13+ Steps to a Zero-Waste Kitchen
Reduce, reuse, recycle: These expert tips will help you find new ways to cut waste in the kitchen.
1. Regrow Veggies.
Strange but true: Scallions will regrow from their white ends. Just put them in a glass of water and let them get some sunlight. You can snip the green ends every few days for practically endless seasoning.
2. Say “Cheese” to Milk.
It can be hard to finish a whole gallon of milk before it expires, but don’t wait for it to curdle. Instead, set some aside and make cottage cheese.
3. Reuse Your Daily Grind.
Used coffee grounds can keep ants away. Plus, they can get rid of odors, stimulate your potted plants, and more, making them worth holding onto.
4. Put Peels Out for Pests.
Orange peels can actually be put to good use, especially if it’s summer. Insects like mosquitoes and ants will stay away if you grind them up, and they can get rid of musty smells.
5. Bake Up Bruised Fruit.
Overripe, very dark bananas make for flavorful banana bread. Instead of throwing them out, bake them into a great dessert. Reducing and recycling your food can even save you money.
6. Give Stale Snacks Some Bite.
There’s no need to toss old chips. Stale snacks can be crisped up in the microwave—just put them on a microwave-safe plate and nuke on full power for 10 seconds.
7. Crisp Up Your Crusts.
You can make leftover pizza crust crispy again, but don’t use the microwave. Instead, put your soggy slices on a skillet for 4-5 minutes on medium heat—make a rounded lid out of aluminum foil to make sure the toppings get toasty, too.
8. Cool Down with an Ice “Pop”.
Flat soda isn’t so great to drink, but it can make for a tasty treat with a little patience. Pour some in an ice cube tray, stick toothpicks in each space, and enjoy your treats after they freeze.
9. Rethink Yesterday’s Loaf.
Don’t waste old, dry bread. As long as it won’t chip a tooth, you can chop it up, sauté it with spices, and make croutons for salads or soup.
10. Liquor? Now, Thicker.
istock/ © Kamil Karpiel
You can kick up the quality of vodka with a simple water filter. It won’t completely transform what you have in the cabinet, but filtering can make less expensive brands taste better.