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Hack Your Way to a Zero Waste Kitchen With These Easy Swaps

Estimated Read Time: 9 Minutes

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A thorough list of zero waste kitchen products to swap out to help you through your zero waste journey. Broken down by cleaning, food storage, dishes, and miscellaneous products.

What is the purpose of your kitchen? 

  • The epicenter of your house — someone is constantly using it, there are people running through it, it’s the source of laughter and fun conversations
  • Your happy place — it’s where you go to de-stress either by cooking, having a beverage after a long day, a place where you watch the sunrise in the morning with a cup of tea or coffee. You can always find serenity and peace in this room.
  • Just another room in the house — it’s where you store and heat up your food, throw away the trash, and it’s another room to clean. It’s nice, it’s just… there. *shrugs*. 

Maybe some of these overlap or maybe none of them apply to you, but one thing that is true in almost every kitchen — plastic. You knew that was coming. Full of single use plastic, non recyclable plastic and material, our kitchens could use a little eco-friendly makeover.

In this blog you’ll find a thorough, but not complete, list of zero waste kitchen products to help you through your zero waste journey. 

This list will be broken down into the 4 following categories: 

  • Cleaning
  • Food Storage
  • Dishes
  • Miscellaneous

Zero Waste Kitchen Products for Cleaning

Let's talk dish soap
White Soap Bar sitting on white soap dish with wood planks
Dish Washing Block

Completely biodegradable, palm-oil free, vegan and comes packaged in a compostable or recyclable box. If you prefer a liquid soap, you can slice some off the bar and dissolve it in water. Store it on a soap saver like this one to get the most use out of it. 

And what are you going to wash those dishes with?
Bamboo pot scrubber with plant fiber bristles resting on tan muslin cloth
Multi-Purpose Dish Brush

Completely free of plastic, this bamboo brush with plant fiber bristles can be used for washing dishes, cleaning vegetables, or even a quick counter wipedown. 

Biodegradable Kitchen Sponges

These sponges are made from 100% wood pulp and can hold up to 10X their weight in water. They’re completely compostable at the end of their life. 

Coconut Kitchen Scour

If you need a little extra scrubbing power, consider these scourers. Made from the waste of coconut shells and natural latex they’re great to have on hand. At the end of their life bury them underground, compost them, or put them in a food waste bin.

Loofah Scrubber

These loofahs are scrubby enough to get your dishes clean but won’t scratch your pans, plus you’ll get a nice little hand exfoliation while dishwashing. Made of 100% plant fiber, they can be buried in the yard or composted. 

Now it's time to dry the dishes
Tea Towel with black X's inside black border
Organic Dish Towel

A good drying dish towel can be hard to find. This 100% organic cotton towel is perfect to have on hand. Wash in the washer on delicate (avoid fabric softener) and at the end of its life, cut it up and toss it in the compost bin. 

Teal Towel

A tea towel is the ultimate multi-purpose kitchen item. Made with a cotton-linen blend (50/50), printed with water based dyes, these towels will naturally get softer and better over time. Each towel has a hook sewn into the top — use it for drying dishes, a fancy over the shoulder chef towel when cooking, a bread or tortilla cover, or a quick wipe down of the counter before it goes back on its hook. 

Of course the counter is all wet, gotta wipe that down
Two dry sponge clothes held up. Left image has oranges, right image has lemons
Sponge Cloth

These sponge cloths can take the place of up to 17 rolls of paper towels. Seventeen! Made of 100% wood pulp, they’re naturally antibacterial so say goodbye to that wet cloth smell. You can use it until it falls apart at which point it can be composted.

And once all that cleaning is done, better wash your hands for good measure
White hand soap bar next to cardboard box labeled hand wash sitting on a ceramic plate
Hand Soap Paste

This solid hand soap dissolves into one gallon of soap! It works with any existing soap dispenser but best in a foaming one. Dilute however much you need or add a little essential oil for a scent. Compost or recycle the box after use. 

Hand Soap Paste + Dispenser

The same solid hand soap as above but with a foaming soap dispenser if you don’t already have one! 

Zero Waste Kitchen Products for Food Storage

A bowl of cherries partially covered by a teal beeswax wrap in ocean print
Beeswax Food Wraps

Use these reusable wraps anywhere you’d use plastic wrap or cling wrap! Made with beeswax and cotton the warmth of your hand will help it take shape and form. Once it’s no longer sticking it can be composted or used as a fire starter.

Vegan Food Wraps

All the same benefits as a beeswax food wrap, without the beeswax! Made instead with soy wax, tree resin, and other oils, once finished, toss them in the compost bin! 

Stasher Bags

Stasher bags are just as good as disposable plastic storage bags, except 100x better. They’re stronger, they’re sturdier, they’re dishwasher safe, and they’re zero waste! There are countless ways you can use a stasher bag and should it get to the point where it's really not functional, Stasher will take it back to be made into a new product. 

Stainless Steel Lunchbox

This 2-tier stainless stackable steel tiffin is an excellent way to store food when you’re on the go. Use it for packing lunches and snacks, camping, traveling, and even taking home leftovers from restaurants. This box should last forever but stainless steel is recyclable. 

Ceramic Egg Tray

This egg tray is perfect if you need somewhere to keep your eggs fresh from the farmers market or are just looking for vibes for your kitchen. Handmade from ceramic clay, this tray is designed to be reused and refilled as time goes on. 

Zero Waste Kitchen — Dishes Edition 

Bamboo fork, knife, spoon, and chopstick set in a black sleeve.
Straws

This one goes without saying but reusable straws are a must-have in the kitchen. If you’re into making cute drinks, this multi-colored glass set is perfect. If that’s not really your style there’s always bamboo or stainless steel. Don’t forget the straw cleaner

Mason Jar Lids

If you already have a mason jar, make it into a travel or spill-friendly cup by adding this bamboo snap on lid. Choose your favorite straw to add to it and now you have a multi-functional mason jar.

Squishy Cups

Few things do a better job of connecting us to the earth and to other people than handmade products. Made in LA, these fun ceramic cups are the perfect drinkware for any beverage. 

Tiny Cup

Also handmade in LA by Earth + Element, these tiny cups (approx. 3 inches) are a perfect way to start your day with espresso or tea. These stackable cups will also look super cute on your shelf. 

Reusable Tumbler

We’re all guilty of collecting reusable water bottles that we’ll never actually use again. They’re free, it happens. But most of them aren’t recyclable and who knows what chemicals they’re made of. Pick a favorite insulated tumbler for all your liquid needs and commit to only that one (or two, we won’t judge)! 

Bamboo Utensil Set

This pack contains a fork, knife, spoon, and chopsticks all wrapped in a soft, compact carrier made of recycled plastic bottles. This small pack is easy to take with you so you never have to use plastic silverware again.

Miscellaneous Zero Waste Kitchen Products 

Organic coffee filter with grounds, bamboo spoon with coffee beans, and coffee cup

Last but not least no kitchen is complete without the miscellaneous items! 

Coffee Filter

These hemp-cotton filters are here to save us from single use coffee pods. They come in different sizes and just need to be rinsed after using! 

Water Filter

GOpure Pod is a portable filter that can be dropped into any container. The pod comes in a recyclable glass vial, each pod purifies 264 gallons of water, and is recyclable after use or can be returned to GOpure Pod to be repurposed. 

Bamboo Charcoal Water Filter

These bamboo filters can be added to any container and will absorb 

Produce Bags

Reusable produce bags are excellent to always have on hand. Use them for produce shopping, or use them to buy bulk products like nuts, rice, grains, etc. After shopping, you can even store the food in the bags. Mend any repairs to help them last longer but they are biodegradable at the end of their life.

Unpaper Towels

Unpaper Towels are a great alternative for literally everything. Use them the exact same way you’d use a paper towel but without the waste! This 100% cotton flannel blend will get more absorbent over time — the more you use and wash them, the better they get. 

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