Waste Less Guide: Kitchen Edition
Note: This entire blog post is shoppable at this link. Prime Day is this coming Monday, July 16 and you can get a 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime by clicking here. That means you can order this whole, waste-less kitchen set and it will ship for free! (And if you’re a student, you can also get 50% off your membership!)
I’ll spare you the statistics, since you can find them in any and every blog post on this topic, and because you already know. That plastic waste-island in the Pacific is now twice the size of Texas. Schools are being built atop our bloated and toxic landfills and making kids sick. My addiction to disposable products is literally killing my planet and its inhabitants… and yet still I find myself using paper towels and plastic bags? Why??
I know that part of the problem is that it’s just really hard to tell how much waste we’re creating. The infrastructure in the United States allows citizens to be completely removed from our trash. In an apartment building like mine, garbage just disappears into one of several giant dumpsters. If you live in a home and take the trash to the curb once weekly, you’re able to see how much you make in a week, but that’s still only measuring what you throw away while at home.
I recently made a big move, and took that as an opportunity to transition to a less-wasteful home. I’d already done the obvious: reusable shopping bags, water bottle + coffee thermos, but I found that my kitchen, in particular, made so much trash. I live on a tight budget and cook/eat almost entirely at home, so I can’t hide from the waste I’m producing, like we tend to do when dining out.
I knew it was time to make a mindful plan for my kitchen, but there are some things I’m not quite ready to let go. This Waste Less guide isn’t going to transform you into that girl who went viral a few years ago for “living totally trash-free” (and then created an outrageously expensive store from the idea...) — because the fact is, most of us don’t have the broad financial means or the flexible lifestyle to make that happen.
But the kitchen is one place we can probably all do a little better. I did all the googling so you don’t have to — here’s your easy-to-follow, Waste Less Guide for a beautiful and mindful kitchen.
Step 1 - Shopping
Step 2 - Cleaning
Step 3 - Eating
Step 4 - Storage
Don’t beat yourself up when you forget and mess up — you don’t have to be perfect, but each day you do remember, you do a little more good. Try the yogic practice of detachment (Aparigraha), choosing not to stress about the waste you do create, and instead focus on the changes you can make to do good.
Remember that it’s literally impossible to be perfect in this practice of wasting less. Our government does a bad job regulating what businesses can waste, and we only have the options available to us, in our immediate circumstances. You need to eat, and you want to live a beautiful and mindful life. So make the changes you can make, right now, and let go of the result. Remain conscious and reflective. Re-evaluate when you need to. You’re doing just fine, I promise.
Meanwhile, if you want to do more, check out the Plastic Pollution Coalition for more actions — donate, sign a petition, call your senator, and go on + invest in the mesh bags and metal straws. Everyone’s doing it. ;)