Homes in general create a large amount of waste. However, I happen to think the kitchen is the biggest offender of all the rooms in the house. From rotten produce to packaging, there’s almost an endless amount of waste coming from this one room! If you have been considering a no waste kitchen there’s no better time than now and I’ve got some tips to help you get started.
Twelve tips to a no waste kitchen
The first step to reducing kitchen waste is to reduce and reuse packaging. Be mindful when buying packaged items. Jars and containers can be reused for other reasons. Visit your local farmer’s market to buy fresh produce and bring a basket so you do not need to take plastic grocery bags. Not only are these foods better for you, they have a lower impact on the earth. I’ve also learned that Bulk Barn will be introducing a reusable container program at all Bulk Barn locations starting February 24!
Regrow produce from leftovers. Yes, it’s true! Several produce items can be regrown using the ends! From celery to pineapples to green onions and more, you are bound to find a favorite thing your family can regrow.
Put overripe fruit to use by making bread, muffins, and other fun treats. We are all familiar with treats like banana bread but you can do this with nearly any overripe fruit in your fridge.
A great way work towards a zero waste kitchen is to compost and boost your garden nutrients at the same time. Instead of throwing out what your family does not eat, use it to build up your garden and feed your family again. Banana peels and eggshells are great to toss right into your garden beds.
Invest in storage that makes food last longer. Produce can go bad fast but with the right storage, you can make it last longer than ever. Washing fruits in a bit of Apple Cider Vinegar will kill off mold spores that make them go bad faster. Storing carrots and celery in water can make them last weeks at a time.
Related: These containers by Rubbermaid are great for storing produce!
Ditch the sponge for a washable dishcloth that lasts longer and cuts down on bacteria that can make your family sick.
Ditch the paper towels for a washable option like reusable towels or microfiber cloths. Reuse cans for draining things that cannot be washed down the drain, like bacon grease.
Make eggs last longer. When storing store bought eggs put them directly into a sealed container in the fridge. These eggs no longer have the protective coating the chicken leaves on the eggs so they can absorb odors, flavors, and bacteria from your fridge. If you have your own chickens don’t wash the eggs. Slightly dust off feathers and bedding that may be on them and store on the counter. Do not WASH until you go to use them.
Shop with reusable supplies like cloth grocery and produce bags. One trick you may enjoy is bringing laundry baskets or big storage containers when you go shopping. Have the cashiers toss everything into the baskets instead of bags. Move the basket to your car and from your car to your home. It cuts down on waste and makes getting everything in easier. You may want to separate refrigerated and pantry goods in these baskets to make putting everything away easy.
Don’t buy more than you need. So often we see a sale and buy more than our families can use before it goes bad. If you do not have a deep freezer, control the impulse to buy out that clearance meat. The same goes for buying produce, milk, eggs and even pantry goods that can go stale.
Go homemade. To cut down on packaging waste for convenience items like cookies, granola bars, apple sauce cups or even frozen entrees, start making those items at home and storing in reusable containers or your baking ware.
I can’t write anything relating to food without mentioning the importance of menu planning. Menu planning is especially vital to reducing food waste and lowering your grocery bill. If you really struggle with menu planning, then try out $5 Meal Plan. It happens to be my favorite meal planning service. It’s just $5 a month (the first two weeks are free!), and you get menu plans sent straight to your email along with the exact shopping list you need in order to create the meals. Each meal costs around $2 per person or less. This service allows you to save time because you won’t have to meal plan anymore, and it will save you money as well! If you are interested in joining for free, click here.
Armed with these tips, you should be able to make little steps towards a no waste kitchen. Changing one thing at a time will enable you to keep more money in your pocket too!
I’d love to know how you reduce food and packaging waste in your home. Please share in the comments below!