase yields for years. (You can learn more about that in this great video on Farming, Food and Climate Change)