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Getting Started with Zero Waste: Kitchen Essentials

Interested in getting started with the zero waste lifestyle? Here are some tips and products to help you turn your kitchen into a zero-waste safe-haven.

By Jasmine Smoot-LeyvaPublished 5 years ago 2 min read

I'm sure you've all heard of the term, "zero waste" recently. Zero waste is a lifestyle in which you do not produce any kind of trash or waste (or, at least, you try to produce as little waste as possible).

You've probably seen the video: Four Years of Trash in One Jar. This video is probably the ultimate goal for most zero wasters. So, what can you do to limit your trash output? Here are a few tips and products to get you started.

Like using straws? Check this out.

You probably never think twice about reaching for a straw at a restaurant or using a plastic cup at your favorite coffee joint, or maybe you even buy plastic straws for your own household! But studies show that one person uses 1.6 straws per day — that's enough to wrap around the Earth 2.5 times every day!

One company, FinalStraw, strives to end this cycle. They're the world's first collapsible, reusable straw — and unlike a regular stainless steel straw, the FinalStraw comes with a carrying case so you can bring your straw wherever you please (including a restaurant or your favorite coffee shop). Pre-order your FinalStraw here!

If you're someone who absolutely needs a straw for every drink, pick up a stainless steel straw! You can carry it with you and feel good about not leaving a trail of plastic straws for the Earth.

Instead of using the plastic bags provided at the grocery store, use these instead! Not only will you feel more environmentally conscious, but you might encourage others to bring their own bags as well!

Cook at home as much as possible.

I know it's difficult, but cooking at home can save you time, money, and the Earth! You probably don't realize this, but going to a restaurant is extremely wasteful. Paper napkins, coasters, straws, and even those children's coloring pages are all wasted when dining out. So skip the trip and find a nice recipe at home!

Ordering take-out also has a huge impact on the environment. Styrofoam containers, one-time use plastic silverware, and styrofoam cups are all horrible for the environment.

By bringing your own reusable grocery bags, you'll be saving 1,000 plastic bags from ending up in the ocean. Not to mention that you'll receive a discount on your groceries! It's a win-win!

Mason jars are great for anything. And I mean anything. If you have any bulk-food stores near you, bring these along! You can use them to fill up on nuts, seeds, coffee beans, peanut butter, and whatever else your local store sells in bulk. Or, you could use them to store leftovers or make smoothies! They're super versatile and very economically friendly.

Ditch the Tupperware and Plastic Wrap!

I know that "reusable" Tupperware for your leftovers doesn't seem too bad. And while you can take it to a recycling plant once it's lost its life, studies show that only 3 percent of plastics actually get recycled. That's insane!

This Bee's Wrap is an amazing alternative to plastic wrap. Not only is it reusable, but it works the same as plastic wrap and provides a seal to keep your food fresh. And it works on freshly cut fruits and veggies, too!

I hope these tips helped you and inspired you to consider ditching your everyday plastic items.


About the Creator

Jasmine Smoot-Leyva

I’m a professional photographer, filmmaker, musician, podcaster, and author based in Dallas, TX. I'm obsessed with tattoos, my two huskies, and being my own person.

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