Swapping Out: Zero Waste Kitchen

Cut down waste in your kitchen by making these easy swaps! Remember to only swap things when you’ve run out of the product or when something breaks. Use what you have until you can’t anymore before purchasing or making something new. And when you do swap, try to repurpose the old items before recycling them or sending them to the landfill!

1. Washable Cloth Rags vs. Paper Towels

DIY Here: Tutorial from Mommypotamus, or cut up some old clothing and turn into rags
Buy Here: EarthKindCreations

What to do with old item: Paper towels can be composted, so throw it in your compost bin if you have one. Otherwise they go straight to landfill.

2. Wax Wraps and Cloth Covers vs. Plastic Wrap

DIY Here: Vegan wax wrap tutorial from Inspire Create Educate, Cloth cover tutorial from Spoonflower
Buy Here: Vegan wax wrap NoTraceShop, Cloth cover TabithaEveCo.

What to do with old item: Plastic wrap normally goes to landfill, since most recycling facilities don’t accept it. However Terracycle takes them if you buy their kitchen box or zero waste box.

Personal Disclaimer: I bought a set of wax wraps but ended up not using them. They will work for some people but only if you are the type that actually uses plastic wrap often. I find that I tend to store things in glass containers, or if something is in a bowl, I just put a plate on top of it.

3. Wooden Dish Brush, Loofahs, Crochet Scrubby vs. Dish Sponge

DIY Here: Dish Scrubby tutorial from Delights Gems
Buy Here: Wood Dish Brush Wild Minimalist, Loofahs EcoBags, Crochet Dish Scrubby The Twisted Desert Comp

What to do with old item: Sponges are not recyclable, so landfill it is. I personally would not repurpose sponges since they get bacteria ridden.

4. Plant-based Bottle Brush vs. Plastic Bottle Brush

DIY Here: Tutorial from Instructables (Note: This is NOT a zero waste tutorial. I would swap the plastic sponge they use with a natural loofah like this one.)
Buy Here: 4 Piece Bottle Brush Klean Kanteen

What to do with old item: Depending on the type of bottle brush you’re using, if it is completely rigid plastic I would recycle it. If it has a sponge top, I would rip off the sponge part to throw out, and recycle the rest, whether it’s metal or plastic.

5. Glass or Stainless Steel Containers vs. Plastic Tupperware

DIY Here: If I could DIY glass or steel, I would.
Buy Here: Glass Containers OXO, Stainless Steel Containers Package Free Shop

What to do with old item: If they aren’t broken, you can use it to store other things in the house. If they are in no shape to be used, Tupperware is rigid plastic and should be recyclable everywhere.

6. French Press vs. K-Cups

DIY Here: I mean you could try, I guess?
Buy Here: Bamboo and Cork French Press Saks

What to do with old item: Some municipal recycling centers can recycle coffee pods, but not all. Check with your local area. But even if they do recycle them, make sure you take apart the pod, since they are not recyclable as a whole.

7. Silicone Bags or Cloth Bags vs Ziploc Bags

DIY Here: Tutorial from Red&Honey
Buy Here: Silicone Bags Stasher, Cloth Bags BagItConscious

What to do with old item: Ziploc bags, like plastic wrap, are not recyclable. However, Terracycle takes them. You can always wash and reuse ziplocs, I just wouldn’t use it for food. They are meant to be single use, which means after you’ve used it and washed it, the plastic starts to slowly break down and chemicals start to seep out.

8. Charcoal Filter vs. Plastic Filter

DIY Here: Tutorial from SunnySports (Totally survival mode)
Buy Here: Kishu

What to do with old item: Check with the manufacturer to see how you can recycle your filter. A few water filter companies have partnered with Terracycle to recycle their filters. Some manufacturers offer to take back the items.

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