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5 Simple Swaps for a Zero Waste Kitchen

5 Simple Swaps for a Zero Waste Kitchen

I feel like the biggest problem, hinderance, roadblock, whatever you want to call it, for going zero waste is just getting started!! 

After all, going zero waste sounds pretty scary, right? How do you get started? Where do you even start!?   

It's kind of like eating an entire pie. Like how could you possibly eat that entire pie? You don't eat it all at once, you slice it, and then you cut it into bite-sized pieces. 

That's what going zero waste is like. You got to cut it down into bite-sized pieces. Today we're going to look at a few bite-sized ways you can join the zero waste party in the kitchen. 

Now, one of the great things about going zero waste is that it saves you a bunch of money especially in the kitchen where we're going to be phasing out any disposable product with a reusable product, and trust me - there is a reusable product for every disposable product available. 

1. plastic wrap: 

I can't stand plastic wrap. I think it's a total waste of money, and to be perfectly honest with you... I'm not even sure what it's good for? We never used it in our house simply because it's such a pain to use. 

It doesn't cover bowls or plates very well and always sticks to itself. Instead of reaching for the plastic wrap, why not try a tea towel or beeswax wraps instead. 

If you're using plastic wrap to cover bowls while the bread rises, you can use a tea towel or a beeswax wrap. 

If you're using plastic wrap to save food for later, you can use a beeswax wrap or a Tupperware container.  

If you're using plastic wrap for sous vide cooking, try using a silicone stasher bag that you can use over and over again. 

2. aerosol cooking sprays: 

Do you use Pam or other baking/cooking sprays? Instead of reaching for those expensive bottles, why not try a Misto

This nifty little device will turn your cooking oil into a spray so you get all of the benefits of a spray can without the trash. You can refill the bottle over and over again with any cooking oil you like. 

The Misto is perfect for cupcake liners, pans, and for rationing the amount of oil you use in cooking. 

I'm always amazed as to how much oil I accidentally pour into the pan while cooking. With a quick spray of the Misto, I can use less oil and not have to toss anything into the trash! 

Wasting less and winning! 

3. cupcake liners: 

I stopped buying cupcake liners a long time ago... now I just use the pan. My cupcakes are liner free! 

If you have a Misto like I was talking about earlier you can just spray your muffin tin, bake the cupcakes right inside and then pop them out super easy. 

There's no need for a liner, and if you're having a party, you don't have to worry about people not knowing what to do with their liners. 

Now, having said all of this, I do have a set of silicone cupcake liners which are great for freezing. I use them to make homemade Reses Peanut Butter Cups. Which are SO easy to make. 

Just melt a little bit of chocolate in the bottom and swirl it around so it coats the sides. Place it in the freezer for about an hour and then place a tablespoon of peanut butter on top and then put them back in the freezer for an hour. Add some more melted chocolate on top and VIOLA! Homemade Reses Peanut Butter Cups. 

4. paper towels: 

This seems to be one of the hardest switches for people to make in their minds. But, once they actually get around to hiding the paper towels, and live without them for about a month, the realize just how easy this swap is! 

Check out our full blog post on creating a paper-free kitchen

5. coffee:

Coffee is one of those morning rituals that blows my mind on the trash scale. It can be done without creating any trash at all or it can be one of the most wasteful habits you have. 

If you normally grab a cup at the cafe on your way to work, consider bringing a thermos with you. You can read more about that all in this post on Day Four of our Earth Day Challenge. 

If you have a machine with pods, consider switching to a reusable pod that you fill with your own coffee. This will create less waste, but also save you quite a bit of money! 

Then there are lots of other options like switching to pour over, french press, or just getting a reusable filter for your drip coffee machine. 

This is a series that I'd like to continue to make. Lots of bite-sized posts so stay tuned for more easy kitchen swaps. And, before you know it you'll be upcycling your trash can into a planter!