Have you heard of a zero waste kitchen? We’ve been seeing a lot of pins and posts about zero waste kitchens, and we got to wondering, “Can zero waste be a goal when planning a new kitchen?” It turns out that yes, it can (and maybe should!) be a goal. Below are four tips we found for creating a kitchen that minimizes waste when you’re planning a new kitchen or doing a kitchen renovation.

1) Put your semi-custom cabinets to use
Designing your new kitchen for ease of use tops our list of favorite tips for a zero waste kitchen, because food waste makes up the majority of the garbage we send to landfills. When you have well-designed cabinets and drawers plus an efficient refrigerator/freezer, you can see what foods you do and don’t have available at a glance. And when you know your kitchen “inventory,” you’re more likely to use what you have on hand before it goes to waste. You could accomplish this with cleverly designed semi-custom cabinets that give you a pantry pullout.

2) Incorporate compost and recycling stations
If your goal is less waste, make room for compost and recycling—because the easier it is, the more likely you are to do it. With semi-custom cabinets, you can create these stations to be out of sight, so you’re going green without going messy.

3) Make room for reusable
Switching to reusable containers over throwaway plastic bags is a big part of a zero waste kitchen. But you have to have somewhere to store them. Allow for some extra cabinet space when designing your cabinets, and take into account you might need a drying station for items like beeswax wrap that can’t go in the dishwasher.

4) Design your kitchen for the long-term
Any kitchen remodel or new kitchen build will make waste because that’s part of the construction process. If you plan your kitchen with a transitional kitchen design and classic cabinets, and you use high-quality semi-custom cabinets that can endure the wear and tear o a busy kitchen, your kitchen will last for many years to come, reducing the waste of a redo somewhere down the road.

If we all had a zero waste kitchen, we could dramatically reduce the amount of waste we send to landfills each year, making for a brighter future for all. And the time to start planning that zero waste kitchen is now!