This zero waste kitchen has a built-in herb garden and composter – a super multi-functional kitchen design!

Did you know that 75 years ago every kitchen was a zero waste kitchen? Fun fact: in 1926, the kitchen of Austrian architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky had a wall of trash cans to store ingredients without any packaging! The concept of a zero waste kitchen is not new and is certainly still in practice in many countries in South Asia and East Asia that still use traditional methods of storage and packaging. Obviously, our lives have changed and come a long way over the past 75 years, which is why Ivana Steiner from Vienna designs a zero waste kitchen that fits our lifestyle and modern homes.

Steiner visited six zero waste stores in Vienna for research and as an architect who always loved working on kitchens, she decided to make the change through design. She wanted to dedicate her kitchen design to bypassing the current climate crisis while combating it. “Zero Waste does not hope that politics and business will tell you how and when you will implement your environmental measures and goals, but rather that each of us can actively contribute to climate protection through a low-cost lifestyle. resources. Zero waste not only includes avoiding waste, but also the way we manage nutrition and cooking. If we focus on less regional foods without packaging, we can actually implement changes in our immediate environment, ”says Steiner.

This zero waste kitchen is constructed from recycled stainless steel made in electric arc ovens and it lasts forever. The large table is at the heart of the design, it is intended for use as a cooking and dining surface. The structure has designated areas for glass containers, baskets for fruits and vegetables, a worm box, storage space for multipurpose containers, linen bags and a vertical herb garden – this is indeed a highly functional and multifaceted design! The worm box regularly provides humus which can be used for the herb garden.

The integrated herb garden and vermicomposter make the process very efficient even for those new to a sustainable lifestyle – that way you are set for success as maintenance is built into the operation of the kitchen. This kitchen stores everything in jars to avoid producing waste in the form of garbage bags. The jars are also easier to fill if you take them to your grocery store. This was a fairly calculated design decision as the buying trend shifts towards more unpackaged items, especially in urban areas where food is stored and sold in glass containers to encourage reuse. . Glass jars are also hermetically sealed compared to bins, making them a more hygienic option.

Since the design is based on a minimalist lifestyle, the kitchen deliberately does not include top cabinets or additional storage. You only keep the things you use on a daily basis: a limited number of 12 soup plates, 12 dinner plates and 12 small dinner plates, 12 water glasses and 8 wine glasses are used and stored comfortably in the zero waste kitchen. There is no dishwasher, but it does come with a double sink for all intents and purposes as well as a rack for the tea towels. However, studies have shown that dishwashers are actually more efficient and save resources!

The European-style kitchen has plenty of prep space in the form of sliding panels, a small oven as well as a small refrigerator behind the Planet B typography. Zero Waste Kitchen is small, purposeful, and thoughtful in every detail and encourages a life of fresh food without waste!

Designer: Ivana Steiner

Terri S. Tomasini