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Zero Waste Natural Home

6 Ways to Reduce Kitchen Waste for your Green Home

May 1, 2020
Reduce kitchen waste. Beautiful white kitchen

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More and more households are starting to find ways to reduce kitchen waste. Global climate change is an enormous concern for all of us. It’s more important than ever to start making changes in our own lives to help minimize our carbon footprint. It doesn’t have to happen overnight, or be expensive or difficult. Slowly transitioning into one swap or adopting one practice at a time can go a long way. Here are 6 ideas to get you started.

DISCLOSURE: This post contains an affiliate link to Blueland, a cleaning products brand. This means that if you click on my link to make a purchase, I will get a small commission at no extra expense to you. You can read my Disclaimer and Privacy Policy and Blueland’s FAQ for more details.

1. Compost Food Waste

Composting sounds scary and complicated. But just think, your grandparents may have done it. Mine did. It’s a long-time practice that is hugely beneficial to the earth. In fact, the EPA found we could save 20%-30% of food waste from the landfill by composting. There are kits on Amazon for as cheap as $20 that can get you started. If you have no idea what you’re doing, don’t worry. There are composting communities on Reddit and Facebook ready to help.

2. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle to Reduce Kitchen Waste

This is a wildly important and yet only about 34.7% of Americans recycle, despite the vast majority support recycling. We need to start making it more of a part of our lives. Purchase two garbage bins for every room: one for recycling and the other for garbage. You’d be surprised how many recyclables you may be missing in rooms outside the kitchen where people most often do separate garbage from recyclables.

There tends to be a lot of confusion what your city may and may not recycle so it’s best to ask them directly. Call, email or visit your county’s recycling or utility authority’s website. They should be able to give you a complete list of recyclables and non-recyclables.

3. Buy in Bulk and Switch to Products with Less Packaging

Pantry staples such as canned food, rice, and beans can all be purchased in bulk. This reduces the amount of packaging required. Other things to try to buy in bulk: soap, white vinegar, trash bags, dishwashing detergent, coffee, butter, nuts/seeds, and dry pasta.

There are more and more products in the market or online with subscription services that use less packaging. I like Blueland’s cleaning products since you buy your spray bottles and soap dispenser once. Then you only need to buy refill tablets.

4. Eat Less Meat

This bears mentioning as an indirect way to reduce kitchen waste. I can write a book about the impact our meat consumption has on the planet. It is the number one cause of rainforest deforestation and the endangerment of certain wildlife, notably the orangutan. This is to house and grow feed for the cattle. Think of the sheer amount of grains and water it takes to feed billions of livestock meant for slaughter. It’s a huge waste of resources since we could feed more people if we ate less burgers. As Cornell put it: US could feed 800 million people with grains livestock eat.

It pollutes more than all of our methods of travel combined- that’s cars, trains, and planes. Factory farms are breeding grounds for the next superbugs, and these plants particularly affect marginalized communities. I don’t need to mention the egregious animal abuse practices of factory farms and slaughterhouses. The cruelty alone should urge us to eat less meat. Not to mention, you’ll probably save money and reduce your risk for heart disease.

Glass containers to reduce kitchen waste

5. Use Up Your Plastic Containers then Switch to Glass

Don’t throw away your plastic food containers yet! Once they are worn out it’s time to invest in glass containers. They will last you much longer and make better storage for food. Plastic is a terrible vessel for food. It can make your food taste funny and has a risk of containing BPA and other toxins.

6. Switch to Unpaper Towels

I’ve written before about how paper towels are detrimental to the environment. To create paper towels we have to cut down trees, transport those trees in large trucks, manufacture them in large polluting factories, wrap them in plastic and transport them to stores for us to buy them. It’s a lot of resources to use for convenience! Compared to washable kitchen towels, it’s barely a convenience. The level of care for reusable paperless towels is minimal. You’ll be saving money making the switch since you’re buying them once rather than buying paper towels again and again. If you want to learn more about them, check out my best guide to reusable towels here.

Unpaper Towels in black and white print

Where can you buy unpaper towels? Glad you asked! Check out our All Things Grow Collection to find the best unpaper towels on the market. These designer unpaper towels are hand-crafted and complement any kitchen decor, since they are designed with trends in mind. Don’t just tolerate the eyesore that is paper towels. Decorate your kitchen with soft, durable fabrics that serve you and your family.

Natural Home

Easy Household Swaps to Save Money (Especially During the Pandemic)

April 17, 2020
Beautiful minimalist kitchen

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Today, I’m going to share some zero waste AND easy to find swaps to make in your household. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many critically important staples are hard to find or much more expensive. I hope this will help people with this while staying eco-friendly.

In fact, making these changes in my own home has saved me money and alleviated stress.

DISCLOSURE: This post contains Amazon affiliate links to products. This means that if you click on my link to make a purchase then I will get a small commission at no extra expense to you. You can read my Disclaimer and Privacy Policy for more details.

To get started:

Swap Away from Plastic Water Bottles

This is an easy one and, albeit, one everyone has heard before. It bears repeating, especially during the pandemic. There’s never been a better time to switch away from plastic bottles to glass or stainless steel water bottles. This does not have to be expensive! My husband and I bought lemonade, kombucha and other drinks that were sold in glass bottles. The coca cola glass bottles are nice but come in the beer tops that can’t be put back on. To solve this, I bought some wine bottle toppers.

If you’re looking to buy specially made bottles, here’s two of my favorite water bottles: Veegoal 18 oz Glass Water Bottle and Yomious 20 oz Glass Water Bottle.

If you’re concerned about your town’s tap water quality, I’d recommend a Brita Water Filter or my absolute favorite, Hydroviv’s Water Filters. They are customized based on your zip code. Water filters cannot filter out everything so companies have to decide what they filter. This means you may not be filtering out the right things in your area’s tap water. Hydroviv looks at your area and customizes your filter for you so you know you are drinking safe water.

Can’t Find Disinfectant Wipes? Here’s a Reusable DIY for your Swaps

The CDC has said bleach or isopropyl alcohol will kill the virus. Huffington Post shared this great DIY to make your own reusable disinfectant wipes out of old t-shirts or cloths. Cut them to whatever size you want and soak them in a solution of bleach or 99% isopropyl alcohol (use 2/3 cups for every 1/3 cup water).

Toilet paper rolls on a green table. Is it time to stop buying toilet paper in your swaps?

Toilet Paper Woes? Here’s an Eco-Friendly Switch

Much like paper towels, toilet paper is not great for the environment. And with people leaving people hanging by stockpiling them, it may be a good time to purchase a bidet. It’s far more sustainable for the earth. The US is actually behind other first-world countries in adopting bidets. Here’s a very affordable and easy to install one on Amazon that’s rated highly.

It’s Time to Ditch Paper Towels

Again, read my post about how terrible paper towels are for the earth and how much money you can save not buying them. Not that you may be able to buy them in many stores right now. I highly recommend investing in one or two sets of unpaper towels. They are just as effective and can be much more attractive in your kitchen. It is a great zero waste swap to make to save money and stress!

If you want luxury unpaper towels to start off with, check out our shop!

Stay Safe and Healthy

My hope is that all my readers and customers stay safe during these times. I hope these easy swaps can help save you money and lift a little stress from searching the stores for these difficult to find items.

Which of these swaps are you going to try first?

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