Bettering the Environment

The Z.O. Series: Your Zero Waste Kitchen

As the heart of the home, the kitchen is a source of happiness, creativity, and energy. Since it’s highly utilized, it’s an important place to have the right tools and appliances. So, I’ve cooked up some research and sprinkled in my own experience to mix up some of the best ways to make your zero waste kitchen into a treat that works in your favor!

Photo by Niki Nagy from Pexels

I saw a quote the other day, something along the lines of – “Your journey should be driven by the reasons why zero waste is important.” In my Goal Setting Technique and Achievement post, I describe how setting a goal up for success means enjoying the process rather than seeking the outcome. Learning is the beginning of a successful journey, so if you want to first understand what zero waste is check out What Is the Zero Waste Movement?

The 5 R’s

In the first Z.O. Series post, I mention the 5 R’s. Ring a bell? If not, here is a re-introduction to them and a few quick examples for your zero waste kitchen.

  1. Reduce – single use, nonbiodegradable items.
  2. Reuse – grocery bags, food containers, cutlery, coffee mugs.
  3. Refuse – anything plastic, products with harmful chemicals, products you don’t need.
  4. Recycle – plastic, cardboard, glass, paper.
  5. Rot (compost) – leftovers.

Let’s see how we can apply the 5 R’s into the kitchen.

Zero Waste Kitchen

Welcome to your future kitchen! All your waste-free kitchen supplies are waiting below for a healthier home.

Photo by Mark McCammon from Pexels


Here are 10 of the biggest zero waste kitchen products that are eco-friendly and chemical-free. It starts from simplest to largest items.

1. Dish Soap and Scrubber

My top brand recommendation for zero waste kitchen products, especially dish soaps and scrubs, is the earthing co. Why? Because they have wooden or solid dish soap, options for a scrubber or brush (made of untreated German beechwood) with replaceable heads, AND loofah sponges that get the job done.

They specialize in vegan, cruelty-free, sustainable practices and they use carbon-neutral shipping. That’s pretty amazing.

You can also check out the zero waste outlet which have kitchen items on sale!

Shop the earthing co.

Shop zero waste outlet

2. Biodegradable Paper Towels and Napkins

I used paper towels a lot…I’m still guilty sometimes because they’re so convenient! But I can’t ignore the evident waste buildup after throwing them away. The best method is not to buy them in the first place, so I’ve found biodegradable paper towels and napkins made from organic cotton and sustainable bamboo.

I’ve also found a company called Swedish Dishcloths where one of their compostable, reusable cloths can replace up to 17 rolls of paper towels.

Shop Bambaw

Shop Swedish Dishcloths

3. Coffee Filters and Tea Bags

We want organic coffee filters, not disposable. The organic filters are unbleached and easier on the planet compared to the bleached paper filters.

There are also reusable, cotton tea bags if you’re into a more natural energy spark. If you want to know more about sustainable coffee (and where to get the good stuff) try this one out – Sustainable Coffee Brands.

Shop CoffeeSock

Shop Etsy

4. Cutlery

Cutlery is usually bought only once, but let’s try a swap (or yard sale while we’re at it). Sustainable forks, knives, spoons, and chopsticks are typically made of bamboo but Ecovita has some compostable utensils that are great for picnics or on the go! Check them out below!

Shop Zero Waste Cutlery

Shop Ecovita

Shop Amazon (paid link)

5. Containers

One of the most utilized kitchen product are containers – for lunch, leftovers, and snacks. The best options are reusable, non-plastic containers with materials such as silicone (also in my camping post), stainless steel, bamboo, glass, and even good ole lunchboxes (I got my boyfriend and I matching ones muahaha).

Shop Etsy

Shop Stasher

Shop Amazon (paid link)

6. Water Bottles, Mugs, Thermos

Stainless steel, glass, leakproof, portable, hot, cold, ALL the goodness of your drinks throughout the day are available the eco-friendly way.

The main point to environmentally-friendly water bottles, mugs, and thermos is that they are reusable. It’s a start in the right direction, I promise.

Shop REI

Shop Amazon (paid link)

7. Grocery Bags

I’m sure you’ve heard, but the grocery bag hype is real. Make any tote, mesh, or natural rope bag your designated reusable grocery bag. And don’t forget them in the car! You can find them at your local grocery stores or in places like TJ Maxx.

Shop Etsy

8. Coffee Maker

Ideally, grinding your own homemade beans and brewing manually is the most eco-friendly way, but we want convenience. Unfortunately, those single-use K pods aren’t very good for the environment…

Why not try an old fashioned hand grinder! You’ll get the hang of it and it honestly tastes better. My friend brought one camping not too long ago and WOW the coffee was fresh and wholesome.

Shop Porlex Grinders

9. Electric Kettle

For the times we need hot water fast, try switching to an electric kettle that is eco-friendly and energy-saving. Amongst my research, the Duronic Electric Kettle EK42 is the best overall one.

Shop Duronic

10. Fridge, Freezer, Dishwasher

Buying the big guns for the kitchen means shopping smart. This could be for your first home, a wedding present, or house-warming gift (or make use of that yard sale from earlier). I’d say Energy Star has very efficient appliances while using less water and energy.

Shop Energy Star

Before you buy that single-use plastic container or that easy Costco pack of paper towels, think: What good is this doing for the future of my family and the planet? The sooner we move towards sustainable living and less waste production, the sooner we can beat those wildfires, rising temperatures, heat diseases, and so on.

It’s up to you, which results in everyone making a feel-good, positive change. So grab your whisk and stainless steel bowl and let’s whip up something delightful!

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Claudia Grimm
Writer and nature lover, I'm a curious gal wanting to share what I've learned in personal and environmental growth. What have I realized the most? Small steps make big impacts!

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