Zero Waste Lifestyle – Kitchen

By Helen Chaplin

Following on from my previous post, I have compiled a list of suggestions for zero waste substitutions for the kitchen. The kitchen is one of the easiest places to make substitutes, and there are lots of alternatives on the market.


Food storage


Tupperware is great for storing food. They are often freezer proof which means you don’t have to throw out any leftovers. Furthermore, you’ll need them when you go to packaging free shops.

Beeswax paper

Beeswax paper is a great substitute for cling film and foil. They are great to store sandwiches in, or can be used to cover dishes. They can be washed and reused. Once they reach the end of their life, they can be cut up and added to your compost bin.


On the go


Carry a reusable waterbottle with you wherever you go. This reduces the need to buy a disposable bottle when you are out and about. Furthermore, lots of companies are now supporting the free refills campaign which means you can get refills nearly anywhere! Download the handy Re-Fills app for a map of all the refill stations in your local town or city.  Also, look out for waterbottle re-filling stations in public places such as train stations and shopping centres.

Reusable coffee cup

Do you have a habit of buying hot drinks when you are out? You need to invest in a reusable coffee/tea cup. Popular brands include; Keepcup and Ecoffee Cup among many others. Whats more is that retailers are now offering discounts to customers who bring their own cup!


If you find yourself eating out, then carry a spork with you. This eradicates your need for disposable cutlery.

Reusable straw

Complaining about your paper McDonalds straw disintegrating in your drink? A reusable straw is the answer for you! These come in many materials including metal and bamboo.

Bags for life

Ensure you take your bags for life with you whenever you go grocery shopping. Furthermore – invest in a cloth bag that will last even longer than the plastic ones from the supermarket, and can be repaired when they wear out.

Take food from home

Plan ahead, and make food to take with you rather than buying it out. This reduces the amount of plastic packaging on the food, and also helps to reduce the food waste in your fridge.



As I previously mentioned buying food not wrapped in plastic is more challenging, but it is not impossible and below I have listed some of the changes you can make.

Fruit and vegetables

Increasingly these can be bought unwrapped in supermarkets. However, they can also be purchased at markets and fruit and veg stores. If you are lucky enough to have a packaging free shop near you, they often have a selection available.


Local butchers are a great place to buy your meat. Not only do you know it is local, but you can also buy the exact amount you require.  Furthermore, provide your own Tupperware to take it home in. Supermarkets are cottoning onto this trend and you can now buy over the counter meat in your own Tupperware. This also extends to their other counters such as fish and cheese.


Bakeries are a great place to buy fresh bread, and you can also buy it without the plastic bag!


Kitchen cleaning

Reusable clothes

These are a great substitute for kitchen paper towels, and can also be used instead of a sponge to wipe the surfaces down.

Coconut Fibre Scourers

Instead of using brillo pads, how about trying the ones made from coconut husk? Once they have reached the end of their life they can be composted.

Bamboo scrubbing brush

Using a bamboo scrubbing brush instead of a plastic one means that once the brush is worn out you can change the brush head and compost it, rather than landfilling it like the plastic alternatives.


I hope these have given you some food for thought with a few of the little changes you can make to your life. By making incremental changes it will allow you to adapt to your new lifestyle and it will soon become second nature!

In my next article I will make some suggestions for alternatives products in the bathroom.

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