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I am not zero waste, not even close. I am always striving to reduce my trash though. Over the past few years, I have slowly begun trading my trash for more reusable, environmentally sustainable options. I personally think that reducing waste in the kitchen is one of the easiest ways to cut down on waste. Cutting down on packaging waste is an obvious way that you could cut down on how much you throw away, but I also want to share some easy zero waste kitchen swaps.
Reusable Silicone Bags
This is probably my favorite zero waste swap that I have discovered so far. I used to go through Ziploc bags like crazy. If I only ate half an avocado, the other half would go in a Ziploc bag. If I needed to bring a snack on the go with me, it would go in a Ziploc bag. I’m not the only one either. Did you know that the average American family uses 500 Ziploc bags every year?
I started trying to reuse plastic bags when I started becoming more conscious of the waste I was producing. The bags would become gross after some time and would need to be thrown out. Then I discovered reusable silicone bags and I haven’t looked back since!
Silicone bags work the same as Ziploc bags except they are reusable, better for the environment, cheaper over the long run, and don’t contain latex, petroleum, or PVC like Ziploc bags.
Silicone Baking Mat
I try not to cook with oil very often, which means that I need to use something to prevent my food from sticking to the pan. I used to have to buy a roll of parchment paper every couple of weeks because I went through it so quickly. About a year and a half ago I discovered silicone baking mats, and I fell in love!
Reusable Baking Cups
I don’t bake muffins or cupcakes very often, so disposable baking cups weren’t a huge source of waste for me. I know other people that do bake more often would benefit from investing in reusable baking cups. Even if you are like me and don’t bake often, it is still nice to avoid waste where you can. Also, my favorite part of these reusable baking cups is that glide right off of the muffin/cupcake.
Reusable Bamboo Towels
Confession: I used to be an obsessive paper towel user. I would go through one roll of paper towels every few days because I used them for virtually everything. Buying reusable bamboo towels has been such a game-changer for me because they have allowed me to significantly cut down on my waste. Paper towels may not harm the environment as much as plastic sandwich bags, but waste is waste. Bamboo towels can be washed and used over and over again.
Okay, so you might not be able to get rid of your trash can completely, but you can significantly cut down on your waste by getting a compost bin. I didn’t think that there was a way that I could ever compost when I first became interested in zero waste. I live in an apartment without any room to grow a garden. There was no way that I would be willing to get a worm compost bin (that seriously freaks me out), and I didn’t think that there were any commercial compost facilities that existed in my area.
After a quick Google search, I discovered that there was a compost pick-up service in my area that I didn’t even know about! If you do some research you might discover that there is one in your area as well that you didn’t know existed. If not, try composting at home and using it in a garden. This is what I plan on doing once I move into my own house someday with a backyard.
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I hope that you found these 5 zero waste kitchen swaps helpful. Which one are you going to try?
Note: The first four items I purchased off of Amazon. It will be more environmentally friendly if you can find some of these items locally. Use Amazon as a last resort.