4 Sustainable Kitchen Swaps
One of the biggest misconceptions of journeying towards a zero-waste lifestyle is that you need to buy new stuff - like reusables, or products made from bamboo, stainless steel, and other “zero-waste” trendy items. We’re here to tell you, this isn’t the case.
One of the easiest ways you can reduce your waste is by making the best use of the products and items you already have - extending their lifespan, saving money, and treading a little lighter on our planet. When an item or product comes to the end of its life, consider whether it can be used in a different way: Did it come in a container that can be reused? Can you upcycle or repurpose parts of the product for other uses? If not, what is the proper way to dispose of the item? Asking yourself these questions can help adjust your mindset and consumer habits.
To help get you started, look at the items in one area of your home that could use sustainable improvement - like for instance your kitchen. Here’s some suggestions to get you started on your journey towards living zero-waste:
4 Sustainable Swaps for the Kitchen
Your kitchen is a hot spot for waste, which makes it a great place to make sustainable swaps. Composting, for example, is a great way to keep organic waste like food waste, vegetable scraps, and used paper products out of the landfill. You can also reduce waste in the kitchen by using up remaining single-use plastics and investing in sustainable reusables.
Beeswax Wraps: Beeswax wraps are a natural alternative to single-use plastic wraps. Simply use the heat from your hands to make the wrap malleable and mould to your bowl, containers, or fold them up for snacks and sandwiches. Beeswax wraps are easily cleaned with cold water and can be hung or laid to dry. These wraps can be used 100s of times.
Bowl Covers: Available in cloth or silicon, bowl covers are simple to use and wash. Simply pull over your salad, mixing, or storage bowl to use. When finished, cloth bowl covers can be washed with your regular laundry and silicon covers can be washed with soap and water.
Cloth Napkins and Towels: In the United States alone, 13 billion pounds of paper towel are used each year- most of it going straight to landfills. Reduce this waste by switching to cloth napkins and towels for cleaning counters, wiping spills and crumbs, as a napkin when eating, and so much more. Look for napkins or towels at second-hand and thrift shops or upcycle old material or clothing from around your house.
Reusable Containers: If you ask anyone living zero-waste, they will probably admit to having a large collection of reusable containers and jars in their home. Whether you have containers already or repurpose old jars from jam and salsa, containers can help reduce waste in the kitchen. Use them to store food and keep produce fresh longer, take them on-the-go for package-free snacks, or keep a few in your car for bulk buys when shopping.
Journeying towards living a zero-waste lifestyle is just that, a ‘journey.’ It’s unlikely you’ll reach the finish of your zero-waste journey overnight and some of us may never reach it based on our circumstances. However, that’s not what zero-waste living is about, it’s about aspiring to live within your means and reducing your waste to the best of your ability.
Sustainable swaps are simple when done intentionally and at a pace that works for your lifestyle. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way in your journey towards living zero-waste.
Visit these local Okanagan retailers to purchase your sustainable swaps: Footprints, Chickpeace Refillery, Fill, LocalMotive, or check out your local zero-waste store.