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Tips on Creating a Zero Waste Kitchen

jars with foodHello fellow composters! Hope 2013 is off to a good start for all of you! I’m willing to bet my Green Cycler that many of you made a new year’s resolution to create a Zero Waste Kitchen this year. Right? How’s it been going? Are you finding it as easy as apple pie?

I love my kitchen because it’s set up to be as sustainable as humanly possible. It makes me happy every time I repurpose food scraps, recycle empty containers, and find new uses for items that might otherwise be thrown away. And maintaining this type of kitchen has become second nature to me. In my opinion, a “green” kitchen is a healthy and easy kitchen! Plus, it makes me feel great because I know I’m helping myself, my family, and the environment!

Here are some tips on how I maintain my zero waste kitchen – I hope they inspire you!

Food Scraps: I put all of my fruit and vegetables scraps into my Green Cycler. It’s hard for some people to believe that this hand-cranked machine can handle items as difficult as avocado seeds, whole apples and corn on the cob! The system shreds and converts all of my food scraps into perfectly textured pre-compost material.

Paper Towels: Are you kidding me? I would never dare use paper towels in my kitchen! I can’t even stand to see the sight of paper towel rolls for sale in the grocery store. I always think to myself, “What a waste!” The thought of how many trees are utilized to create this modern-day “convenience” makes me cringe. And once they’re used… they’re thrown in the trash?! Yuck! I always use a dish towel in the kitchen and cloth napkins during meals. Washing towels and napkins requires the use of water and soap, but this process is much healthier for the environment than creating land-fill waste.

Fruit that is Almost Too Ripe, Veggies that are Almost too Soft, Bread that is Almost too Hard: Of course you can throw your almost too ripe fruits and veggies into the Green Cycler to create pre-compost material. But before you do, make sure you try converting the items into something suitable for human consumption. Ripe bananas? Make banana bread. Left-over veggies? Make soup or stew. Hard bread? Make breadcrumbs!

Buy in Bulk: Many stores these days allow shoppers to bring their own containers and jars to fill with bulk items. But if you don’t want to lug a case full of glass jars to the supermarket, simply purchase your items in large quantities. This helps reduce the waste associated with packaging.

Learn to Can: It’s easy to can, and I’m sure you can do it if you try! Do you have a fruit tree in your yard (or know someone who does)? It’s practically a crime to let good fruit go to waste! Sure, some of the fruit growing backyard trees is going to be eaten by birds and squirrels, but the rest should be canned and eaten throughout the year.

Get a Chicken: Really! Even if you live in an urban area, chickens make great pets and they produce the best tasting eggs you can imagine. Feed them with the scraps created by your Green Cycler and you’ll be all set! It may be a little bit difficult to house an urban chicken if you live in a small apartment or condominium, but chickens have been known to thrive in areas not considered “the country.”

Ahhh… I could go on and on. There are so many tips, tricks, and ideas on how to create a zero waste kitchen. The one item that has made it all much easier for me is my Green Cycler. Just watch the video on how it works to see exactly how and why! I would love to get your feedback, so please let me know what you think! Have ideas on how to reduce kitchen waste? E-mail me and I’ll share them with you in a future post.

-Your Compost Diva

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