3 simple steps to a zero waste kitchen

Unsure where to get started when it comes to establishing a zero waste kitchen? Here are the first three kitchen items I tackled when I headed down the path to zero waste.

Of course, there are many other areas to tackle in the kitchen when it comes to going zero waste, so we’ll be looking at more of these in upcoming blogs.

Plastic containers to glass jars

Like most households our Tupperware collection used to be impressive. The large bottom drawer in our kitchen was teeming with plastic containers in every colour and size, and I thought nothing of reheating food in the microwave using these containers. Big mistake.

I’ve since learnt that heated food and plastic Tupperware are a bad combination, due to the chemicals that can potentially leak into the food (more on that another day).

Part of going zero waste means I now do a lot of our food shopping at bulk stores or farmers’ markets, so I invested in some good quality glass mason jars, and also reused any glass jars or bottles that I already had.

Items like oats, nuts, seeds, rice, pasta, beans, dried fruit, herbs and spices, pretty much all of our “loose” food is now housed in glass in our pantry.

I also purchased the Glasslock Oven Safe 9 Piece Tempered Glass Food Container Set and the Glasslock Glass 9pc Baby Meal Set (which I use to transport my son’s snacks). I use the larger containers to store leftovers, to heat food up in the oven or for storing cold items in the fridge.

Tea bags to teapot

I’m a huge tea drinker and I simply can’t start my day without a cup or two.

So when I discovered that most tea bag brands use polypropylene, a sealing plastic, to keep their tea bags from falling apart I was crushed

Like most zero waste alternatives it pays to look back at what “Grandma used to do” for a simple remedy. Enter, the humble teapot.

I now brew my midmorning cup of tea in a glass teapot from Golden Moon Tea. If you click through to the product you’ll notice the description reads “seven cups”… that’s a heck of a lot of tea!

I find that if I only half fill the pot I will get two generous mugs of tea from it, so those seven cups they’re referring to must be teeny, tiny teacups.

The tea I buy loose from a bulk foods store and the used tea leaves are placed in our bokashi bin.

Cling wrap to reusable beeswax wraps

I’ve never been a fan of cling wrap, it’s unwieldy at the best of times and even before I knew about the concept of zero waste, I always found it an incredibly wasteful product.

We now use beeswax wraps to wrap any perishables. The wraps are made by infusing pieces of (usually bright and cheerful) cotton with a mixture of food-grade beeswax, pine rosin and coconut oil.

I’m a big fan of Queen B and we use their bread beeswax wrap as well as their avo saver wrap. We’ve also got a few medium-sized wraps for wrapping cheese blocks or half eaten pieces of fruit, and to seal over bowls of leftovers.

Queen B also sell “seconds” wraps if you’re on a budget.

Be sure to wash your wraps in lukewarm water and a mild soap. I made the mistake of using hot water to clean the first wrap I purchased, and it caused the beeswax to harden and flake off.