This December my friend Jessica from Foxes and Food and I are doing a zero waste challenge. One of the biggest transformations has been happening in my kitchen over the past weeks. My kitchen mainly consists of glass, stainless steel and bamboo. I have been avoiding plastic while trying to reduce my waste to a minimum. If you would like to know why I am trying to reduce my waste and how you can help save the environment click here.
I have been trying to buy most of my products locally, although it was a bit of challenge at times. I also only bought things I genuinely need and will use on a regular basis. Another thing I do is re-use packaging and especially glass jars whenever possible.
Instead of tissues I use towels and cloths. My towels are made from organic cotton and bamboo fibre, I bought most of them locally from Muji. Muji has beautiful organic cotton towels and bedsheets. I also have dish cloths and a magnetic cloth from iherb. It is fairly difficult to find organic fabrics in the U.A.E. so I buy most of them abroad.
I bought three different sized glass jars they cost between 5-12AED at Ikea. They are even cheaper at many other stores, but the reason I chose Ikea is because they don’t tend to discontinue products, so I will be able to buy the same jars as needed. Abu Dhabi tends to overprice on mason jars, but if you have a look at Emirates market in other Emirates you will find them a lot cheaper.
I bought liquid chalk markers and chalk jar labels from Ace hardware so I don’t use salt instead of sugar. I first thought I’d like to use chalk labels but that would get very messy in the dishwasher, so I stuck with the chalkboard marker only and it works perfectly.
I also try to buy my sauces, legumes and corn in glass jars. I repaint the lids with charcoal paint and use them as storage jars. For the whole tutorial click here.
Instead of using cling foil I store my food in glass jars with BPA-free plastic lids and in stainless steel containers. They can both be found in the large supermarkets such as Lulu and Carrefour at very affordable prices.
My plates, bowls and cutlery are also from Ikea for the very same reason I bought the jars from there. Ikea also has beautiful bamboo, stainless steel and glass bowls. Home center has a variety of affordable acacia wood bowls. In Dubai I like to go to home box in Oasis center to buy plastic-free kitchen accessories.
My cutting boards are from Lulu, Lakeland and Carrefour, the slate plate is from Matalan.
I was not able to find any reusable straws for sale in the U.A.E. so I have started importing them and they are sold on Little Majilis. I love glass straws for my smoothies, and prefer metal straws for hot chocolate and other warm drinks.
Instead of buying tea bags I got a little tea strainer from Ikea and buy the tea leaves in bulk. Lots of different tea leaves are available at the souq inside of the World Trade center mall and most shops allow me to bring my own containers. Sometimes I also add some fresh ginger, cinnamon sticks or fresh leaves from my home-grown herbs.
Instead of a normal kettle, I have the Jena trendglas made of heat-resistant glass. I was not able to find anything similar in the U.A.E. so have brought this back from Germany.
Iron cast pans can be very expensive, I found my iron cast pans for sale at waiterose for 20 dirhams each. They are also sold at Ace, Ikea and think kitchen. I also bought stainless steel pots from Ikea and Spinneys. I prefer not to cook with aluminum or non-stick pans, as they release toxins into the food while cooking.
In the cooler season we spend a lot of time in the desert, so I got a reusable camping kit instead of using plastic plates and cutlery. They are made from 100% sustainable ingredients and sold at Ace and Spinneys.
Have a look at Foxes and Food for zero waste chrimstas gift ideas and the most delicious vegan hot chocolate.
If you have more zero waste ideas for my kitchen, please let me know in the comment section below.