3 Low Waste Kitchen Products That Anyone Can Adopt
Transitioning to low waste lifestyle can be disheartening, especially as an already overworked and guilt-ridden modern parent. The way we package and purchase food has so much waste built into the system. Add picky eaters and single-income budgets to the mix, and problems feel insurmountable. But doing nothing is no longer an option. We all have to do what we can, and soon.
My kitchen will probably never be zero-waste. When I first started exploring options to lower waste in our kitchen, I tried to think of the biggest offenders. For us, they are milk jugs (my boys go through just under 2 gallons a week!), yogurt (the wasteful little cups, because Olin is 2 and lives off them), and aluminum cans (I am not a water drinker, and so I drink a LOT of sparkling water).
Solving these problems is pretty complicated. I can't afford the milk that comes in reusable glass bottles. I am wrestling with what kind of soda maker to buy since SodaStream supports the displacement and discrimination of Palestinian workers. And I don't even know where to begin with yogurt.
These problems were frustrating. So I took a breath, and decided to focus on problems I could solve. I've already written about remembering to bring reusable bags to the grocery store. Here are 3 other products I have begun using to reduce waste in my kitchen.
I LOVE Beeswax wraps. I always kind of hated plastic wrap - my clumsy fingers would always bungle either the tearing or the wrapping and I'd end up with a wasted ball. I bought these Abeego wraps on a whim on a trip to Bowen Island. And now I am hooked.
They come in pretty patterns. They make wrapping your food feel like wrapping a present. They are easy to wash, easy to store, and are made on Vancouver Island.
If you are feeling especially frugal or crafty, Beeswax wraps are a super easy DIY. Christmas is coming, and these would make great stocking stuffers!
When I was buying small amounts of produce several times a week at the local veggie market, I never put my fruit and veggies in plastic bags. I wasn't really thinking ecologically, it just seemed like an unnecessary step. We were just cooking for two and not really meal planning.
Living in the suburbs, shopping for a family at big box supermarkets, I suddenly started wrapping my produce in those plastic bags. It helped keep things sorted at check out and in the fridge at home. But it wastes SO MUCH PLASTIC. So I recently purchased these reusable mesh bags. Breccan actually loves them, and he has become my grocery store helper, picking out produce and weighing it in the bags.
My boys LOVE popsicles. Every parent needs a go-to bribe to get their kids motivated, and popsicles are one of ours. “Put your shoes away neatly, you get a Popsicle!” “Clean up toys and get a Popsicle!”
Buying reusable Popsicle molds has payed off triple. First, I can make healthy popsicles out of smoothies or yogurt, and the kids still think they are a treat. Second, we aren't making waste with the wrapping. Third, popsicles that aren't just pure sugar water can get expensive! You can get several dozen popsicles from one carton of smoothies juice for about the same price as buying 8 premade popsicles.
Making these small changes helps me feel better about the fact that I don't have solutions for the bigger problems in our kitchen. It makes me feel like I am doing my part to avoid catastrophe. And I am modelling habits for my boys, who unfortunately will be most impacted if we do not act soon to combat climate change.