Easy zero waste swaps for the kitchen that you can make quickly and simply. The world is finally starting to understand the problem of single use items. For many years we used items for their convenience and now we are beginning to pay for that convenience with the health of our planet.
Our lives are busier than they’ve ever been and yet we know that some conveniences are not healthy, for ourselves or our planet. So what can we do or use that is still convenient but is better for us than single use conveniences.
I’ve rounded up some of my favourites.
These are all from an Australian store called Biome and I’ve chosen to link to this store for a number of reasons:
- It’s Australian owned
- You can shop online even if you’re not near a Biome store
- ALL of their products are cruelty-free
- They are a Certified B Corporation, the first retailer in Australia to achieve this. This means they hold both themselves and suppliers to high standards, and together are part of a global movement of people using business as a force for good.
Many of the products listed here are available at other retailers, and if it suits you to go into a local store and buy from them, then go for it. Do what works best for you when you’re purchasing products that work best for our environment.
So here they are: The best zero waste kitchen swaps.
Swap Single Use Plastic Wraps for Reusable Wraps
Plastic wrap was discovered in the 1940s and since then it has made its way into households the world over. Plastic wrap contributes to the larger plastic pollution crisis, it’s difficult to recycle, and it’s made from potentially harmful chemicals, especially as they break down in the environment. The Australian company GLAD created its own version of plastic wrap from polyethylene which became so popular many plastic wraps are still called GLAD wrap.
Don’t want to use plastic wrap anymore?
These reusable wraps are made from cotton, two plant waxes (candelilla and non-GMO soy), tree resin and jojoba oil. No more wrapping food in plastic that you use and throwaway, saving the environment, the animals and the oceans. WRAPPA are also the ONLY reusable food wrap company in the world to have been Certified Palm Oil Free by POFCAP!
Get yours here and stop using plastic wrap.
Swap Plastic Straws for Stainless Steel or Bamboo Straws
Plastic straws are one of the most picked up items during beach clean ups. I’m sure we’ve all seen the disturbing photos of the turtle with a straw stuck up its nose. Plastic is not biodegradable. However, the material eventually breaks down into tiny particles known as microplastics which are difficult to clean or filter from the ocean.
Switching to reusable straws, or even better not using straws, is the best way to combat the problems of plastic straws. You can even purchase small bottle brushes to keep your straws clean. There are glass straws, bamboo straws, metal straws and stainless steel straws, all of which are better as they are able to be used over and over and over again.
It’s easy to say no to straws when you’re purchasing a drink, and pull out your own from your bag if you really want to use, or need, a straw.
Choose your favourite bamboo or stainless steel straw.
Swap Single Use Produce Bags for Reusable Produce Bags
You want to buy some Brussel Sprouts, or Snow Peas, or Beans but you don’t want them rolling all through the shopping basket and you don’t want to use a plastic bag (even if it is compostable, or recyclable because it’s still single use). What do you do?
Keep a bag of these with your reusable shopping bags. I have posted about these before on social media and was questioned about the weight of the bags, and do they add weight (and therefore cost) to your produce. I didn’t find them to be heavier. They are extremely light and even if they are 1 or 2 grams heavier than the plastic, I still believe the cost to the environment of the plastic bags is greater than the extra few cents on your groceries.
Try out mesh produce bags.
Swap Single Use Coffee Cups / Smoothie Cups / Drink Cups for Multi Use Cups
2.7 million coffee cups are thrown out every single day in Australia. Standard disposable coffee cups are tricky to recycle because they are made from a mix of plastic and paper which need to be recycled separately.
The KeepCup has almost become synonymous with reusable coffee cups and reusable cups are often called KeepCups even if they are a different brand. There are plenty of brands around. Keep one in your car, or on your desk at work. Many coffee shops offer discounts on using these types of cups.
Not into coffee, but like smoothies instead? You can get reusable smoothie cups as well that are insulated and will keep your smoothie icy cold for hours.
Check the one-off price of a reusable cup.
Swap Single Use Pods for Reusable Pods
In Australia alone, over 3 million coffee pods are going to landfill every single day. A single coffee, a single pod. Want a double shot? That’s 2 pods.
Many pods are recyclable but why not just buy a pod that you can use again and again at home. The added benefit is you get to choose your own coffee. Which means you can choose Fair-Trade coffee to put into your pods: win-win.
Try some reusable coffee pods.
Swap Single Use Snap Lock Bags for Reusable Zip Bags
Zip lock bags are super handy. They can be used for more than just food, and more than just in the kitchen. When travelling internationally you often need your carry-on liquids in a clear plastic bag and zip lock bags seem to be the go-to bag to put them in. But they have the same issues as all the other single use plastics. They aren’t recyclable and they break down into micro plastics which are causing havoc to our oceans and ocean-life.
These ones are non-toxic, freezable and leakproof. They are made from BPA free and food safe PEVA and come in a variety of sizes so you can use them for anything that you use the single use zip lock bags for.
Choose your size and colour of your new zip lock pouches.
Swap Single Use Sandwich Bags for Reusable Sandwich Bags
You take a sandwich to work or school and then throw away the plastic wrapping. What a waste! Not only the plastic but also the money because tomorrow you need to use another one.
Rather than using the plastic once, try these sandwich bags. They can be used for more than just sandwiches and they are so much cuter than plastic wrap.
Find your favourite sandwich bag.
Zero Waste Kitchen Swaps
There are so many swaps available now. The next struggle is the price. These swaps are all more expensive than the plastic version that is throwaway when you look at it as single use. But when you’re looking at multiple use then they are comparable and even cheaper than single use, not only for your wallet, but they are a much better investment for the health of our planet.
Did I miss something? Do you use a reusable product that I haven’t included here? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to see what other reusable products are available.