004: Top Tip Thursday Reducing Waste In The Kitchen with Mariska Nell

A lot of the waste created in our homes is generated in the kitchen. It is not only food scraps that make their way to the bin, but also package materials. 

In this episode, I will be sharing a few ways how you can reduce the amount of waste you create in the kitchen as well as a few easy steps you can do to minimize on the packaging you bring home with you. We will also look at a few swaps we can make when it comes to washing the dishes that will be great for the environment and also save us some money.  

Episode Highlights

[00:45] The majority of waste we have in the kitchens comes from the way that we shop.

[00:59] Plastic grocery bags, you can switch them out for reusable bags.

[01:23] The average family accumulates around 60 plastic bags in only four grocery trips. 30 billion plastic bags are used annually in the USA alone.

[01:50] Single-use plastic water bottles you can switch to filtered tap water.

[02:26] These single-use bottles take more than twice as much water to produce than it holds and less than 10% of these bottles are recycled.

[02:50] Studies have shown that 93% of bottled water contains double the amount of microplastics than regular tap water.

[03:37] Cling wrap or plastic food bags you can switch to a reusable beeswax wrap.

[04:26] These wraps can last months depending on the usage and you would be able to rewax them yourself.

[04:43] In the last few months, I have been able to switch out the dishwashing sponges with a loofah.

[05:06] Not only is the loofah better for the environment but it is also more economical as the price for the large loofah, that would last me months is almost the same if not cheaper than a pack of 4 sponges.

[05:23] Composting

[05:50] For me living in an apartment composting was one of the harder things to do as I had no balcony

[06:32] The Smart Cara is lovely waste disposal unit that makes it easy for me to add all the food scraps too.

[06:52] Since I started composting and have my recycling bins set up, I have been able to reduce the amount of waste that our house creates with a lot.

[07:29] but I would also recommend to evaluate your kitchen and see what items you are currently using on a regular basis that would be easy to switch. You might be using a lot of paper towels and would be able to switch them for washable cloths or tea towels.

Key Take Away

“The average family accumulates around 60 plastic bags in only four grocery trips. 30 billion plastic bags are used annually in the USA alone”

When you hear a statistic like this it really hits me hard as when we go about our daily lives, we do not realize how many single-use items we are offered in a day. This is something that I have seen while taking part in the Waste Me Not challenge. It is very easy to take free items like the plastic bag but we seldom think about where would it go after you have used it? It is simple things like this that makes us reevaluate our habits and helps us to make changes for a more sustainable life.


About the author, Mariska

Hi and welcome! My name is Mariska. I am originally from South Africa, but now call the world my home. I am an artist, designer, environmentalist, podcast host and speaker.

I started the Mama Earth Talk podcast in 2018 to share some of the things that I learned about just how easy it can be to reduce your impact on the environment. This then quickly grew into a forum that showcases the amazing things that many people are doing to make the planet better, and further into a source of hope and inspiration for many. A few of the amazing guests include Zero Waste Queen, Bea Johnson, Claude Silver, Kathryn Kellogg and zero waste chef Max La Manna.

If you do not already I urge you to follow me and my journey on social media (@designbymariska), and to refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rot your own waste using the handy tips I post!

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