Moving Toward Zero Waste… In the Kitchen

Paper Towels

Paper towels are a great place to start! Most folks already have kitchen dish rags and hand towels; they just don’t always use them. To ease yourself and your family off the paper towel habit, put them in the pantry on a high shelf or in another room. That way, you’ll have to think twice before grabbing for one, and can use a cloth towels instead!

Paper Napkins

Replace paper napkins with cloth napkins and give your dinners a touch of class! Cut down on the wash by assigning each person in your family a napkin ring and make them responsible for swapping out their napkin for a clean one when it is soiled. If you have room, place a hamper in the pantry for soiled linens.

Food Waste

Did you know you can cut your trash by up to 25% just by diverting food waste to the compost? Start composting food waste in your own backyard! If you live in an apartment or condo, or or are just not keen on caring for a compost pile, look for compost services that pick up your compost for a small fee.

Plastic Bags

Your grandparents lived without plastic bags, and so can you! Ziplock bags, cling wrap and freezer bags are replaceable with a myriad of reusable products, and are simply no longer necessary. Reusable containers and beeswax wraps are a great place to start. Keep that plastic out of the landfill!

Cleaning Products & Supplies

Replace cleaning products with refillable ones, or make your own! By doing this, you can cut back drastically on the number of products you buy.  Most cleaning can be done with natural products like white vinegar and lemon juice. Replace cleaning supplies with compostable ones or environmentally friendlier options. Norwex has a line of cleaning cloths that get rid of germs with only water. Be sure to ask your consultant for zero waste packaging! 


You will see drastic decreases in your landfill contributions when you begin to change the way to grocery shop. Ease in by bringing reusable produce bags with you to the grocery store, or just throw the produce in your cart – you’ll wash them once you’re home anyway! You can also findproduce without stickers, twist ties or tags at your local farmers market. Or, join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program for local fresh produce while supporting your community farmers! Most deliver right to your door and have very little packaging. To dive deeper into zero waste grocery shopping see our TZW Grocery Guide, coming soon.

Have another way to reduce waste in the kitchen? Let us know!