Zero Waste Kitchen Essentials: 25 Must-Have Products for a Sustainable Home

sustainable kitchen essentials

From grocery shopping to food storage, transform your house into a sustainable home with these zero-waste kitchen essentials.

Estimated Read Time: 7 minutes

For lots of people, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where morning coffee thoughts are spilled, the ’how was your day?’s happen, family recipes are shared, and holidays are celebrated.

When it comes to creating a sustainable home, it makes sense to start here.

In this guide, we’ve put together 25 zero-waste, reusable, or refillable kitchen essentials, along with the main reasons we love them. To make it easier to navigate, we’ve broken it into sections for everything including the kitchen sink.

For grocery shopping

Did you know five trillion plastic bags are produced worldwide annually? You can do your part to cut down the demand by bringing a reusable grocery bag next time you do your shopping.

1. Organic Cotton Mesh Produce Bag

Why we love it:

  • Keeps fruits and vegetables fresh longer than plastic bags
  • Biodegradable at the end of its life

2. Organic Cotton Muslin Produce Bag

Why we love it:

  • Great for leafy vegetables, squash, carrots, and more
  • Compostable at the end of its life
LEARN MORE: Beginners Guide to Going Zero Waste

For cleaning surfaces

The US has a bad paper towel habit – we spend almost as much on them as all other countries combined! It’s time to look for reusable alternatives instead.

3. Reusable Kitchen Towels

Why we love it:

  • Made from GOTS-certified organic cotton
  • They get more absorbent as you wash them
  • Can be reused for years

4. Reusable Sponge Cloths

Why we love it:

  • Holds up to ¾ cup of liquid
  • Dries quickly with no ‘damp’ sponge smell
  • Each towel easily replaces 17 rolls of paper towels

5. Biodegradable Kitchen Sponges

Why we love it:

  • Made of 100% wood pulp
  • Absorbs 10x their weight in liquid

6. Refillable Cleaner Spray

Why we love it:

  • Fresh all-natural scent
  • Works on all nonporous surfaces
  • Can be reused and refilled over and over 
LEARN MORE: Easy Spring Cleaning Guide

For storing food

America throws away nearly 60 million tons of food every year – that’s almost 40% of our entire food supply. Keep food fresh for longer with these plastic-free storage solutions and your wallet will thank you too!

7. Reusable Silicone Sandwich Bag

Why we love it:

  • Leak-free
  • Made to last a lifetime
  • Non-toxic and hypoallergenic

8. Reusable Silicone Stand-up Bags

Why we love it:

  • Stands upright, perfect for storing soups and prepping smoothies
  • Microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe

9. Beeswax Food Wraps

Why we love it:

  • Natural alternative to plastic wrap
  • Each wrap lasts for up to a year (depending on usage)
  • Can be composted
LEARN MORE: Easy Plastic-Free Food Storage Tips

For washing up

Is it just us, or does the pile of dirty dishes never end? To make the daily chore quick, clean, and green, switch to zero-waste dish brushes and soap.

10. Dish Washing Block

Why we love it:

  • Equal to 3 bottles of liquid soap
  • Made with natural cleansing agents
  • Can also be used all over the home   

11. Bamboo Long Handle Dish Brush

Why we love it:

  • Agave fiber head that’s removable, replaceable, and compostable
  • Metal wire allows it to be hung up to dry
  • Made from bamboo - a sustainable and fast-growing wood alternative

12. Bamboo Short Handle Dish Brush

Why we love it:

  • Combines the durability of Bamboo with the strength of Agave fibers
  • A multi-functional tool for every room in the house

13. Bamboo Pot Scrubber

Why we love it:

  • The rounded handle provides an easy grip
  •  Perfect for any pan including cast iron or non-stick
  • Tough plant fibers for intense scrubbing power

14. Coconut Fiber Bottle Brush

Why we love it:

  • Made from naturally anti-bacterial bamboo and coconut
  • Coconut fiber bristles provide medium-grade bristle strength
  • Hook-shape gets into the bottom of hard-to-reach bottles

15. Zero Waste Dish Brush Kit

Why we love it:

  • Includes 5 completely natural dish brushes
  •  All biodegradable and home compostable
  • Fully equipped for any kitchen stain
LEARN MORE: 5 Zero Waste Dish Soap Bars For Super Clean Dishes

For the kitchen sink

Plastic soap dispenser, plastic brush holder, plastic brushes – the kitchen sink can be a plastic mess! Luckily, we have plant-based alternatives to keep it an organized and calm zone in your sustainable home.

16. Bamboo Soap Shelf

Why we love it:

  • A perfect-size surface to extend the life of your dish brush
  • Minimalist design to keep your sink organized 

17. Foaming Mason Jar Dispenser

Why we love it:

  • Holds a full pint of foaming soap
  • Rust-free foam pump
  • Great with our hand soap paste

18. Hand Soap Paste

Why we love it:

  • Each bar can make 1 gallon of liquid soap
  • 100% plastic-free and biodegradable
  •  Available in unscented, citrus, and lavender

19. Zero Waste Dish Brush Holder

Why we love it:

  • Made from bamboo fiber and cornstarch
  • Keeps your dish brushes dry, extending their lives
  • Compostable
LEARN MORE: Stress Relieving Sustainable Kitchen Routine

For food and drink

We’ve all been there. Rushing out of the house, grabbing snacks at the store, and giving into the temptation of take-out coffee…by the time we get where we need to be, we’ve accumulated a personal pile of plastic! 

Prep your kitchen with easy-to-access snack bags and drink containers to cut down your on-the-go waste.

20. Reusable Coffee Cup

Why we love it:

  • Made from a durable, tempered soda-lime 
  • Natural cork bands made from the up-cycled waste of wine corks

21. Ceramic Bottle w/ Straw

Why we love it:

  • Ceramic lined for a better tasting beverage
  • Splash & spill resistant lid
  • Dishwasher safe lid & stainless steel straw

22. Reusable Silicone Snack Bag

Why we love it:

  • Perfect for on-the-go snacking
  • Can be used to store dog treats too

23. Reusable Utensil Set

Why we love it:

  • Includes everything you need for on-the-go eating
  • Rolls into a napkin ‘burrito’ to toss in your bag

24. Stainless Steel Straws

Why we love it:

  • Made with 100% sustainably sourced stainless steel
  • Can be easily cleaned with our agave fiber straw cleaner
LEARN MORE: Hack Your Way to a Zero Waste Kitchen

For composting scraps

Paper or cardboard make up a significant portion of landfill waste, even though it’s compostable. Chuck it in your countertop compost bin, along with food scraps, and you can help the earth instead.

25. Countertop Compost Bin

Why we love it:

  • Holds up to 1.25 gallons of compost
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Made using excess raw materials of bamboo
LEARN MORE: Composting Beginners Guide

Final thoughts: What makes a sustainable home?

At ZeroWasteStore, we aim to encourage everyone to take steps, big and small, to rethink and reduce their waste. For us, a sustainable home isn’t a perfect one. It’s one where swaps are made and ideas are shared, to cut back on household waste.

Whether you take onboard all these sustainable kitchen ideas, or you start with one or two, we hope this guide has inspired you on your zero-waste journey.

If you’ve not found what you’re looking for on this list, check out the rest of our Zero Waste Kitchen Collection, or drop us a comment with any questions!

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