Getting Started on a Plastic Free Kitchen
Tools For A Zero Waste Kitchen
Tackling your entire household's waste can be a daunting task.
Waste is everywhere but tackling one room at a time can be a productive and interesting project as you discover new ways or reducing or eliminating unnecessary waste from your home.
There is absolutely no need to rush out and buy new products if you already have ones that still function well. The most environmentally friendly way to green your kitchen routine is to use the plastic items you have, and then when they reach the end of their life, look at replacing them with plastic-free alternatives.
If you’re just starting out on your zero waste journey, the kitchen one of the easiest places to make a significant change. Read some tips below to get you on your way. Remember every step forward is still a step forward and every change makes a difference. Consider it a journey.
Instead of bringing your jars to a recycling centre when you're finished with them, start keeping them. They are extremely functional and versatile. A selection of jars in different shapes and sizes can really help you transition away from plastic food storage. They make it easy to spot leftovers in the fridge, helping you to reduce food waste, and it’s the best zero waste method for buying & storing food. You can even freeze food in glass jars. When filling the jars, leave a 3cm gap at the top to allow space for the food to expand when freezing. This greatly reduces the chances of the glass breaking in the freezer.
Bring your containers along to our Zero Waste Grocery shop in Clonmel, Thursdays to Saturdays and fill up with organic wholefoods such as rice, lentils, pasta, cereals,flour, nuts, seeds, spices etc. Click here for more info.
2. CLING FILM
Let's face it - cling film is terrible for the environment. Designed for single-use, the chemicals that give cling film its 'clinginess' cannot be easily separated, making it too complex a material to break down and reuse effectively.
Beeswax wraps are a brilliant alternative as they are flexible and self-sealing but they let your food breathe. They are also reusable and completely biodegradable. With care, they will last at least one year and after that you can just pop them in your compost bin or use as eco-friendly firelighters. Check out our range of wraps, handmade in County Cork. Otherwise you can simply use a plate or a bowl to cover your food if you need to.
3. CLOTH NAPKINS
A very simple swap. Invest in some cloth napkins that can be washed and reused and ditch the paper napkins forever!
4. KITCHEN SPONGES & BRUSHES
Many kitchen sponges contain plastic and cannot be recycled. Every time we wash with a polyester based product, micro-plastics can be released and washed down the sink, potentially ending up in our waterways and oceans. There are many plastic free alternatives - from washing up pads made from the loofah plant to biodegradable wooden dish washing brushes and pot brushes Check out the full range of plastic free cleaning & houehold items here ..
5. REUSABLE SHOPPING & FOOD STORAGE BAGS
Versatile and affordable, stocking up on reusable bags can help you take a huge leap towards a plastic-free kitchen. Check out the full range of classic string shopping bags, fruit & veg bags and bread bags here.
6. REUSABLE COFFEE FILTERS & LOOSE TEA
A morning cup of coffee is essential, very essential! A great alternative to paper filters is our organic cotton filter which makes for a better tasting coffee and creates no extra waste. Likewise brewing your own loose tea is a great way to avoid the plastic routinely found in many brands of popular tea bags. Our tea basket is a reusable tea bag alternative, perfect for brewing loose tea leaves and reducing waste.
9. SANDWICH WRAPS & POUCHES
10. WASHING UP LIQUID
You can easily avoid purchasing new plastic bottles of washing up liquid by either switching to a dish soap bar or by refilling your bottle at our zero waste shop in Clonmel. We stock a brilliant range of cleaning refill options by Tru Eco, an Irish company producing plant based cleaning and washing solutions. Check out the range here
11. FOOD PACKAGING
Last but not least is food packaging, the majority of which is single use soft plastic which cannot be recycled in Ireland. So what can you do?
- Buy loose fruit and veg whenever you can. Bring your own bags for this purpose.
- Choose glass jars or aluminium cans over plastic.
- Pop into our zero waste, refill shop in Clonmel and fill up your own containers with our range of organic wholefoods, nuts, seeds and spices as well as cleaning products and hair and body care.
I hope you enjoyed these simple zero waste tips.
Stay tuned through July as we go from room to room and explore how we can turn each room into a greener one. 💚