Zero Waste Kitchen Essentials (Detailed List Included)

  • By: greenorb
  • Date: July 10, 2021
  • Time to read: 7 min.

How do you go zero waste in the kitchen? If you’re starting out on your zero-waste journey, kitchen by far is the easiest place to adopt some significant changes. 

Today, if you open drawers in many households, you’ll find a massive amount of plastic items. 

Most of us are working towards a more sustainable home, but not everybody is enlightened on what to pay attention to. 

As an advocate of plastic-free living, I found zero waste kitchen essentials that won’t harm your body or environment. Let’s get started!

Zero Waste Kitchen Essentials

Living a zero-waste life is achievable as long as we put more effort into some changes. 

It’s time to minimize single-use items and streamline wraps, baggies, and plastics that might have accumulated in the thrash. 

1. Mason Jars

Mason jars are pretty good for food storage. Replace plastic for containers lying around your kitchen by hoarding glass jars. 

Save jars for many things like pre-made meals, dry goods, pasta sauce, and liquid, among others as they can be recycled again and again. 

You can also use jars to freeze food. The fact that they’re reusable meets the 3Rs (Reduce, recycle and reuse)

What we like:

  • It’s a versatile kitchen essential
  • Recyclable and reusable
  • Its multi-purpose use 
  • Toxic-free as compared to plastic

2.  Fabric Produce Bags

I use these bags mostly for filling up things in bulk. Carting and storing glass jars around may be tiresome to some people. And although glass is essential, they need a lot of care. 

While they’re great for veggies and fruits at the grocery shops, these bags are known to be eco-friendly. 

They aren’t single-purpose products as you can use them more than 1 year before disposing of them.

The good news is that they’re made from cloth or cotton. So, expect them to be biodegradable and compostable.

What we like:

  • Cheap for most households
  • Compostable and biodegradable
  • You can use the bags again and again
  • Easy to carry around when in grocery stores

3. Beeswax Wraps

Beeswax wraps are zero-waste essentials for any kitchen. 

You can use the reusable products to fold up around cheese, half-lemon, fruits, and sandwiches in place of disposable plastic wraps. 

One good thing is that these wraps are washable. 

You can hand-wash with cold water and use them maximally in your home. 

They’re made from 100 percent organic cotton or linen fabric, meaning they are earth-friendly. In fact, you can make homemade beeswax wraps at ease. 

Use beeswax instead of aluminum foil.

What we like:

  • They’re BPA-free
  • Keeps your food fresh for a longer time 
  • Made from 100% cotton, which is organic 
  • Washable, reusable, compostable, and self-adhesive 

4. Reusable Unpaper Towels 

Do away with paper towels and save the planet from massive destruction brought by the waste in landfills. 

You’ll need to wipe down counters or clean a small mess in your kitchen. 

Use them to get the job done.

These reusable, high-absorbent yet colorful towels are viable options for those looking to go green. Significantly, the towel is crafted with 100 percent cotton, which is durable. 

It’s advisable that you wash them first. Works well and well made for cleaning. 

While you save money, you also help save the planet. 

Things we like:

  • You can choose the color that matches your décor
  • Made from 100% cotton
  • Durable and quality material
  • Reusable and washable 

5. Stasher Bags

This reusable storage bag is worth the hype as far as sustainability and zero-waste kitchen are concerned. 

You can store or freeze food with this pure toxic-free silicone product. 

It functions well when used as an alternative to disposable plastic bags. No latex, no BPA, no PVC. 

Using it means that you’ll have eliminated plastic bags from ending up in landfills and waterways.

Even better, it’s microwave and dishwasher safe. It will be a passion for a better planet. 

Things we like:

  • Non-toxic, latex and PVC-free
  • It’s a multipurpose bag 
  • Eliminates the use of plastic bags
  • Dishwasher, stove, freezer, and microwave-safe
  • Reusable

6. Cloth Napkins

If you love your kitchen, cloth napkins can do double duty as dish cloths and tea towels. 

Not only does it promote zero-waste in the kitchen but also in other areas of your home.

The best materials to make cloth napkins are linen and cotton. And because of fabrics, the product is rigid enough for daily use. 

With holiday parties and weddings around the corner, this kitchen appliance won’t fail you.  

Things we like:

  • Created from a variety of fabrics, including cotton and linen
  • You can get cloth napkins an array of colors
  • Durable for everyday use
  • Beautiful and multi-purposeful
  • Cheap option 

7. Reusable Coffee Filters

Having a mug of coffee in those cold mornings is amicably amazing. 

If you own plastic-wrapped coffee filters, then your effort to zero-waste life is doomed. 

Opt for reusable coffee filters as they’re easy to use and clean. 

If you’re a coffee aficionado, brew a tasty cup of Joe of pour-over, and compost the coffee grounds.

Or you need to rinse out the filter for the next use in the evening. It sequesters CO2 hence viewed as an eco-friendly choice.

Things we like:

  • You add coffee grounds to your compost pile
  • Reusable
  • Eco-friendly option 
  • Hemp coffee filters are organic

8. Resealable Sandwich Bags

If you want to pack a lunch or bring food along when traveling, adopt your waste-free habits by storing the meal in a reusable sandwich bag. 

Unlike single-use plastic baggies, these are biodegradable. 

They will break down within a few weeks or a month. In the kitchen, these bags are dishwasher-safe. 

As a good eco-alternative kitchen essential, resealable bags are chemical-free.

Apart from the fact that they’re easy to clean, the bags are made from durable material – cotton is organic. Your food will not get squashed.

Things we like:

  • Available in colors to blend your kitchen
  • Easy to clean (washable)
  • Durable and dishwasher safe
  • Reusable

9. All-Natural Dish Brushes

Ditch store-bought sponges today as they’re disposable. 

While the vast majority wash by hand, it would make sense to use wooden dish brushes with compostable bristles. 

A wooden brush won’t hold bacteria. 

Another swap would be a zero-waste sponge, which is made with plant-based (cotton), compostable materials. 

Most importantly, you can compost the wooden brushes when they fall apart. 

Use it to scrub pans, pots, and fruits. In the long run, this practice will save you money and excessive waste.

Things we like:

  • It’s a plant-based material
  • The wooden brushes are compostable
  • Holds no bacteria
  • Great for scrubbing pans, pots, veggies, and fruits

10. One-size-fits-all soap (Bulk soap)

Soap is necessary for every kitchen. If you have a wide range of cleaning products in your house, expect a significant amount of trash.

The best solution is to buy bulk (concentrated) soap that you use to watch everything. 

Manufacturers wrap soap with plastic bags, so having one-size-fit-all soap reduces waste in your kitchen.

Use it for everything from washing your hands and cleaning dishes to eliminating stains out of kitchen towels. 

Things we like:

  • It’s a multi-purpose 
  • Reduces the amount of thrash
  • Gentle and saves more water

11. Glass Spray Bottles

Those who happen to have glass spray bottles can agree with me that you can use them from generation to generation. 

You just need to label each of these spray bottles so that you identify them with little hassle.

You can maintain one for mirrors/windows and another for countertops. 

This after you’ve ditched the chemical cleaning sprays. DIY your own and set the solution in these spray bottles. 

Enjoy this natural, DIY cleaning solution.

Things we like:

  • Reusable (you can use them for years)
  • Offers the best homemade cleaning solutions
  • Eliminates toxic cleaning sprays

12. Silicone baking mat 

Instead of using single-use parchment paper or aluminum foil, invest in a Silpat mat when baking. 

With it, your food won’t stick to the pan.

The fact that you won’t buy so much tin foil and parchment paper means that you’ll save on our natural resources in the long run. 

This is a win-win situation.  

Things we like:

  • Eliminates single-use parchment paper
  • Promotes healthy cooking and baking
  • The mat is reusable

13. Wooden cooking utensils (spoon, spatula)

Go for wooden cooking utensils like the spoon, spatula among others. 

For stirring, flipping, and mixing, use a wooden spoon. 

Many of them are made with 100 percent bamboo or wood.

Better still, they last longer than plastic utensils. While they tear apart, you can compost them.

Things we like:

  • Durable than plastic utensils
  • Compostable
  • Made with 100% wood

Is Going Zero Waste Kitchen Expensive?

Yes. In some instances, sustainable and zero waste products are expensive. 

Some kitchen essentials are costly. Also, you’ll need to put more effort into adopting eco-habits and practices.

In the long term, this will be cost-effective. Keep in mind that if they’re sustainable, they’re worth your money. 

Final Thoughts

Having a more sustainable kitchen is doable and achievable. 

Take the necessary steps and try out the zero waste kitchen essentials reviewed above. 

Sustainability is all about making smart choices –what to purchase and what to use. 

Set your kitchen on a budget with these must-haves. They’ll make a big difference in no time. 

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