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3 Must-Do DIYs for your Zero-Waste Kitchen

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There are actually better and eco-friendlier alternatives to most of our kitchen sustainability issues

Source: Jason Briscoe [7]


Did you ever stop and think for a second how much waste you make just by being in the kitchen? Or the amount of harmful chemicals are in those cleaning products you use to keep your kitchen spotless?


As I got older, I found myself being in the kitchen more often, and I started to notice the amount of tissues I use to wipe any spills or just to dry any wet surface. On top of that, I would clean the kitchen with plastic spray bottles filled with chemicals I can’t even pronounce. I was just focused on keeping my kitchen clean, I mean, who wants a filthy kitchen?!



But there are actually better and eco-friendlier alternatives to most of our kitchen sustainability issues. Here are three definite must-do kitchen DIYs:


Reusable Kitchen Wipes [1]


Rather than using tissues to clean every dirty surface or to wipe a small stain, make a jar of reusable kitchen wipes! You can use them to clean anything - tables, countertops and even spills!


Materials:

  • Old face towel or t-shirt

  • 1 airtight container

  • 1-2 cups warm or distilled water

  • 1 tbsp liquid castile soap

  • 15-20 drop of tea tree oil


Instructions:

  1. Cut up your old face towel or t-shirt into small rags.

  2. Get the airtight container and fill it up with 1-2 cups of warm or distilled water. This would depend on the container and the type of fabric you use. Remember that towels tend to absorb more than t-shirts.

  3. Stir in a tablespoon of liquid castile soap.

  4. Add 15-20 drops of tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is used due to its antibacterial properties.

  5. Place the rags inside the container.

  6. Let the rags soak in the solution and make sure they are all moist.

  7. Cover your jar and they’re ready to use.


Note: Do not store for more than a week and always make sure your jar is closed properly.


Once you’re done using the wipes, wash them with your laundry and leave them to dry. Afterwards, you can make a new jar of reusable wipes ready to use [2]! A great sustainable solution!


If you aren’t a fan of tea tree oil, other essential oils you can use include eucalyptus oil, oregano oil, or peppermint oil [3]. In fact, you can have fun with it and just experiment until you find the scent you like most!

Read Also: 4 Simple Swaps for a Zero Waste Shower

Cleaning Spray [4]


Citrus Cleaning Spray

Source: Crema Joe [8]


This is a non-toxic cleaning spray that contains ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen (in fact, the ingredients are often used for cooking). This spray can be used on any surface and keep your kitchen clean without exposing yourself to toxic chemicals.


Ingredients:

  • White vinegar

  • 2-3 citrus peels

  • Water


Materials:

  • 1 spray nozzle and bottle

  • 1 jar or wide-mouthed container


Instructions:

  1. Prepare a jar or wide-mouthed container, preferably a glass jar with a plastic lid (like an old Nutella or peanut butter container) that would not rust when exposed to vinegar for a long period of time.

  2. Remove the white pith from citrus peels until only the colorful part of the peel remains.

  3. Add them to the jar along with undiluted white vinegar.

  4. Soak in the jar for about a week or so until the vinegar has a slight citrusy scent.

  5. Prepare your spray bottle.

  6. Strain out the peels and fill the spray bottle halfway with the vinegar.

  7. Fill the rest of the spray water with water and leave the remaining vinegar (if any) in the jar in case you need to top off the spray bottle.

  8. Now it's ready to use just like any other cleaning spray!


After trying this out, you can experiment by using different ingredients that have antibacterial and cleaning properties such as other citrus fruits, eucalyptus leaves or green betel leaves to soak in vinegar and choose works best for you [5]!


Oilcloth Bowl Covers [6]


Sometimes we cook too much food….and we use cling wraps to keep them fresh, but cling wraps are not eco-friendly. Oilcloths or beeswax food wraps are a sustainable alternative to cling wraps. You can cover up your bowls and store them in the fridge without using plastic. Bonus point: They’re even reusable unlike cling wraps since you can easily wash them and then keep them in one of your kitchen drawers to be reused over again.


Materials

  • Bowls

  • Oilcloth or beeswax food wrap or laminate fabric

  • ¼ Elastic

  • Double fold bias tape

  • Small safety pin

  • Scissors

  • Needle and thread

  • Ruler

  • Measuring tape

  • A pen


Instructions

  1. Place your bowl on the inside part of the oilcloth and trace around it lightly with a pen.

  2. Using a ruler, measure 2.5cm larger than the bowl. (Tip: Make small marks every couple centimeters and then connect the dots.)

  3. Cut around this line. Take the bias tape and position it in between the two lines. This is where the elastic will go later on.

  4. Sew the bias tape onto the oilcloth, make sure to leave a space of about 5cm on one side.

  5. Measure around the top of the glass bowl where the cover will be placed. Subtract 5cm from that number and cut the elastic to that size.

  6. Use the safety pin on one end of the elastic and work the pin and elastic inside the bias tape around the cover.

  7. Once you get to the opening on the other side, sew the two sides of the elastic together.

  8. Sew the remaining section of the bias tape and you’re good to go!


Conclusion



These are three zero-waste items that you can use in your kitchen, but in reality, there’s plenty more ideas out there! Having a greener and sustainable lifestyle is all about making a switch to better alternatives. It’s not only going to be better for our planet but for you as well. So why not start your zero-waste journey with these DIYs and enjoy a greener, clean, and organized kitchen.

To see a tutorial on using soap nuts for dish soap, click here!

Sources:

[1] https://www.instagram.com/p/CCnktWenzPB/

[2] https://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/peppermint-kitchen-wipes/

[3] https://worldhealth.net/news/6-powerful-antibacterial-essential-oils/

[4] https://www.litterless.com/journal/diy-cleaning-spray

[5] https://www.litterless.com/journal/diy-homemade-zero-waste-cleaning-spray-vinegar

[6] https://sugarandcharm.com/diy-reusable-oilcloth-bowl-covers


Pictures:

[7] https://unsplash.com/photos/GliaHAJ3_5A

[8] https://unsplash.com/photos/n5qirFAe6rQ

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