Eco friendly and sustainable kitchen

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Eco friendly and sustainable kitchen

Kitchens are one important area to focus on when embracing a zero waste minimalist lifestyle. Everyday, kitchens around the world contribute significantly to the overall waste stream. Food waste, plastic waste, cleaning products, and clutter are all key contributors that impact the environment, your physical and mental health and also your financial savings. Through this guide we explore small conscious choices you can make about your consumption, your environment and waste generation that can make a big rewarding impact to your life.

Getting Started

Simple tips to get started

  1. Use what you already have, don’t go throwing away your existing items.
  2. Switch to reusables: Say no to single use items like cling film, aluminium foils, straws and disposable cutlery
  3. Switch to eco-friendly: as you look at re-stocking your supplies, actively look at embracing eco-friendly products.
  4. Compost your kitchen scraps, get an indoor compost bin
  5. Educating others: as you learn more, share and encourage your friends and family


  1. Cutlery: swap out disposable or plastic cutlery for sustainable material such as silicone, metal, bamboo

    1. Metal straws / chopsticks
    2. Bamboo straws/chopsticks
    3. Coconut leaves straws
    4. Edible spoons and plates : for when you have guests or hosting a party
  2. Refillable storage for liquids : switch from plastic containers for liquid essentials such as oils, sauces and store them in eco friendly cans, bottles, jars

  3. Reusable containers: actively look to use reusable options such as:

    1. Glass jars and containers: Note, water will expand as it turns into ice so leave space in containers while storing liquids and soups.
    2. Stainless steel containers, useful as lunch boxes/tiffins
    3. Reusable silicone covers
    4. Cloth sandwich bags
    5. Beeswax wraps : swap plastic wraps for beeswax wraps that are reusable and biodegradable. Beeswax wraps are fabric, usually cotton which are coated and infused with food grade beeswax along with some natural oil or tree resin.The are breathable and allow food to stay fresh for longer. Once they are worn thin and lose their grip they can be composted.
    6. Silicone bags
    7. Silicone Pouch (for snacks & freezing)
    8. Silicone Ice cube Tray or stainless ice trays
    9. Silicone Baking Sheet/mats
    10. silicone lid covers, silicone stretch lids,
    11. Silicone collapsible funnels
    12. Silicone mats
    13. Popsicle moulds
  4. Glass Jar/ Mason Jar: use these as containers for stuff that needs freezing like portioned out meat or soups. Mason jar mugs are popular choices for serving drinks to your guests or for storing drinks for yourself

  5. Reusable Cloth: one of the easiest swaps to make. Gradually increase the use of reusable cloth in your kitchen instead of tissues, paper towels and plastic mats. You can use old clothes to make your own reusable cloth. Thrifted flannel cloths are great for napkins, rags,

  6. Cloth Bowl Cover

  7. Food huggers: use silicone made food huggers to help protect your food.

  8. Organic rope such as coconut husk rope instead of plastic ones.


  1. Plan your meals and grocery trips: Small bit of planning can go a long way to reduce the amount of waste generated and safeguard your bank balance from unnecessary spending.

  2. Reusable grocery bags:

    1. These are available in various shapes and sizes to serve various everyday needs.
    2. Canvas Tote bags, Linen bread bags are options to consider when getting a new reusable bag.
    3. Always have backup in the car for emergency shopping. Some can be folded to make it easy to carry.
  3. Bulk items:

    1. Make a financial saving and reduce packaging waste by buying bulk items which are available at a discount compared to smaller quantities. Buy large quantities such as cheese bags, once home, divide into 2 cup bags/containers and store for later when you need it.
    2. Save time and transportation costs by reducing your trips to make purchases.
    3. Look for stores that allow you to use your own containers
  4. Shop seasonal/in-season fruit and vegetables:

    1. Reduce your monthly food bills by looking out for in-season fruit and vegetables which shoppers will be offering at discounted prices. Plan out your purchases with an aim to bulk buy for additional discounts.
    2. Make long shelf products such as chutneys, jams, baking goods condiments
    3. Look at swapping seasonal vegetables for your soups, sauces
    4. Helps ensure your five a day continues on a budget
  5. Locally sourced: Help locally businesses and reduce the carbon footprint of getting the produce to your home. Most of the local businesses incorporate natural or eco-friendly processes.

  6. Reuse ziploc: Zip lock bags from fruits, vegetables, diary purchases and re-use these to carry lunch to work or school lunches. You can also use bread bags instead of ziplocks.

  7. Weekly shopping: Look out for weekly delivery fruit and veg boxes. There are companies that are committed to sustainability that will deliver to your door, use hardly any packaging or collect the packaging from you the following week.

  8. DIY recipe: Check out the possibility of making your own condiments,cleaners rather than buying commercial products that may contain harmful chemicals.


  1. Food processor: use a food processor to save time and to get help making new recipes and to help manage kitchen waste. Choose a food processor with a stainless steel bowl rather than a plastic bowl. You may be able to save money and environmental impact by opting for a second hand food processor.

  2. Dehydrator: are devices that remove moisture from food to aid in preservation. Dehydration can be used for preserving and increasing the shell life of fruits, meat and vegetables. Properly done, dehydrated food can last up to a year. If dehydrated food is kept inside a vacuum seal, then shelf life can increase considerably.

  3. Food canners: Although named canning, you can use jars for storing items. Canning is ideal for preserving seasonal food e.g. someone bought a box of giant tomatoes for $6 and made 7 large jars of tomato juice for a total cost of $10.

    1. Pressure canner: for food with pH higher than 4.6
    2. Water bath canner: for food with pH of 4.6 or less
  4. Wooden Cooking Utensils

  5. Wooden/bamboo cutting boards

  6. Pressure cooker: helps reduce cooking time and save on your energy bills.

  7. Stainless steel pots

  8. Cast iron pots and pans: Cast-iron is not only non-toxic but also lasts a lifetime if properly taken care of. Netflix documentary “The Devil We Know“ gives an insight on the products used in making non-stick pans.

  9. Boil required amount: Don’t put too much water inside the pot if you have to boil something.

  10. Steam over boil: If you can steam something instead of boiling it then always opt for steaming as it retains nutrients in the food.

  11. Learn to pickle

    1. Learn to make crunchy cucumber pickle
  12. Leave your oven open after using: Leave your oven door open after you’ve turned it off to warm up your kitchen and surrounding areas.


  1. Loose tea and tea globe infuser
  2. Reusable tea bag filters
  3. French Press (coffee). Once you are done making coffee, read our guide on how to re-use coffee waste
  4. Reusable Coffee Filter

Washing up

  1. Bar soap: instead of a liquid one. Use along with a “sponge” made of plant fibre, It lathers well and is great for pots that require soaking. Link to No Tox Life Dish Washing Block Soap

  2. Buy in bulk: if buying liquid dish soap, buy in bulk and put it in a dispenser by the sink, this will help save money and reduce the amount of plastic packaging used.

  3. Compostable scrubbers: look out for compostable dish scrubbers, plant based scrubber, and Coconut scrub pads

  4. Pre-rinsing before dishwashing: Avoid rinsing dishes before putting them in a dishwasher as pre rinsing:

    1. wastes water
    2. tricks the dishwasher sensor that dishes are clean and run shorter cycle than required.
    3. enzymes in dishwater detergents work by binding to food debris
  5. Dishwasher pods: Look for eco-friendly packaged dishwasher pods

  6. Wash fruits and vegs in a bowl: Always use a bowl when you have to clean fruits and vegetables. This allows you to use only what you need to get them cleaned. Afterwards use the water for your plants

  7. Thaw frozen food naturally: instead of submerging it in water.


  1. Use more Tupperware. You could save existing plastic food containers rather than chucking them away.
  2. Bento boxes for taking lunch/school snacks in.
  3. Single or multiple stack of Stainless Steel Tiffin (food container)
  4. Reusable sandwich wraps
  5. Mesh grocery bag
  6. Bandana for lunch or restaurant leftovers kit.
  7. Switch to milk in glass bottles
  8. Store onions in pantyhose to make them last for around 8 months
  9. Save plastic containers to grow seedlings. Check out this guide on tips to save containers destined for landfill to be used as seed-starter containers.
  10. Store carrots in a jar of water (lasts up to a month)
  11. Keep fruits and vegetables separately to make them last longer
  12. Put fruits in a bowl and place it so it is easily visible
  13. Leafy greens wrapped in damp towel
  14. Put wilted leafy greens in an ice bath to revive them
  15. Put lemon juice on sliced avocado to prevent browning

Managing waste

  1. Give nesting birds a calcium boost using leftover eggshells.
  2. Make your own broth with scraps:
    1. Follow this recepie to make an easy 1-Pot Vegetable Broth from vegetables scraps such as carrot peels, tops, greens, and onion ends.
    2. You can save your vegetable scraps in a ziploc bag in a freezer and when one or two bags full of scarps have been collected, use them to make your broth.
    3. Once made and cooled, pour them into ziploc bags and freeze them flat so you can stack the bags. Frozen vegetable broth can last between 3-6 months.
    4. When needed, break off a chunk of the frozen broth and add it to the food you are making such as soups, stews etc.
    5. Try roasting the vegetables and garlic in the oven rather than sauteing them to bring
  3. Recipe finder: Try out Super Cook website to find recipes by putting in the ingredients you have.


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Note: please check the ingredients list of any products that you may wish to try and check for allergies or consult a medical professional for any existing conditions being impacted by switching to new products.

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