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My Zero Waste Kitchen

Zero Waste Kitchen

Last Updated on January 23, 2024

I love my little kitchen. It’s small, but it works for me. I would love a huge, bright, beautiful Pinterest kitchen, but this one is perfect none the less.

This is where I store most of my dry goods. Pasta, nuts, legumes, sugar, granola, chocolate, cookie jars, popcorn, potatoes, onions, and garlic.

The kitchen doesn’t have a pantry. Justin built this one for me. I’m a little afraid of earthquakes taking it all out, but you can see the liner below the jars.

I’ve had that liner since my freshman year of college: I have no idea how it made it out to California, but I’m sure glad it did!

I’m working on zero waste yogurt, but I have not perfected it. I caved and bought some goat yogurt. Everything else is zero waste.

We’re enjoying the last of the summer bounty. People ask me what I eat all the time. So, here’s an outline of a regular week.

Breakfast: Yogurt, Granola, Fruit Smoothies, Toast, and Muffins

Justin Lunch: Chicken Caesar Salad, Chicken Sandwich, and Turkey Sandwich

Kathryn Lunch: Asian Salad, Veggie Sandwich, and Falafel Sandwich

Snacks: Plums, Watermelon, Grapes, Popcorn

Dinners: Falafel and Greek Salad with Yogurt Sauce, Roasted Pepper Soup and Baked Potatoes, Pesto Pasta, Margarita Pizza, Pepper & Onion Quesadillas, and Roasted Corn, Chicken, and Tomato and Basil salad.

Dessert: Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

I still have quite a few appliances. I’m trying to weed some out.

  • Toaster
  • Microwave
  • Blendtec
  • KitchenAid Mixer
  • Waffle Maker (Justin’s favorite)
  • Crockpot
  • 2 Le Creuset Pots & 2 Cast Iron Skillets

The Things I’m Considering Donating:

  • Coffee Maker
  • Food Processor
  • Fondue Pot
  • Margartiaville

I also get asked a lot how much time I spend in the kitchen. I spend about 15 minutes putting together breakfast and lunch.

Dinner takes around 30 – 45 minutes depending on what I’m making. On average I spend around an hour a day. I have always cooked from scratch, so this isn’t much different than PZW.

Grocery shopping takes around an hour and a half throughout the week. It takes longer than it used to. I used to shop once a month at Costco. I’m at the farmers market about 30 minutes.

The butcher and the baker are on the same street and it takes about 40 minutes. If I have to go to the bulk store in town, it’s another 30 minutes.

If I need to get something special, and I have to leave town it will take an hour or two, but we typically couple it with a fun excursion. But, I think the benefits far outweigh the negatives.

We’re eating so much cleaner and healthier. I feel energized after eating, and feel good for cutting out most animal products. Animal products are among the top contributors to greenhouse gasses, drought, and heart disease.

How do you like my teeny zero waste kitchen? What do you think about those excess kitchen appliances?

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  1. Hi Kathryn! Absolutely love your blog! All of your posts are super informative and cost efficient. As a prospective zero-waster who loves organization, I would love to know how you created the tare weight labels on your jars.

    Thanks a bunch!

    1. Thank you so much Micah! That is exactly what I’m trying to accomplish – perfect compliment. I am so glad that information is translating. šŸ™‚

      I have an unfair advantage of working at a green print shop. I did it when I was first starting the journey. So far, they’ve held up for almost a year of washing. The backing is plastic which SUCKS. But, if I find the pros out weighs the cons I might offer them on the site. It has made it LOADS easier on cashiers.

      1. This post really inspired my bulk shopping. I use fabric drawstring bags with the tare printed or sharpied on, and transfer to glass containers at home. Convenient and not too heavy šŸ™‚

        To combat the plastic labels, I actually used wax pencils and oil pastels on my glass containers. I used attractive lettering and it gives a coffee-shop feel. Plus, (with some elbow grease) the letters wash off and I can swap what’s inside.

  2. I love your little kitchen! That shelving unit is so perfect for displaying all the mason jars – although I would be afraid of an earthquake too haha! My boyfriend and I moved into our apartment about 2 months ago and we’re still surviving without a microwave, but the crockpot is a lifesaver.

    1. Nice!!! I would love to try life without a microwave. My roommates would kill me, haha. They already want to make a vlog called living with a zero waster where they rant about me. I’m sure she donated the microwave would be a great episode. I would love to have completely clean counters!!! šŸ™‚

  3. Wow! Love the way your kitchen looks like! I’m trying to minimize my family’s food waste and to to teach my children that discarding food is no good. Food waste is a big problem. I’m raised in a family which never discarded food. Each crumb has been eaten, or given to the domestic animals or composted. The same way I’m teaching my kids and they enjoy feeding our chickens and filling the compost bin.We are trying to waste less and recycle more. Greets!

  4. What did you do with all the stuff that you used to own that was in plastic? I don’t know what to do with all my plastic containers for example..what is the best way of gradually changing things? :))

    1. I used to have plastic Tupperware. I started sending people home with leftovers in them or packed treats in them. All the people I sent them with, used/wanted more Tupperware. You can also donate them if they’re in good condition. But, some plastic things you may just need to purge. Just make better choices in the future! šŸ™‚

  5. I’m struggling with the idea of a microwave. I’ve grown up without one (now my parents have one, though). I’m moving soon and very excited about "starting fresh" which is perfect timing to start going zero waste! I don’t want to have a microwave in the house, more for the health reasons behind the use of microwaves. My boyfriend says "what will we use to quickly heat/reheat something up?" and my first answer was "the oven" although recently I learned how much more energy ovens really do use and it is recommended to use microwaves/toaster ovens to quickly heat/reheat instead of your oven. What are your thoughts on this? It’s a little off topic from the Zero Waste theme but I saw you mentioned your microwave and just wondering what you think about it!

    1. I use the stove top. We moved the stove from this house into our cottage property, and got a new stove with 5 burners. The middle burner is a griddle. It’s perfect for reheating! Also, the stove top will boil water in two minutes. It’s crazy easy to steam food to reheat as well. I’m actually down to five kitchen appliances. Crockpot, food processor, mixer, blender, waffle iron.

  6. Hey there Kathryn, I love your zero waste kitchen!

    I am moving to England soon for two years and it will be the first time that I am living by myself. I have no idea how to shop for one person and always over purchase food even now when I shop for two people. Do you have any advice on how much to buy?

    Kind Regards, Hope šŸ™‚

  7. Over the last year I almost converted to steel and glass containers. My tupperwares and othe good quality plastic containers are kids toy storage now šŸ™‚ I store veggies in cloth bags now

  8. Wow! Your kitchen is bigger than mine! I wouldn’t call that tiny! I love the little "pantry"! I wish I had that! I have to use my second bedroom closet for my large bulk purchases…

  9. Hi, just came upon your site this morning and I love it so far. Im starting to go zero waste. So im wondering how you get things from the butcher and Baker?

  10. Did you know that the number 1 cause of climate change is because of the meat and diary industry? You can make a really big difference by eating a plant based diet.
    I’m vegan sice two months, first for the animals, but after some research found out about the big impact of the meat and diary industry on climate change.
    Now I try to do even more like not use plastic, its hard and I love blogs like yours for tips.
    Thank you for the great articles.

  11. We love our tiny kitchen too! We only have what we use and we use EVERYTHING!! I think your appliance list is good, especially if you use them. We have a toaster, microwave, ninja, and mixer. We were looking at expanding out kitchen and I realized if we did that it would be to have more space to move around the kitchen and dinning, and more efficient use of the kitchen, not bigger!!