If you’ve been wondering how to maintain a kitchen that produces no waste whatsoever, take a look at this project. Designed by Austria-based furniture designer Ivana Steiner, this modern zero-waste kitchen incorporates unique features to be as environmentally conscious as any room of the home could ever hope to be.

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Steel counters with storage underneath full of spice jars and reusable bags.

Steiner put in the work to develop this zero-waste kitchen concept. She conducted field research, put together a zero-waste focus group and spoke with local shopkeepers and customers in Vienna.

Related: How to replace single-use and plastic items in the kitchen

Steel counters with storage underneath full of spice jars and reusable bags. Panels extend out over them to provide more space.

The design uses recycled materials such as stainless steel and glass and is built around a large table that can be used for cooking, food prep and eating. The kitchen itself has everything you need to create an environmentally friendly space. There’s a worm box, baskets for fruits and vegetables and glass containers to store all sorts of other foodstuffs.
There are linen storage bags, and there’s a vertical herb garden that produces fresh herbs. The worm box can be used to keep the soil healthy and organic. The worm box also works as a compost container where kitchen and lawn scraps break down and become nutrient-rich, dark soil.

A three-level indoor herb garden sits on the kitchen counter.

A water jug collects excess water that is used when waiting for the faucet to heat up, for example. This can also be used to water the herb garden. This is a truly circular and self-sustaining design.

A towel rack with three towels in blue, green and yellow next to the herb garden.

Minimalism often goes hand-in-hand with the zero-waste lifestyle, so this kitchen doesn’t have wall cabinets. There’s also no dishwasher, but there is a double sink.

A double sink with a steel jug inside that reads "drinking water for plants."

This kitchen design isn’t made for a specific home; it’s made for any home. The design was created to work anywhere. There’s even an apartment version that’s more compact. Building a better tomorrow begins with better design. Rooms like this zero-waste kitchen are a great start.

+ Ivana Steiner

Images via Ivana Steiner