Make reducing waste and packaging in your kitchen effortless with these simple but effective solutions. If you’re hoping to go waste-free in your kitchen, it makes sense to plan ahead. By designing the right storage, you can make it easier to stick to those good intentions.
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Tackle the tubs
To keep food fresh, a set of containers is essential. However, many of us forget to plan storage for them and find ourselves shoving them into a spare section of drawer or cupboard. Avoid that annoying search for a matching tub and lid by allocating a cabinet for food containers. Here, a pull-out shelving unit by Main Street Kitchens at Botellos has been dedicated to super-organised storage. A pan drawer could work equally well, or a cupboard with vertical dividers.
Create a compost zone
Many local councils provide food waste boxes for homeowners, but if you’re designing a new kitchen, you could try an even more efficient system. Assign a pull-out waste bin as your compost collector and position your food preparation area above it. Here, Space Craft Joinery has designed a pull-out cabinet beneath the cooking area, so food can easily be scraped into the food bin. To see more from any of the designers whose photos are featured in this article, click on the image, then on Learn More if you’re in the app, and follow the links to the professional’s profile. For an even niftier solution, this chopping board, designed by Amazing Spaces, has a hole built into it for scraping food waste straight into the bin below.
Keep your veggies fresh
Unpackaged produce requires storage that will keep it fresh, so make sure you’ve planned this into your kitchen layout. This could be as simple as designating a spot for vegetable boxes or baskets. In this kitchen, designed by Amberth, a pantry area has room for produce crates, but you could also allocate space beneath an island or on a wall shelf above the worktop. If you’re going for a bespoke design or have a carpenter on hand, consider planning in a couple of cabinets with ventilation holes to let the vegetables breathe. Here, Sustainable Kitchens has cut slots into the cupboard doors in the island.
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Grow your own
Avoid buying plastic sachets of herbs and grow your own instead. If you don’t have space on your worktops or windowsills to store plant pots, try this clever idea in a kitchen designed by Portico Design Group. Three reclaimed timber boards provide wall mounts for jars of growing herbs. The owners can cut and come again easily without venturing out to the shops.
Make space for jars
If you’re planning to buy package-free dry goods, you’ll need a place to store them. Lock-tight jars are ideal for decanting food items such as pasta, pulses, and sugar, but make sure they’re easy to access and not stacked on top of each other. The drawer in this kitchen designed by Roundhouse is ideal, as the jars can easily be taken out without knocking each other over. You could also label the lids, so you can see at a glance what’s inside. Alternatively, install a few shelves to display the jars. This will ensure you can grab them easily and makes an attractive feature in the room. In this scheme designed by Honest Kitchens, the shelves were made from offcuts from the cabinets. The shallow surfaces allow for only one row of jars, so there’s no danger of knocking any over while finding one from the back.
You’ll be keen to recycle any waste you do have in your package-free kitchen, so organised bin storage is vital. Consider making room for a few containers, so you can sort your recycling easily. Here, the bins are split into sections, with space for waste such as paper, plastic, tins, and glass. Make sure you position them where they’ll be easy to use – near the sink is perfect.
Buy in bulk
It pays to shop ahead if you want to decrease your kitchen waste. Buy large quantities of dry goods and household cleaning products rather than smaller, packaged items. This works best if you have space to put your bulky purchases, so plan in an overflow storage zone. This could be a spare tall cabinet in your kitchen, but if you’ve run out of the room, look elsewhere instead. In this open-plan scheme designed by ALL & NXTHING, the understairs cupboard has been turned into a pantry, with shelves for storing bulky goods and jars.