It’s the small changes that add up to reduce your environmental impact – that’s why making small swaps to zero waste kitchen essentials is so important!
If you’re on board with reducing the impact of your household but not quite sure where to start, we’ve put together our zero waste kitchen essentials for this shortlist to help get you started.
1. Beeswax wraps
Instead of using plastic wrap or aluminium foil, switch to reusable beeswax wraps (or vegan alternatives made from soy wax). They usually are made with cotton infused in a blend of beeswax, vegetable oil, and tree resin.
They can be used for anything from sandwiches to leftover vegetables stored in the fridge and are completely compostable. They work because the heat from your hands softens the wax when you wrap your food, but the wax stays cold and solid while you’re storing the food.
2. Reusable bottle and cleaning brush
If you’re looking to reduce your environmental impact, you’re likely making the switch to a reusable water bottle to drink tap water. At least in the Netherlands, tap water is totally safe to drink, especially in Amsterdam, where it is often better quality than bottled water. In fact, Dutch tap water is the second-highest quality in Europe.
Whether plastic or metal, screw-top or squeeze, bottles that go days between cleanings can leave us gulping down germs with every drink. To ensure that your bottle stays clean and keeps its good condition for as long as possible, invest in a bottle brush that will help you wash it more efficiently.
3. Reusable baking mat
For all the baking enthusiasts, a reusable baking mat is a must-have among these zero waste kitchen essentials. Made from silicone, this mat makes all your pans and trays a non-stick surface. You don’t need to add oil, cooking sprays, or parchment paper. After its use, it is very easy to clean it – by hand or in the dishwasher.
It works great for easy and convenient baking and also as a dough rolling mat. Depending on how often you use it and how well you maintain it, it could easily last you for years.
4. Glass jars
For any food storage, glass jars are your best friend. You don’t need to spend money on jars that will look great on Instagram – you can simply reuse jars from pasta sauce, pickles or jam!
Not only can you use these to store dry foods such as chickpeas, rice, or couscous, they are also a great zero waste alternative to buy food in bulk or without packaging.
Last but not least, you can substantially reduce your environmental impact by picking up composting. When our food scraps are sent to landfill, they are buried under layers of waste. Without access to light or oxygen, they cannot decompose properly and release methane - a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Approximately 40% of landfill material is organics. By composting, you’re preventing that from happening while also getting some great natural fertilizer for your plants.
You don’t even need a garden to start composting – there are apartment-friendly solutions such as worm bins or bokashi, which anyone, no matter their living situation, can try.
We hope to have inspired you with these tips towards a more sustainable kitchen. Little by little, we can all make a difference!