Thursday, March 29, 2018

Zero Waste Kitchen Ideas - Paper Towels, Microwave Mat

A big way to cut down on kitchen waste is to stop or limit the use of paper towels. Since they are  a one use item, I can go through a roll of those really fast. So what I did was to purchase enough dish towels and bar mops for each day of the week so there are always fresh ones. That way they can be washed and reused. I delagated my paper towel roll to the cupboard under my sink so it isn’t the first choice anyone grabs to clean up a spill or dry something off. I haven’t needed to buy a new roll in over a year! That’s a real money saver. I love to get something off of my shopping list! 

Paper napkins are a real waste of money and trees. We use cloth napkins at my house. I am not above cracking out paper plates and napkins for a party though. I used to use paper plates quite a lot in the microwave but I bought a silicone mat that you can put food directly on, eliminating the need for that.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Zero Waste Ideas: Reducing Waste in the Kitchen With Reusable Coffee Filters

Continuing my series about reducing kitchen waste, I would like to address the concept of single use items. That is items that are only intended to be used once and thrown away. I will be talking about a lot of these things we use every day without giving it a thought. Replacing single use items with reusable ones greatly reduces the amount of garbage we create. 

So today let’s talk about coffee filters. If you are using paper ones that are intended for single use, we can reduce waste by purchasing a washable, reusable one. Even if you are composting your used filters, they still come in a box usually with a plastic window that has to be ripped off and put into the trash in order to recycle that box. Basically a reusable coffee filter eliminates the need to continually buy disposable ones, thus saving money. 

You can obviously still compost the grounds. I like to dump the grounds directly in my house plant pots as it feeds nutrients to the soil. I also occasionally put them down my garbage disposal with some lemon wedges to give them a good clean.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Zero Waste Ideas Reducing Kitchen Waste

In my previous blogpost I talked about the advantages to reducing the waste created in my kitchen on a daily basis. Not only does it lower our carbon footprint, but it saves us time, effort, and money. One of the things I found myself to be tossing out a lot were two sided sponges for scrubbing dishes. I was constantly buying new ones at the dollar store every week because they just didn’t last. Then one day I was watching a YouTuber called the Vegan Athlete who has an amazing backyard garden, and he was growing loofahs that he used to wash dishes with! First of all I thought loofahs came from the ocean, but they actually grow on vines in tropical regions. So I had to check this out. 

So, I checked on Amazon for loofahs to wash dishes with and sure enough they were there! I have been using them for a few months now and I will never go back to those nasty old sponges I used for years, (one less item in my shopping cart and in my trash can.) The loofahs are great at cleaning dishes and pots and pans. If you have a really burnt pan you may need to use something stronger, but these really do a great job replacing those two sided sponges. They come in a pack of five and so far I have only used one. To keep it clean I just rinse with dishwashing liquid and hang it to dry on my faucet. You can also run it through your dishwasher or pop into the microwave for 30 seconds. This product is 100% natural. So if it ever does wear out, it can go into your home or community compost. I just love the fact that I could buy something as natural and inexpensive as these loofahs are and they are going to last me literally years! 

Click here to find them on Amazon.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Minimalist Kitchen Tips for Food Storage

I am always looking for ways to cut down on the waste produced on a daily basis in my kitchen. I especially hate throwing away anything plastic because we all know that it takes forever to biodegrade and much of it ends up in our oceans. In this upcoming series I will be talking about ways to cut down on this waste. Many people don’t think much about the garbage they produce other than to recycle as much as they can, which is great, but creating less garbage in the first place is better. It’s great to have less garbage in your kitchen which means it takes up less space and requires less trips to the garbage can. If you reduce your waste enough it may even save you money on curbside pickup if you can use a smaller can or switch to less frequent pick ups. For me, being a minimalist, less is usually better.

In this post I want to talk about food storage.  I store food in mason jars and reuse zip loc bags over and over, which helps a lot,  but recently I found these great lids on Amazon. Once you have these you no longer need plastic containers that can leach bad chemicals into your food. No need for plastic wrap either. These stretchy silicone lids are great because they fit over a variety of bowls, jars, cans, and even plates! These turn all of my odd ball sized bowls into legit storage.