zero-waste kitchen: could you live like this?

A friend of ours posted a link to this Sunset magazine video on her Facebook page this week and we’ve been thinking about it non stop. It’s a tour of a zero-impact kitchen by Béa Johnson’s (her whole house is like this but it’s the kitchen that is most inspiring). Not only is it clean, modern and and bright but every drawer and cabinet is filled with smartly-used glass jars filled with locally-grown food. I love the idea of no-impact living, but I think it’d be really hard to pull off unless you lived in the right place. My dear friend Henny tries to maintain an uber green lifestyle and is constantly pulling out re-used produce bags from her backpack when we’re in stores. I oblige when she’s with me, but on my own I only remember our grocery totes about half the time. We bring them in and then forget to put them back in the car! What about you? Could you imagine living a no-impact life? Or perhaps just having a zero-waste kitchen? Here are some tips from Béa’s Sunset feature, below:

1. Get rid of your trash can. Everything goes either into the recycling bin, or it gets turned into compost. If you can’t do one of those things with it — eat it!

2. Pillow cases work in the freezer. This Californian buys a week’s worth of baguettes, cuts them in half and freezes them in pillow cases for the week.

3. Make your own orange juice. We can do this. We have a juicer we never use!

4. No more plastic containers from the store. Bring glass jars, hit the salad bar and bulk aisles, and stock up. Granted, cashiers at Whole Foods might do this, but I can’t imagine our local grocery store pulling it off.

P.S. Béa has a blog!
P.S.S. If you feel a little insecure after watching this video, and after recently learning that French women are better moms than us, you’re not alone. Sigh.

From our partners
Anne At Large

Wait, if you can’t recycle or compost it, EAT IT? That sounds like a heck of a sweeping generalization to me. For example, I was under the impression that recyclers don’t want broken glass and lightbulbs. Does she just have better recycling facilities?

Good lord. I’m exhausted just *reading* this. Sigh.

How wonderful to see someone pulling this off! I have been wanting to have a zero-waste home, but that is hardly easy. Its nice to be inspired and encouraged by Béa’s home! I don’t have the time at the moment to get my household in zero-waste fashion, but I look forward to peeking on from time to time. Thank you for sharing!


Don’t most salad bars include the weight of the container? The glass would add an extra few dollars each time you refilled!


Before you get too overwhelmed, give yourself a goal and then take baby steps to get there. And when I say baby steps, realize that it takes years (YEARS!!!) to make such a huge lifestyle change for those of us who have lived with convenience shoved down our throat. Do what feels right at a pace and time that works for you.

Really? Lugging glass containers to the salad bar? Pillowcases in the freezer?

I enjoyed the post, but put it in my category of “I’d like to look like a supermodel.”

Ain’t gonna happen!

Being just new to paleo diet, my first step was to clean up my pantry and replaced my shopping list for locally grown food. It inspired me how I can keep my pantry clean as well just like what you have illustrated.

Regarding, zero waste at home i think it is an ideal state requiring tremendous discipline and effort. It must be ingrained in the family’s lifestyle, and yes, maybe the suggestion of taking small baby steps at a time will eventually lead us there. Meanwhile what I will do is try in every small ways to be more cautious about living green. Thanks for the post will check out the blog you mentioned and get some tips on how to live a zerowaste home.