Easy Swaps to Zero Waste Alternative Products

    At the start of my Zero Waste Journey, I took a deep dive into all of my daily activities to see where I was producing the most waste. 

    It was the Kitchen. 

    Not only was a lot of waste created by the items I was buying at the grocery store, but also the way I was using and storing some of the items. 

    So I immediately began to look for alternatives.  

    Some Easy Swaps

    School snacks. I had always been putting them in my daughter’s lunch box in a tiny plastic bag. Whether it was a handful of crackers, or some black olives that she likes to stick on the ends of her fingers, I would automatically just grab one of those small, single-use bags. 

    I swapped it out for a hard plastic container that easily fits in her lunch box and can be washed and used over and over again. Easy.

    Avocados are a favorite in our household. But I often only use half of the avocado at a time. Again, I would automatically reach for a plastic bag, or plastic wrap to seal up that other half to keep it fresh (with a little lemon juice to keep it from browning).

    But I discovered these adorable Food Huggers, made from silicone. They are flexible and easy to clean for reuse, and actually look like they are hugging the leftover avocado halves. 

    Plastic Wrap- I use a lot of plastic wrap in my kitchen, but I have discovered several alternatives that reduce waste.

    Beeswax wraps are made from wax that warms in your hands to better form a seal around your food or bowls in the kitchen.

    I have also made better use of the plastic containers that I already had piled up in my cabinets, from old tupperware parties, or takeout chinese food. 

    Produce Bags- My family and I love fresh fruit and vegetables. But the only way to get them home from the grocery store are in single use plastic bags. In a quick search I discovered Reusable Mesh Produce Bags that I now bring along with me to the store each week along with my usual reusable grocery bags that I was already using.

    Aluminum Foil- Although Aluminum Foil is recyclable, when clean. A lot of it still ends up in the trash. Some aluminum foil use can be replaced the same way as the plastic wrap, with Beeswax wraps. But the beeswax will only work when covering and storing food, not cooking food. 

    So, at times when I would normally use aluminum foil to cook on, I now use silicone mats or parchment paper. 

    Cost Savings

    As you may have noticed, some of these items that I have swapped out for a lesser waste option, cost more than the wasteful items I was originally using. 

    Keep in mind that the low waste options are reusable, and with proper cleaning will outlast multiple boxes of plastic bags, and many, many rolls of plastic wrap and aluminum foil. So, a little extra expense now will not only end up saving you money in the long run, but helping to save the environment too.

    All of these swaps were easy to make, but have made a tremendous difference in the amount of waste that is produced in my kitchen.

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