April is a budding journalist specialising in all things sustainable.
On average, westernised households produce 4.5 million tonnes of kitchen waste per year. Whether it’s uneaten food, plastic packaging or unsustainable storage solutions, we’ve all been a culprit of needlessly throwing away produce before it hits its expiry date or purchasing plastic-based kitchen essentials just to dispose of them weeks later.
Coming in at the number one waste producer in your household, your kitchen is the first thing to address if you’re looking to adopt a new zero-waste lifestyle. From upcycling plastic packaging to buying in bulk to reduce produce throw out, creating an eco-friendly kitchen has never been easier. Prepare to win the war on plastic by adding our top five sustainable kitchen essentials to your next grocery list for the ultimate eco-friendly cooking haven.
1. Reusable Food Wraps
If plastic is your largest kitchen enemy, it’s time to start searching for sustainable alternatives that will leave your household plastic-free. One of the biggest kitchen waste producers in a modern family home is plastic wrap. Whether you’re covering up the family meal leftovers or preparing lunch for your little ones, it’s terribly easy to get caught up in rolls and rolls of a clingfilm nightmare.
If you’re looking to cut clingfilm from your household, try investing in reusable food wrap alternatives. We recommend Beeswax paper, for a sturdy yet malleable solution, perfect for covering those leftovers with a breathable fit. Made from a mix of beeswax, tree resin and hemp oil, this fabric alternative isn’t only reusable, but after a number of uses, it’s completely biodegradable for an eco-friendly disposal.
Better still, if you’re looking for a vegan option that still throws plastic out of the window, opt for a soy wax alternative. Similar to the beeswax wraps, you can find plant-based versions made out of candelilla and non-GMO soy wax.
2. Bulk Food Storage
Another vital waste saver is a sustainable food storage solution. We’re talking glass mason jars, reusable containers and adopting food buying methods that reduce your plastic consumption. In fact, household food waste is the largest contributor to the food waste epidemic. With studies predicting that it accounts for 569 million tonnes of global waste per year, it’s time to start bulk buying.
Bulk buying is key for a zero-waste kitchen. Making use of bulk food stores such as The Source Bulk Foods (in the UK), enables you to choose the right quantity of fresh and dry food for your household, without plastic packaging. Simply buy the quantities you need and store them in reusable storage containers. Opt for glass-based storage in order to prolong freshness and enjoy eliminating foil, plastic wrap and ziplock bags from your waste-free kitchen.
3. Compostable Bin Bags
If you have unavoidable waste, fear not, you can still be eco-friendly! Start off by creating a sorting system for your kitchen waste. Assigning bins for recycling, general waste and compost will reduce your plastic footprint and shorten the list of items ending up in landfills.
Better still, why not invest in eco-friendly bin bags for the waste you can’t save. Experts predict that plastic-based garbage bags take up to 1000 years to decompose, making them one of the largest landfill polluters! In comparison, biodegradable alternatives only take a matter of months, making them a great eco-friendly option if you’re looking to up your sustainability.
4. Bamboo Cooking Utensils
Bamboo cooking essentials are a must-have for a new eco-friendly kitchen. Not only do they contribute to that forest-friendly design you have going on, but they make some of the best cooking essentials for a plastic-free household.
Made from a popular Moso Bamboo, bamboo cooking utensils such as spoons, ladles and spatulas are incredibly sturdy in comparison to their plastic counterparts and will last you a lifetime of washes both in and out of the dishwasher. Better still, these eco-friendly alternatives are naturally anti-bacterial, making them the perfect post-pandemic addition to a sustainable household.
5. Reusable Ziplock Bags
For those of us returning to the office and facing the dread of the commute, taking sustainability outside of the household is a great way to make your packed lunches eco-friendly. Whether you’re packing your own meal or your little one’s lunch, disposable plastic is often hard to avoid. However, sustainability need not go out of the window with this next tip.
Reusable ziplock bags have hit the high street and are here to stay. As a sturdier and washable version of traditional disposable alternatives, enjoy making these food coverings last for weeks on end, reducing your plastic footprint and making for a more eco-friendly approach to office lunches outside of the kitchen.