Next to sharing and exploring sustainable businesses in Rotterdam we are also very eager to make our homes as sustainable as possible. Therefor we share a few of our favourite tips with you. Let’s talk about a zero waste kitchen!
Most of our trash comes from the kitchen as food packaging or food scraps. It can be overwhelming to have a zero waste kitchen in just one day but we advise everyone that take a look at your kitchen, what is the easiest you can change in a few days? Start from there and every time something has to be replaced, replace it with an eco friendly alternative. Here are some things you can change to make your kitchen less wasteful.
1. Reusable bag for groceries. Always keep one in your backpack or handbag just in case you need it for groceries or something else. Plastic bags are very harmful for the environment for wildlife as well. They can break down in microplastic causing even more damage when marine life eats the microplastic.
2. Reusable fruit and veggie bags are a great start to reduce unnecessary plastic bags at the grocery store or farmers market. These bags are strong but weight little and I can wash them with the regular wash. I always have one in my bag just in case I need them.
3. Glass jars are a great option to store bulk items in them such as pasta, rice, nuts, granola, seeds, dried fruits or leftovers. I usually buy mayonnaise, mustard or pasta saus in glass and after washing them I reuse them for storing produce in them. Perfect way to refuse and reduce plastic packaging and to reuse your materials that are already made.
4. Doing dishes can also more eco friendly. Did you know that plastic brushes can leave microplastics in the water that can end up in your food? No thank you. Wooden brushes are a great option when it comes to cleaning. They are made of wood, are 100% compostable and some of them has a replaceable head.
5. Bar of soap instead of liquid soap. A liquid soap contains around 80% water. Why would we want to buy water when it comes form the tap? A solid soap is a great alternative, our favourites are from Werfzeep which you can buy at Gimsel or Ecomondo. Or buy a Bubble Budy from Foekje Fleur with a bar of Werfzeep soep.
6. Beeswax wrap is a great swap from aluminium foil or plastic foil that keeps your food fresh. Beeswax wraps are a piece of cotton that is coated in beeswax and jojoba oil. It keeps your food fresh for a very long time and can be reused a thousand times. Just wash them off with a bit of cold water and they are good to go. How to use and make beeswax wrap? Read here.
7. French press coffee is my favourite thing to do in the morning. I buy coffee beans in bulk at Gimsel in my own reusable bags and keep them in a glass jar in the cabinet. I grind them before I put them in the French press so the aromas are fresh. The coffee ground is 100% compostable and is also good for your plants when you mix it with the soil.
8. A stainless steel container is a nice alternative for plastic ones. I still use some plastic ones that I bought a few years ago. These containers are great to store leftovers in or to bring your lunch in them to work or to school. Stainless steel also keeps your food colder for a longer time because of the material.
9. Stasher bag is the alternative for plastic zip bags. It is made of silicone and can be used as a bag for your snack, leftovers or while traveling for your cosmetics. Read more about the Stasher bag here.
10. Compost is the last thing on our list. Composting in a city can be difficult but there are some options. You can place your food scraps in a bowl and keep it in the fridge or freezer to prevent it from stinking. The compost can be brought to the Vredestuin locations in Rotterdam where they compost it for their gardens where they grow vegetables. They have multiple locations in Rotterdam, check them out here. Read more about how to compost at home here.
Good luck with turning your kitchen plastic free and let us know which zero waste alternative is your favourite so far! And don’t forget if it gets overwhelming think about what is the easiest you can change in a few days? Start from there and every time something has to be replaced, replace it with an eco friendly alternative. You can’t loose 60 kilos in a week you have to do that step by step. Think the same when switching to eco friendly alternatives as well.