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 the best methods to make your zero waste kitchen into a treat!
*This post contains affiliate links, meaning I make enough coffee cash to keep supplying you with healthy living choices.
I saw a quote the other day that said, “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 zero waste 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.
- Reduce – single use, nonbiodegradable items.
- Reuse – grocery bags, food containers, cutlery, coffee mugs.
- Refuse – anything plastic, products with harmful chemicals, products you don’t need.
- Recycle – plastic, cardboard, glass, paper.
- Rot (compost) – leftovers.
Let’s see how we can apply the 5 R’s to the kitchen.
Zero Waste Kitchen
Welcome to your future kitchen! All your waste-free kitchen supplies are waiting below for a healthier home. This is for your future, your family, and generations to come who will learn that going zero waste is one of the most effective ways to make a positive impact on climate change and reduce those greenhouse gases that are clogging our atmosphere (that’s mostly our fault, ya’ll).
Making an impact takes one step at a time, and your beloved kitchen is no exception! Here are 10 of the biggest zero waste kitchen products that are eco-friendly and chemical-free. This list has the essentials to start you off!
1. Dish Scrubber and Holder
What is the one thing you use every day in the kitchen? Soap! And what do you use with that soap? A scrubber! One of my favorite brand recommendations for zero waste kitchen products, especially dish soaps and scrubs, is EarthHero. It’s like an Amazon for eco-friendly products.
This Bubble Up Dish Brush and Ceramic Set is easy to use, doesn’t take up space, is BPA-free, made with bamboo and recycled plastic, and is an amazing price! You’ll want the best and easiest tools to work with in your zero waste kitchen and this bamboo scrubber is your first step to making a difference.
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…BUT I’ve found biodegradable and reusable paper towels and napkins made from organic cotton and sustainable bamboo.
EarthHero has reusable paper towels made from organic cotton, Bambaw has washable paper towels made from bamboo and polyester, and I also want to inform you that you can get biodegradable bamboo paper towels at almost any grocery stop, including CVS.
3. Coffee Filters and Tea Bags
We want organic coffee filters. Organic filters are unbleached and easier on the planet compared to bleached paper filters. We also want eco-friendly reusable coffee filters because anything reusable is already more of an investment. If you want to know more about sustainable coffee (and where to get the good stuff) try this one out: Sustainable Coffee Brands.
If you prefer one-and-done filters you want to throw away, or even one-time steeped coffee bags, the Etsy link below has unbleached eco-friendly biodegradable filters that are amazing!
If you’re into the more all-natural energy spark, we want to use reusable, cotton tea filters. And lots of honey. P.S. I recently started drinking twilight mint tea from Flying Bird Botanicals that promotes healthy digestion, and oo it’s got so much flavor! I recommend it if you enjoy minty, refreshing tastes.
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 EarthHero and Ecovita have some compostable utensils that are great for picnics or on the go! This one above even has a travel kit and is a top seller. Check it out below!
One of the most utilized kitchen products is 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).
I bought my set of bamboo lids and glass containers from Ikea but there are a great many varieties to choose from, such as:
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.
This is one of the most popular water bottles around from a company called Hydro Flask that promotes a green living lifestyle by using sustainable materials, being BPA-free, and being reusable. You can also look at personalized stainless steel options on Etsy!
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 shops like TJ Maxx.
Plates are one of the most essential items in your zero waste kitchen because…well I don’t have to explain this one to you – we all know the value of plates. But have you ever thought about what type of material your plates are?
I mean, if one breaks, how do we recycle it? Well, let’s start using already-recycled objects so we bring things around full circle. Pictured above are beautiful stoneware side plates that go with any style of kitchen you have. And guess what? They are made with recycled ceramic clay. I’ve used them at a friend’s house and was thrilled to find them on EarthHero, ready to be shared with the world.
You may think you look dorky in an apron (guilty) but it’s worth it to keep your clothes dry and clean! You or someone you know are in the kitchen baking, cooking, and cleaning up every day so why not use an apron that will last?
Plant-dyed solid colors to choose from, organic cotton, and a large front pocket showcase one of the best aprons in the business for your zero waste kitchen essentials. The ones pictured above are in high-demand but there is usually a waitlist!
10. Cutting Board
You have the knives, and you have the produce, but where do you use them? It’s a silly question but when I first moved into my apartment, I didn’t have one…all I had was produce, a butter knife, and the countertops. Let’s just say it’s wise to get a cutting board as soon as possible…
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 in your eco kitchen!
Looking for more?