Creating a Zero-Waste Kitchen with Linen

Dinner Salad

With green initiatives now blanketing the globe, creating a zero-waste kitchen is making its way to the top of everyone’s list of New Year’s resolutions. Unlike enrolling in a gym membership or starting a course to learn a new skill, making the move to a zero-waste kitchen is a choice you will have to make every day.

Running such a kitchen is far from convenient. Even so, it should be a simple matter to buy reusable glass, metal, and rubber containers instead of boxes of bags and packs of plastic disposables. You can rid your home of this wasteful plastic all at once or gradually over time.

It can be harder to avoid bringing waste into your kitchen from the grocery store, and even harder yet to get away from just one habit – paper towels and napkins.

How many rolls of paper towels does your household go through in a month? The average 2020 household went through 5 to 7 rolls of paper towels within one calendar month.

Chemical-free paper towels can be part of your waste-free kitchen if you throw them on the compost pile, but you’re not doing trees any favors. Paper towels used with chemical cleaners are destined for a landfill.

Reusable towels of natural fibers can be used again and again before being thrown in the compost heap to return to the earth when they are finally too worn from use. Both cotton and linen towels work well for replacing paper goods in the kitchen, but linen towels have a smaller carbon footprint.

Linen kitchen towels are made of flax, which requires less water and other resources to grow than cotton. Linoto’s House Helper Treeless Linen Towels are also made from unusable sections leftover from larger pieces like sheets or duvet covers, making them a truly effective zero-waste initiative.

Flax is also naturally antibacterial and antifungal, both stellar features in towels used in food prep areas. Unless you are buying expensive multi-ply paper towels, you will find linen replacements stronger and more versatile than paper counterparts.

Here are just a few of the ways you can save money and decrease your carbon footprint with reusable linen towels other than mopping up spills.

  1. Linen towels better protect baked goods as they are cooling.
  2. Since they are stronger you can use linen towels more efficiently for heavier tasks like drying fruits and vegetables.
  3. Unlike paper towels, you can use linen kitchen towels as placemats. While you’re at it, replace the paper napkins with Linoto linen napkins at your dinner table with linen as well.
  4. Linen napkins work just as well for heavy jobs in the kitchen as larger linen towels for straining, wiping, and drying.
  5. Replace the paper towel roll by your sink with a box of reusable linen hand towels. Linen hand towels can be used more than once in some cases, but don’t be afraid to swap those out frequently.

If it seems as though it will be difficult to implement a complete switch away from paper towels and napkins, there are some things you can do to make the transition a bit easier for yourself (and the rest of the household).

  1. Keep a box of about 20 linen towels under the sink for drying dishes, straining fruits and veggies, and cleaning up messes.
  2. Next to the box of towels should be a clearly marked bin for used towels so that you don’t have to worry about cross contamination, a huge concern for anyone in the kitchen.
  3. Place a decorative box of linen towels on the counter in place of a paper towel roll to keep them handy for quick spills.

By making their use, cleanup, and storage as convenient as possible, you and your household will find the transition to linen towels ideal, and easier than you first thought.