Zero-Waste Kitchen Products: Tools, Swaps & Tips
Today we are going to take a stroll around my zero-waste kitchen. I’m going to show how I maintain a low-waste kitchen and the tools I use. Keep watching for awesome tips.
As far as spices, I imagine you already have spice jars, whether they are plastic or glass. The next time you run out of spice, go to the store with that empty container and get a tare on it, and fill it up with said spice.
You can obviously tell I’m a big fan of curries and turmeric because I have this massive, massive jar of turmeric that I bought in bulk. When you buy larger quantities, you’re going to save a dime.
For bulk items, go to the store with produce bags and fill them up with whatever you want to bring home. Should you go out and buy all these new containers? Abso-freakin-lutely not! Upcycle whenever and wherever you can. This, as you can see, is an old, repurposed container.
I want to shout out the vanilla extract that I made myself. I cook a lot and make all kinds of fun recipes and my roommates love the vanilla extract.
These reusable silicone baggies are lifesavers. You will never need a plastic sandwich bag again. They’re dishwasher safe.
Always upcycle containers, especially glass. These things last forever and I love to store food there.
This is the Klean Kanteen. It’s metal and double insulated, so it will hold heat for you on the go.
This shelf is mine.
This is a tip for keeping veggies fresh — put them in water. As you can see here, I’ve used a teacup.
This is homemade coconut yogurt. I also make granola as a post-workout meal or late-night snack.
Tips on maintaining a zero-waste fridge? Source your produce packaging free. Go to the local farmers market, bring your own produce and tote bags, and stock up. Often vendors will be grateful if you hand back a container or elastic band because they can reuse those resources.
To avoid packaging for sauces, I recommend DIYing. I’ll DIY ranch or ketchup. When I'm too busy, I’ll source my sauce from the store in a container that I can reuse. Most times I like to source my packaged products in glass jars because I reuse these endlessly.
I like to freeze fruits, especially ones we grow on the farm, for eating year-round. You see passion fruit and persimmons here.
This bag is awesome. It holds all our compost. The bin causes fruit flies, whereas the bag stays nice and frozen. No smell, no bugs. That’s what I recommend if you want a compost situation. If you can’t have your own pile, take it to the farmers market or find a local place to accept your compost.
I didn’t used to like coffee that much, but I’ve become a big coffee enthusiast. This is great. It’s a French press that you can reuse. You grind the coffee beans, stick them in there, pour boiling water, and push down the thing inside, and bam! You got yourself fresh coffee.
Speaking of which, this is an amazing vintage coffee grinder. My partner Joshua took the vintage piece and added the wood thing for me. It’s honestly very therapeutic to grind the beans. As for the coffee beans, we source them organically and fair trade, in bulk, from the grocery. If you love coffee, buy it in bulk.
You don’t need a blender to be low-waste, but I use this baby to do endless recipes. I make nut milk, sauces, and soups. You can find one secondhand at a yard sale on an app like OfferUp or Nextdoor.
The next thing is a reusable water boiler. I’m a huge fan of a tea kettle on the stove, but this water boiler is literally broken, and we’re going to use it as long as possible. Water boilers are great if you're super big on teas or coffees.
The last thing is the crockpot. If you buy beans, legumes, and lentils in bulk, you can make your own stew. Just turn it on and bam you got yourself an amazing zero-waste meal.
Here is a broken, but fully functional, biodegradable dish sponge made from plant fibers. We use this to scrubby dubby dub them and they’re looking great and shiny. At the end of its life, we throw it in the compost pile.
We love homemade cleaners. We also use a granite cleaner for the countertops.
I want to show off our farm-fresh veggies. There’s rosemary, curry, fresh herbs, and kale.
Never use a paper towel again! How? With the miracle of reusable towels. I recommend having towels that you can get dirty and then also nicer towels to hang on the stove.
How do we clean dishes? I source our soap from a local, zero-waste store. If you don’t have one, you can source dish soap in bulk. I’d recommend getting a very large soap from a store like Costco (they have a biodegradable and eco-friendly brand), rather than buying a lot of individual containers.
We have two cast iron pans. A larger one and a smaller one.
If we are cooking something in the oven, the old me would use parchment paper and throw it away. The new me doesn’t. I put oil on my pan. However, if you want to invest in something long-lasting, there are reusable silicone pads to use in place of parchment paper.
For cooking oil, we use avocado oil. I’ve put mine in a reusable container, but we buy a huge thing at Costco. It’s more economical for us.
You can find olive cooking oil in bulk here at a place called Baker. When I want to get fancy schmancy with my oil, I’ll go there. It’s on the pricier side, so I don’t do it often.
This basket has our produce and tote bags. It’s near the door intentionally, so there’s no excuse for forgetting on our way out.
Zero-waste kitchen products
That is my kitchen tour. I hope you guys enjoyed it and got some ideas for how to zero-waste-ify your own kitchen at home. How do you keep waste down in your kitchen? Drop a comment and let us know.