17 things I no longer buy for my zero waste kitchen

A zero waste kitchen can be easier to achieve than you might think. Especially consider kitchen and food waste are usually one of the biggest contributors to household waste. Listen on to find out which 17 things I no longer buy for my zero waste kitchen. 

Before we get started, I want you to sign up for my free Zero Waste in a Week challenge. Each day for a week you’ll receive an easy action step that takes less than 20 minutes to complete. Sign up below to join us and you’ll receive the workbook straight away. That link’s below for you too. 

1. Teabags

Many tea bags are around 25% plastic which can emit up to 11 billion microplastic into a single cup of tea. To avoid microplastics and save money, I buy loose leaf black and green teas that come packaged in a cardboard box. 

2. Plastic cling wrap

Plastic cling wrap has a multitude of uses in the kitchen. But this form of single-use plastic is unnecessary. Instead, I use a combination of beeswax wraps, plastic containers and silicone food covers. While these may have an initial cost, you quickly make it back by not having to buy cling wrap continually. 

3. Milk in a carton

Most non-dairy milk comes packaged in a paper-based carton. Although, these cartons are difficult to recycle and usually down-cycled into specialist materials – if not send to landfill. Instead of buying plant milk, I make my own at home. This saves a lot of money, especially considering that non-dairy milk is mostly water. 

Full List: My favourite zero waste things

4. Glass jars 

I was once in the “all my jars must match and be brand new” phase. But new glass jars are pretty pricey for what they are. Now I just upcycle jars from things like pasta sauce, sauerkraut and jalapenos. 

5. Baking paper 

Baking paper is another single-use item that can easily be replaced. I use silicone baking mats or well-oiled baking dishes and trains instead of disposable baking paper. 

6. Coffee pods

An estimated 56 billion coffee pods are sent to landfill each year. While compostable coffee pods are becoming more popular, research has found that less than 1% of these are actually being composted and the rest are being sent to landfill.  

Instead, I’ve switched to French press coffee. I buy the beans from my local bulk shop and compost the coffee grounds to make sure it’s completely zero waste. 

7. Plastic utensils 

I’m slowly switching out my plastic kitchen utensils such as spatulas, spoons and tongs for wooden alternatives. Not only is the aesthetic on point, but I also try to buy these from handmade and speciality shops. My favourite is olive wood and I try to oil them every few weeks to make them last longer. 

8. Plastic straws 

It’s almost impossible to buy plastic straws these days after bans in many countries and states. Instead, I have a set of reusable metal straws that I can put in the dishwasher. 

Zero waste kitchen: 17 things I no longer buy for eco-friendly, plastic-free, sustainable living

9. Dishwashing liquid 

Dishwashing liquid is usually around 70% water in a plastic bottle with synthetic fragrances and preservatives. This inspired me to formulate my CONCENTR8ED dish eco bar, which I use for washing up. Yep, even the greasy and oily dishes. 

10. Plastic sponges

I’ve swapped plastic sponges and scrubbing brushes for cellulose sponges and coconut husk scrubbies. Both of these swaps are fully compostable at the end of their life. 

11. Sandwich bags

Single-use sandwich bags are something I relied on for my meal preps. But it’s just as easy to use plastic containers, silicone bags or glass jars instead. 

12. Dishwasher tablets 

Many brands of dishwasher tablets come packaged in plastic bags or containers. I’ve even accidentally bought brands that individually wrapped each tablet in plastic. I now buy dishwashing powder from my local bulk store instead. 

13. Appliances 

There seems to be an appliance for just about everything but so many are unnecessary. I have a food processor and blender in my kitchen – and that’s it. I also refuse to buy anything that only had one use such as an ice cream scoop or avocado slicer. 

14. Single-use sachets 

I avoid all single-use sachets from quick oats to taco seasoning. While some of these are packaged in paper and not plastic, it’s always cheaper to buy them in bulk instead. 

15. Spray-and-wipe

I’ve never been a fan of these toxic chemical-filled sprays that are mostly water in plastic bottles. Instead, I use the CONCENTR8ED kitchen cleaning eco bar to clean benches, the sink and the stove. 

16. Paper towels 

While paper towels aren’t plastic, they’re still a waste of paper. They’re also not recyclable. Instead, I use washable clothes and cellulose sponges. But I do want to invest in unpaper towels that clip together into a roll and are machine washable. 

17. Impulse purchases

I’ve given up buying anything for my kitchen that I don’t need. Not only does this keep my kitchen clutter-free and organised, but it saves me money and furthers my zero waste journey. 

Eco Action Step

Your eco action step for this week is to join my Zero Waste in a Week challenge. It’s completely free and it’s possible to buy nothing new throughout. Sign up below to join us and download your copy of the Zero Waste in Week ebook. Can’t wait to see you there, eco friend!

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