P2 House - Kitchen

Simple changes in the kitchen, such as converting to non-toxic cleaners, fixing leaky faucets and turning off lights, can not only create a greener environment, but also conserve water and energy. Taking small steps and changing habits will result in long-term benefits.

The Three Rs

Minimize kitchen waste by learning the basics of reducing, reusing and recycling.

Reducing includes avoiding one-time use of items such as tableware (plastics spoons, forks and plates). Also, reduce waste by only shopping for necessary items. This prevents the purchase and disposal of excess food.

Reusing involves the reuse of items and natural resources, such as water. For example, food containers and one-time-use items can be reused for many purposes. Jars can be repurposed as drinking cups, clothes can be used as cleaning cloths, and wastewater can hydrate plants. Also, items can be donated to local charities and second-hand stores to divert waste from local landfills.

Recycling means converting waste into reusable material. Separate recyclables such as cans, glass, plastic, cardboard and paper for pickup or drop-off at a local facility.
Find out which kitchen items can be recycled and where to recycle them | View Recycling Locator >

Plastic Bags 

Thirty-two million tons of plastic waste were generated in 2012, representing 12.7 percent of total municipal solid waste. Part of that waste includes plastic bags. Serving a one-time use, these bags also require non-renewable resources such as water and petroleum for their production. Plus, since plastic bags are difficult to recycle, most cities exclude them from lists of recyclable items. When not recycled properly, plastic bags typically end up blocking drainage systems, are ingested by animals and leach toxic chemicals into waters. Give plastic bags a second life by reusing them as:

  • Liners for small containers in bathrooms and rooms 
  • Pet waste collection bags
  • Thrift store donation bags
  • Shoe or dirty clothes containers in suitcases

Next time you shop, consider toting reusable bags instead. Reusable bags can be purchased in a multitude of colors, styles and materials (including old clothing). In addition to grocery shopping, they can be used at retail and specialty stores and to carry library books.

Food Waste

In the United States 31 percent of our food supply is wasted. This means all the water, energy and resources used to grow and provide that food is also wasted. Learn how to help reduce this waste by participating in the Food: Too Good To Waste program. Not only does the program help the environment, but can also help a family of four save around $1,600 a year | Learn More > 

View our Food Storage Guide for tips on length of time and where in the fridge to store various types of food | View/Download >


Composting is a natural process in which organic material decomposes into a rich, dark soil. By starting a compost collection, you’ll divert waste from landfills and create plentiful garden materials. 

What can be composted?

  • Yard waste such as yard clippings, leaves and grass
  • Kitchen waste such as tea bags and coffee filters
  • Paper items such as newspapers, shredded paper and torn pieces of cardboard

What not to compost:

  • Dairy products such as milk, butter and sour cream
  • Meats of any kind, bones, fats, grease and oils
  • Pet waste

Buy Local 

Many delicious crops thrive in Arizona, despite our desert climate. Supporting Arizona growers and producers benefits the local economy, the community and the environment.