Kitchen

Swaps

Here's a list of ideas for your zero waste / sustainable journey. I hope this helps! As a preface:

Aluminum foil (for cooking)
  • Use a silicone mat.
  • Lightly coat the baking pan with oil.
  • If needed for covering a dish while baking, you can try layering a baking tray on top.
  • Use aluminum foil, then wash it, dry it, and reuse it several more times.
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Aluminum foil (for storing)
  • Cover dish with a plate turned upside down.
  • Keep leftovers in the cooking pot, in the fridge.
  • Cover dish with unbleached parchment paper (compostable).
  • Cover with reusable and compostable wax wraps. Find them on Etsy
  • Use a container with a reusable lid. There are glass dishes with plastic lids, stainless steel tiffins, and retro 1950s glass dishes with glass lids.
  • Put it in a mason jar or repurposed jar that used to hold marinara, pickles, etc.
  • Use a silicone bag. Stasher bags
  • Wrap a burrito in a tea towel. We can't do this in my house because everything is covered in cat hair.
  • If aluminum foil is needed, you can clean it, dry it, and reuse it again later. You can also keep balling it up until it becomes at least 2 inches wide and then toss it into your recycling bin.
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BBQ scrubber
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BBQ tongs
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Cupcake / Muffin Liners
  • Use silicone liners.
  • Lightly coat the muffin pan with oil.
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Dish liquid

Often sold in plastic bottles.

  • Look for bulk dish liquid in your area. Bulk Biokleen Dish Liquid at Fillgood
  • Use castile soap diluted with water. 1 cup of water + 2 tablespoons of castile soap + 1/2 tablespoon of baking soda + essential oils (optional for fragrance)
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Dishwasher detergent
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Food storage
  • Use glass jars with a screwable lid, such as Mason jars.
  • Repurpose jars, such as ones used for marinara, pickles, olives, etc.
  • Stainless steel tiffins
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Freezer bags

Often made of plastic.

  • Use a glass jar. If it's liquid, be sure to not fill it up to the top; leave an inch or two of space at the top since liquid expands as it freezes. Not leaving enough space will make the jar crack.
  • Use a silicone bag. Stasher bags
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K-cup
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Oven
  • When you're done baking, open your oven door to warm up the house. This is great in the wintertime!
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Paper lunch bag

- Use a reusable container, tiffin, or washable cloth lunch box.

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Paper napkins
  • Use reusable cloth napkins.
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Parchment paper
  • Consider if you really need to use it. Is a recipe telling you to use it just to make cleanup easy? Perhaps you can coat the pan in oil for cooking and soak it in water when cleaning.
  • Parchment paper is compostable though, so don't sweat it if you need it!
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Plastic water filter
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Plastic wrap
  • Cover dish with a plate turned upside down.
  • Keep leftovers in the cooking pot, in the fridge.
  • Cover with a tea towel.
  • Cover dish with unbleached parchment paper (compostable).
  • Cover with reusable and compostable wax wraps
  • Use a container with a reusable lid. There are glass dishes with plastic lids, stainless steel tiffins, and retro 1950s glass dishes with glass lids.
  • Put it in a mason jar or repurposed jar that used to hold marinara, pickles, etc.
  • Use a silicone bag. Stasher bags
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Skewers

Often made of wood and sold in plastic bags, these are oriented for single-use.

  • Use durable, stainless steel skewers.
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Slotted spoon

Often made of plastic.

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Snack bags

Plastic snack bags, such as Ziplocs are typically only used once and then disposed in the landfill. Never throw them in the plastic recycling. If you have access to plastic film recycling, they can be disposed of there (but keep in mind, this is not a sustainable system to support wholeheartedly).

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Spoon (for cooking)

Often made of plastic.

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Teflon pans

Many non-stick pans are coated with Teflon which is harmful for our health (see the movie The Devil We Know).

  • Opt for stainless steel or cast iron.
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Turner / Flipper

Often made of plastic.

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Wax Paper
  • Consider if you really need to use it. Sometimes, it's easy enough to disinfect the kitchen countertop and knead bread directly on the countertop.
  • Wax paper is compostable though, so don't sweat it if you need it!
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