8 Easy Tips for a Zero-Waste Kitchen

by James Flint on November 04, 2022

 Zero waste kitchen ideas

The kitchen is the heartbeat of the home. We spend most of our time eating, cooking, and socializing, which results in a lot of waste including food scraps, products and plastic packaging. This makes it a great place to start when creating a sustainable, zero waste lifestyle!

Is a Zero Waste Kitchen Attainable?

For many people, the term ‘zero waste” sounds intimidating, but once you start implementing minor changes, it gets easier and more accessible.

In this article, we’re sharing a few tips on how to minimize kitchen waste. Try them and you’ll be well on your way towards creating a beautiful, sustainable, zero waste kitchen –and you might even end up saving money in the process!

1. Swap to Zero Waste Dish Soap

Washing dishes is one of the mundane chores you perform daily without a second thought. But when was the last time you looked at the ingredients in your dish detergent? Odds are you’re not familiar with some of them. The problem with conventional soaps is they can contain toxic chemicals such as preservatives, fragrances, and solvents that can harm our health and marine life.

No Tox Life’s zero waste dish soap bar is one of the most popular and eco-friendly options to clean your dishes and cookware. It’s super sudsy and will take off the toughest grease and grime with little effort.

No need to worry about nasty chemicals as it’s free from sulfates, phosphates, parabens, fragrances and is totally biodegradable. With the added Aloe Vera, you can do your dishes without drying out your skin.

No Tox Life’s zero waste dish soap comes in two sizes, regular and huge. The regular bar will replace about two standard bottles of liquid dish soap and last for months! The huge size will last a very long time! Both bars will save you money.  

2. Store your Food without Plastic

We already know that plastic is damaging to the environment, but it’s also bad for our health.

Take plastic storage containers – they’re made with many additives including BPA and phthalates, which are considered to be endocrine disruptors. When you heat your food, these chemicals can seep into food, potentially putting your health at risk.

Here are the options for storing food without using plastic:

Stainless Steel Containers
These durable, long-lasting containers are
made from premium food grade stainless steel and have leak-resistant lids to keep your food fresh for hours. Even the most fragrant foods can be stored in a stainless steel container, leaving no trace after a single wash.

Airtight Glass Containers
These are a great option for storing and heating up all kinds of foods. They are available in a variety of sizes and come with secure lids to keep contents from spilling.

Mason Jars
Instead of just tossing those extra glass jars from pickles, olives and salsa into your recycling bin, you can use them to store soups, broths, salad dressings, grains and flours, smoothies and juices, herbs and spices and more.

Reusable Non-Plastic Wraps
Plastic cling wrap offers convenience when packing lunches, but it’s not the most environmentally friendly option. Enter reusable food wraps:  They are made from Cotton canvas with a non-toxic biodegradable coating to extend shelf life.

Although you can use them for almost anything, they come in handy for quick snacks that need to be covered up. The best part is that they can be used countless times- just rinse and reuse.

Silicone food pouches
These flexible storage options are made from premium FDA-approved food grade silicone so they don’t contain any harmful chemicals like BPA, PVC, or phthalates. They’re available in different sizes and are great for lunches, meal prep, leftovers, freezing fruit and storing pantry goods.

Cloth Food Sacks
If you are looking to store sandwiches and dry snacks, cloth food sacks are an excellent alternative to disposable plastic baggies. Made from organic material, they’re breathable and easy to grab and go.

3. Ditch Plastic Dishwashing Brushes

Just as with many plastic-based items, dishwashing brushes are not recyclable, which leads to massive amounts of waste each year. What’s more, they shed tiny microplastics every time you use them which end up in waterways.

For a biodegradable and more attractive option, use No Tox Life Casa Agave Dish Brush. This eco-friendly dish brush has a white teakwood handle and brush head, with stiff (vegan) plant bristles that can be replaced and composted when it falls apart. 

4. Compost Food Scraps

Australian households waste a whopping 7.6 million tons of food each year. It's no surprise kitchen & food waste is the main culprit when it comes to generating household garbage. Besides making changes in the way we shop, plan meals and store food, we can also give food scraps a second life by composting at home. It’s a great way to reduce the amount of landfill waste and make your garden healthier.

Whether you have a backyard, balcony, or porch, there are many unique composters available to suit your living situation. To start, you’ll need a mix of fresh green garden waste (think fruit and vegetable peelings, coffee grounds and tea leaves and grass clippings) and dry, brown matter (like dry leaves, woodchips, hay and cornstalks)

8 easy tips for a zero-waste kitchen

5. Buy in bulk

Buying in bulk not only eliminates the need for single-use plastic, it can make a dramatic impact on your weekly waste by encouraging you to be more mindful about your consumption choices. Luckily, there are plenty of bulk food stores that sell goods in large quantities and even let customers bring in their own reusable containers from home to reduce plastic waste.

6. Shop with reusable bags

 “Paper or plastic?” is a common question asked in the checkout line. Yet none of the choices is ideal — plastic bags are made from fossil fuels and take hundreds of years to break down while paper bags are made from trees, which are important to conserve. There’s a better option out there: reusable produce bags.

While they cost a little more up front, there are many benefits, particularly when it comes to easing the effects of logging and plastic pollution on the environment.

7. Skip Single-Use Cutlery

Plastic straws, forks and plates might be cheap and handy when hosting parties, but once they’re thrown away, they usually end up in our oceans, endangering marine life.

To reduce your impact on the environment, you might want to consider switching to reusable eating utensils, such as a bamboo cutlery set. Bamboo is a natural and sustainable material that is lightweight, durable and stain-resistant.

The natural aesthetic of a bamboo cutlery set is also undeniably stylish and could inspire your guests to join the zero waste movement.


8. Switch to Cloth Napkins & Towels

On average each person uses 2,200 two-ply napkins every year. That’s a lot of napkins and a lot of trees!

Since they often come in contact with food waste and grease, they are not able to go through the recycling process. Fortunately, all of these napkins could be replaced with cloth napkins. They save on waste and when put to the test, work better than disposable napkins.

A Final Word

Remember, Zero Waste isn’t about perfection, it’s about making better choices, big and small in your daily life.

We hope these simple tips will help you create a zero waste kitchen you can be proud of.