waste free

your ultimate guide to a beautiful plastic free kitchen

It might seem overwhelming at first, but turning your kitchen into a plastic-free zone is easier than you think. The trick is to take it slow and swap a habit every fortnight or so. You've already got a head start seeing as there's lots of ceramics, glass, wood and steel already present in the kitchen. With a little awareness, swapping your remaining plastic items like shopping bags, cling-wrap, storage and plastic food packaging is a no brainer and super rewarding. No more overwhelming and ugly brand packaging, just beautiful jars of nourishing whole foods that make the whole experience of cooking so much more enjoyable. 

Here's what you need to replace:

grocery shopping:

Local supermarkets are filled with plastic and unnecessary packaging. Luckily, bulk whole food stores and farmers markets are growing steadily in numbers. Bulk whole food stores like The Source, also sell reusable produce bags so you don't have to go hunting for them. 

baskets and produce bags

Always keep baskets or cotton shopping bags with you. This includes produce bags for storing loose items at the supermarket like grains, flour, and spinach. Onya do some great ones at an affordable price, but if you prefer canvas or muslin, try these by Leafico. Otherwise, your local bulk foods store should sell them too, but of course online will likely be the cheaper option!

French market baskets

French market baskets

African market basket from Oxfam (Fits a surprising amount of things inside and very durable with heavy items)

African market basket from Oxfam (Fits a surprising amount of things inside and very durable with heavy items)

Produce bags (on left) for fruit, veg and grains

Produce bags (on left) for fruit, veg and grains

takeaway food

For takeaway cups of coffee, I love using my glass KeepCup, but if you don't want something as heavy as glass try these double walled stainless steel one's by Forestry Labs come with a handle and keep your coffee hot for longer. For smoothies, try Kleen Kanteen's range of larger cups and for food, try to avoid getting takeaway, but if you have to — use a storage container like this one from Cal Tiffin.

Double walled cup by Forestry Labs to keep coffee and tea warm for longer!

Double walled cup by Forestry Labs to keep coffee and tea warm for longer!

Keep Cups

Keep Cups

storage:

cling wrap

There's no need for cling wrap with so many other alternatives available that do the exact same job and these days, they're much easier to find in your local bulk foods shop for example. Biome has a huge selection of beeswax wraps in patterns and plain colours that you can buy online. They can be used 6-12 months and work just like cling wrap. Use them for sandwiches or to keep food fresh in the fridge. 

 

DIY beeswax food wraps

DIY beeswax food wraps

agreena silicon food wraps.png

food storage

Saving jars from pesto, tomato sauce, or preserves is a great and cost-effective way to store food, but if you're after something with a little more personality, check out these incredible Danish and Japanese slick storage solutions by Vincent Van Duysen and Kiyokazu Tsuda/Yoshiyuki Kato. 

 

 

Vincent Van Duysen

Vincent Van Duysen

Kiyokazu Tsuda/Yoshiyuki Kato

Kiyokazu Tsuda/Yoshiyuki Kato

Upcycled glass jars

Upcycled glass jars

food preparation:

Coffee

Nespresso coffee pods take 150-500 years to break down. They're polluting our oceans and are found washed up on remote beaches. Swap the pod machine for a beautiful ceramic filter coffee system like the one below by Yonobi Studio, an espresso machine, Moka Italian coffee pot, or a French Press. There's so many alternatives that make superior coffee to the lowly and wasteful Nespresso Machine. George Clooney we love you, but you've got some explaining to do. 

Yonobi Studio filter coffee set

Yonobi Studio filter coffee set

plastic free kitchen utensils.jpg

Salt and Pepper

These bad boys by MENU can be refilled with rock salt and peppercorns for plastic-free grinding.

salt and pepper grinder wood.jpg

cleaning

dustpan and funnel

There'll be a separate post coming up for zero-plastic/natural cleaning, but we couldn't go past this cute sweeper and funnel by Polish designer Jan Kochanski. It's innovative, sleek and made from nothing but natural materials. 

 

dustpan and broom.jpg

dish washing

For kitchen cleaning, there's plenty of alternatives including wooden scrubbing brushes, copper scourers, twine or coconut fibre scrub pads and cotton re-usable dish cloths

plastic free cleaning.jpg
kitchen sponge twine .jpg

For soap dispensers, we found these beautiful amber glass one's from Rail 19, but if you're a fiend for good design then these one's by Eva Solo or Vipp 9 you'll probably have for life. 

 

 

Vipp 9 soap dispenser for kitchen/bathroom

Vipp 9 soap dispenser for kitchen/bathroom

Evo Solo soap dispenser

Evo Solo soap dispenser

Rail 19 amber glass soap dispenser 

Rail 19 amber glass soap dispenser 

cookware

Notice how most non-stick pans only last a couple of years? If you add up the cost of that over a period of 5-10 years, it'd be a lot more expensive than the price investing in some good copper pans. Copper pans don't stick either. Sticking occurs when heat is unevenly distributed in the pan, but copper's ability to conduct heat evenly fixes this problem and rarely sticks to food. While it's a big investment (between 400-600 for a single pan), they're the kind of things that your grandchildren will pass on to theirs.

Brands like Mauviel and Falk sell the real deal, but for something a little less pricey these one's by Chasseur Escoffier aren't much more expensive than a good non-stick pan. For slow-cooking and pots, investing in one good all-rounder Le Creuset cast-iron pot will again, last a lifetime. Westinghouse also do them at about half the price tag. No more re-buying crappy pans with toxic non-stick chemicals every 2 years — just good old school cooking. 

le creuset.jpg
copper pots falk.png

the truth about plastic free shaving

Never have I ever drawn blood when shaving... until I used a safety razor. That's the plain truth of it unfortunately. You might recall your grandpa with little squares of blood dotted tissue on his freshly shaven jawline — yes, the un-rightly named 'safety' razor is the same old school gizmo he used for his morning shave. 

So why on Earth would we subject ourselves to this kind of Sweeney Todd esque contraption? Because there's a lot of upsides and once you get the hang of it, you should be able to avoid cuts... most of the time. Safety razors are great for the environment (and your wallet) because you keep them forever... but the nature of the sharp single blade with no shock absorbers can leave you with shaving cuts here and there. But don't let this discourage you, I still use mine. If you persevere with these bad boys, eventually you'll get better at it. In fact, if you read this you should technically learn from my mistakes and avoid it altogether. Here's what I learned about using a safety razor:

safety razor.jpg

1. Lather and re-lather with lots of soap to protect your skin - the razor takes the protective film of soap off, so you'll always want to have a soap bar on hand to keep applying it before going in for a closer shave. 

2. Use on a 30 degree angle — any higher and you will cut yourself. Period. 

3. Let the razor do the work. Apply little to no pressure while shaving. 

4. Throw everything you know about shaving out the window; this is a different ballgame. Standard razors come with shock absorbers, built-in soap pads and multiple razors for a closer shave and admittedly, they are easier to use — but once you've got the hang of a safety razor, it's a little bit like going from a manual to an automatic car; not as easy but people often say they feel more in control of 'at one' with it...(in saying this, I've never driven a manual car). 

5. Don't buy one in a store because they're 60-80 bucks. I got a shiny perfect one from Ebay with two boxes of spare razors for $12 and it's exactly the same as the one's you'll find in a store with a hefty price tag.

6. Don't rush — think of shaving as a new form of meditation with an added incentive. If you lose focus you'll cut yourself, so it's like a forced mindfulness practice. There ya go!