Like many other moms, I love cooking for my family, but I hate the mess that inevitably follows. That’s why my kitchen is one of the most organized spaces in my home.
There are designated places for everything and it’s always easy to find what I’m looking for because there isn’t anything hiding on a shelf or in a cabinet waiting to surprise me when I’m not expecting it. But even with all this organization, sometimes food goes bad before I can eat it all.
This is where zero-waste kitchen essentials come into play. Here are some items that will help you reduce your food waste and keep your fridge stocked.
Reusable glass jars
I use these to store everything from leftovers to pantry staples like grains and nuts. Glass containers are great because they’re durable and airtight. This helps keep food fresh longer than it would be in plastic or aluminum containers.
If you’ve never used them before, I recommend starting with a little at a time. You can get really creative and use jars for other things like pencil holders and vases (just make sure to clean them first).
I’m not a huge fan of drinking from plastic straws, so I always have a few reusable straws on hand. I keep them in my purse for when I’m out and about, and also have a set at home. Straws are great for smoothies, juices, and cocktails.
I recommend picking up a set with different lengths and widths to accommodate all your needs, as well as a set of brush cleaner to make sure they’re always clean and ready for use.
Bamboo cooking utensils
I use bamboo spatulas, tongs, and other utensils for just about everything in the kitchen: stirring food while it’s cooking on the stove top or cooling down after I’ve taken it out of the oven, tossing salads, flipping pancakes… you name it.
Bamboo is a great alternative to plastic because not only is it durable and lightweight, but also 100% natural; making the utensils totally safe for your family’s health as well as environment-friendly.
Cotton produce bags
These are an essential for storing produce like fruits and vegetables. They can be reused and washed, so you’ll never have to deal with stinky fruits or veggies again!
I recommend keeping a variety of sizes on hand for all your produce needs, but don’t forget to wash them before putting food inside because cotton attracts dirt like nothing else.
Although I try to avoid using disposable items as much as possible, sometimes there’s just no getting around it. That’s why I always have a few cloth napkins on hand. They can be used for everything from wiping down counters to drying hands to wrapping up food to take with you on the go.
Plus, they’re really easy to wash and dry, so you can use them over and over again.
Beewax food wraps
Beewax wraps are a great alternative to plastic wrap and foil. They can be used not only for covering dishes while you’re cooking, but also as disposable containers once the food is ready.
These little wraps might take some getting used to at first if you’ve never used them before; they can get really sticky during humid weather or after being in the fridge for a while. But once you get the hang of them, they’re really easy to use and can save you a lot of waste.
A beewax wrap can be used up to six months. After that, you can compost it.
Luffa scrubber and dish soap
These are my go-to dishwashing tools. They’re made from all natural fibers, so they won’t scratch your dishes or pots and pans like many synthetic alternatives will.
You can use them for scrubbing everything in the kitchen; especially good at getting rid of sticky stuff that regular sponges just don’t cut it on (hello, bacon grease!).
I like to keep a coconut fiber dish brush on hand for tougher jobs, but the luffa scrubber is my go-to for everyday cleaning.
And there you have it! My top zero-waste kitchen essentials that I can’t live without. There are definitely other zero-waste kitchen essentials out there, but these are some of the ones that I find myself using most often.
Having these items on hand makes it easy to reduce food waste and helps keep my kitchen organized and running smoothly. Do you have any favorite zero-waste kitchen essentials? I’d love to hear about them.