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Sustainable Kitchen Part 2 – Reduce The Amount Of Waste Reuse Your Containers Recycle Properly

Written by: Megan Thiessen, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Megan Thiessen

How to reduce kitchen waste. Cost-effective sustainable kitchen hacks. To help you learn how to reduce your kitchen waste, Reuse your items. And recycle accurately.

photo of bar soap on table

Dish Bar Soap → The blocks range from 30.00 to 50.00 dollars. We USE to use them. It lasted for around three to four months. Yes, it's a long-lasting block. That’s very appealing to the bank account. There is no extra packaging. Just a big block of soap. The problem we found was. It didn’t cut the grease on the pots and pans as you needed. Even with a soap catcher for it to sit on. The soap block got quite goopy. Turning into half liquid half solid. Spending 30.00 or more. Was no longer a sustainable kitchen hack for us. So we took it off our list. We went back to our regular Castile eco-friendly dish soap made from a generic brand that we get for 10.00 dollars at the grocery store.

Dish Glove → Our family's first apartment. Was the first time I had a dishwasher, since I was 20 years old. It’s been a good 10 years without having a dishwasher. I loved not having one. Not only does it save water. It gets you to be more proactive in your kitchen chores. ( we are now back to not having a dishwasher at our new home in the country). I’ve used nearly all kinds of dish scrubbers. And I have found that our dish gloves for 3.00 at Dollarama. Has been the bee's knees. Yes, it's some quite gross plastic rubber. Most likely. But! Not only was it 3.00. It's washable. Both our hands fit. And it gets our dishes clean. We still use a scrub pad for the tough grime. Sometimes Simple plastic does have a place in our home.

Non-stick pans

Non-stick pans / Learn how to cook → These can get expensive. My husband is quite the cook. So our kitchen tools are on his end. I’m happy with a dollar-store frying pan. He will walk up and down the cookware aisle reading every box. But his love for cooking has saved us money in lots of areas. Non-stick pans will help you save on dish soap and keep your pans lasting longer. Learning how to cook will naturally grow your independence and your confidence. I knew how to cook before we met. He refines the cooking. He turns a grilled cheese into a panini with a homemade caramel latte. You don't have to know a lot. Online classes have come a long way. You can find many free cooking classes and live workshops in all areas of cooking.

photo of swiffer

Swiffer Wet Jet → This is an old classic. I remember seeing these in commercials and thinking that only the “cool people” have them. Mainly because my parents were still using “nothing like a good elbow grease” and would wash the floors often by hand. We did eventually upgrade to a mop and bucket. I got one with the reusable mop. I just take it off and wash and dry it. The reusable cleaner pod is refilled with my handmade floor cleaner. And I was lucky to find the whole thing for $40.00

Try my natural floor cleaner:

  • Lemon - essential oil or lemon peels if you choose lemon peels. Boil them in hot water first, and allow them to cool before using

  • Pine - I use harvested pine from my trees, and boil them with my lemon peels and often orange peels. You can also find pine in essential oil

  • Vinegar - We use Allen's vinegar. It has a blue label, and we don't cool with it. Use it only for cleaning

These are the basics but you can always add a little castle soap. Other oils you could use. Eucalyptus, Lavender, Grapefruit, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Orange.



Okay let's hit that I don't know bin


Glass jars → We reuse as many of these as we can. Some jars are simply hopeless to save. The size/style of the jar can play a big part in cleaning it properly for reuse.

How to properly recycle glass:

  1. Take it to your local recycling center. Use a box to help eliminate braking lass

  2. Wash well and donate them to your local second-hand store

  3. Wash & use as you need


How to reuse You can use glass jars for nearly everything. Here are some of our favorite ways

  1. Flower vases

  2. Food containers

  3. Potting plants ( my husband doesn't love this one but I don't mind it in a hot pinch succulents look cute in small mason jars)

  4. Herbal care & Body products

  5. Glass jars for drinking


Glass jar with dried fruits

Garden hose → You shouldn't be going through these bad boys too often. Sometimes it does help to pay a little extra for better material. Basic regular watering. Then you should be able to get 5+ years with a standard Canadian tier or even dollar store hose. Standard wear and tear will happen. Leaving it out in the sun all day will damage the material. Not unwinding kinks & knots will eventually create tears and holes.

Man holding garden hose

How to reuse You can get crafty with it. Use super glue or wire to make a circle. Turn it into a DIY planter. Or try your hand at your DIY poll. By adding a tarp. You can get floating plants and add fish.

Source out the proper fish before you explore that idea! If you have some ducks. It becomes a little oasis for them.

Coat hangers → You can't recycle these. If you get a surplus of them the best thing you can do is to donate them to the second-hand shop. We like to use them for drying out herbs and flowers. You can also take the wire hangers and turn them into hot dog roasters. Turn them into picture hangers or your weekly to-do list hanger. If you need to buy some. Try to get the wooden ones. They do cost more but at least it's not plastic. Less likely to break. The second-hand stores often give them away too.


clothes hanger

Dish soap bottles → This one is tricky. Most plastic you can recycle. But there are simple plastics / one-use plastics that are NOT recyclable. If you can do it. Your best bet is to look for that little triangle sign on the bottle. That will tell you if it is recyclable or not. You might be paying a little more but at least you can recycle it. This doesn't always happen. Even for us, we try to save where we can so we try our best to make sure we get eco-friendly dish soap even if that means tossing out the dosh soap bottle. You can also buy in bulk and refill your bottles. Many refill shops are opening up where you can take your empty in and refill them with your desired product. This a fabulous way to keep green.

recylcle logo

Enjoyed this read? Check out Sustainable Kitchen Part 1. For more information on our herbal sustainable lifestyle. Follow our herbal farm account on Instagram. @tinfamilygrows. Find our herbal care products on our website. Stay tuned for more educational sustainable reads.


Megan Thiessen is a renaissance woman. She works in Wellness, Self Development & farming. Living on a sustainable herbal farm with her husband and son, Megan always chooses a more self-sustained lifestyle for her and her family. She strives to educate and empower others to seek a more purpose-filled life. Email for more educational information.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and visit my website for more info!

Megan Thiessen Brainz Magazine

Megan Thiessen, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Megan Thiessen is a renaissance woman. She works in Wellness, Self Development & farming. Living on a sustainable herbal farm with her husband and son, Megan always chooses a more self-sustained lifestyle for her and her family. She strives to educate and empower others to seek a more purpose-filled life, guiding Yoga and health for adults. She also empowers the youth; by hosting dance classes & art classes at her local Arts Station and at Live local events working with the Chamber of Commerce and Wapiti Music Festival.



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