When you think about going plastic-free it seems like a massive task because everything seems to come in plastic, be wrapped in plastic or needs to be stored in plastic. It is not easy and it is not something you can, realistically do overnight. A great way to start is to focus on one room at a time. Make changes in your kitchen for example and then move on to the next room.
Your kitchen is probably the one room in your home that has the most plastic in it. From food containers to storage to waste, it can just be never ending. Take a walk around your kitchen right now and have a look at how much plastic you have in there right now.
So as a starting point, check out these easy tips on how to go plastic free in the kitchen.
The Plastic Free Kitchen
REDUCE plastic packaging. This is the hardest thing for us but it can be done. We use our veggie box service and the produce comes in brown paper bags or it is loose in the box. If I need to buy from the shops I take my own veggie bags and buy from the loose selection. (Obvs pre-corona). Instead of buying condiments like mayonnaise, chutney, or peanut butter in plastic containers, find a brand that is in glass. There might be a small price difference. There are butchers who will allow you to use your own containers for meat, I have not found a local one yet, unfortunately. Reduce the number of cleaning products you use!
Do you really need that paper towel? We always had this when I was growing up, I think my mom still buys it but do you really need it? We stopped buying it a while ago and now we use recycled cloths and they work just as well.
Go for glass. I have a few Tupperware storage containers that I have had for years. But the bulk of the storage containers in our kitchen are recycled glass jars. I have not bought any new plastic storage containers. I am in the process of growing a collection of “leftover” containers that are glass. This is so easy to do, just start collecting your coffee jars and in no time you will have enough.
Ditch the cling wrap! I haven’t bought cling wrap for many years and have managed to live my life successfully. To be honest I don’t remember it featuring prominently in my childhood so it is not something I find particularly useful. If you do use though, you can use beeswax covers instead, or find a container with a lid.
Swap out resealable plastic bags. These can be super handy, especially if you are making freezer meals or need bags for kids but there are plastic free alternatives. Sandwiches can be wrapped in beeswax or just popped into a small container – when my kids would eat sandwiches at school this is what I did. You can also get tin lunchboxes or Bento box style containers that are perfect for little people.
A few other quick swaps you can make;
- Buy fresh bread, take your own bread bag.
- Invest in some silicone cupcake cases and stop buying paper ones.
- Swap kids plastic bottles for stainless steel.
Going plastic free in the kitchen is not as hard as you might thing, just take it one step at a time.