As many of you know, for a while now, I have been leaning into a more chemical-free, toxin-free way of living. I have switched out many of my cleaning products, opting for natural, DIY sprays and powders to use instead that are WAY better for my health and the environment.
Making the switch from using conventional products to healthier, non-toxic ones is definitely a process and I’m still making changes to this day.
Recently, I commented to my son that I wanted to start thinking about a better way to pack his lunch box for school. Currently, I still use several plastic ziplock bags and Tupperware. I have glass Pyrex containers that I’ll occasionally use for his lunches, but they tend to be pretty heavy to tote around.
He is a preschooler and needs something easily accessible, so I am thinking of switching to a stainless steel bento box of some sort for next school year. This would help eliminate my need to use plastics while allowing the food to be ready as soon as he opens the box.
At home, I mostly store food in glass jars and containers, but occasionally still use plastic. I’m not trying to be perfect, I’m just trying to be better. With this consciousness, I started thinking of ways I could reduce my use of plastic in the kitchen and wanted to share some ideas with all of you!
Why Reducing Plastic Use Matters
As I mentioned, reducing plastic use not only helps our health, it does wonders for the environment. Did you know that most plastic is only used one time and then ends up in our landfills? On top of that, only 1 to 3% of plastic is even recycled! Heartbreaking, isn’t it?
And did I mention the plastic pollution of our oceans is becoming a planetary crisis? National Geographic reported that each year, 8 million tons of plastic waste (yuck!), ends up in our oceans.
A few years ago, I learned about the plastic straw issue affecting our ocean animals so I stopped using plastic straws and switched to using stainless steel ones. You can do this too as a small step towards bettering our Earth and yourself!
The Sickening Facts
As if you need any other reasons why you might want to eliminate or at least reduce your plastic use, check out these facts:
The average human eats 70,000 microplastics each year.
Most plastics contain BPA which has been linked to reproductive problems and various cancers.
The USA throws away enough plastic bottles in a week to encircle the world 5 times. That’s in ONE WEEK!
So here are some ways that you can start lessening your use of plastics in your kitchen right now. Join me in making some of these changes!
1. If you’re not already using recyclable tote bags for your shopping, please do! The amount of single use plastic bags floating around this planet is insane! All it takes is grabbing two or three of these totes on your way into a store and using them to transport your items home. (This doesn’t just apply to grocery stores. Take totes to any shopping trip you have planned) It truly is one of the easiest and most impactful ways you can help!
2. Try to buy produce that is not packaged in plastic. Have you seen organic broccoli or cauliflower tightly wrapped in plastic? What the heck!? This defeats the purpose of buying organic, doesn’t it? We want our food to be as pure as possible, so opt to purchase free standing foods as often as possible. Farmer’s markets are great places to do this while supporting local farming efforts!
Have fun with this one. You can try and see how many items you can buy at the store that contain no plastic (it’s quite eye-opening!). Think about buying fresh bread from a local bakery instead. Buy your beverages in glass bottles as opposed to plastic. If you’re able to, buy a large portion of something instead of individually wrapped items. You can always portion out sizes in reusable dishes when you get home!
3. Instead of plastic wrap for storing your food, opt for glass dishes with silicone lids such as pyrex or boroux containers. Try getting in the habit of using glass or metal bowls and storage containers. Have mason jars or used glass jars from other food? Use them!
Another option is to use Bee’s Wrap instead of plastic wrap (aka Seran wrap). It’s made from beeswax but functions the same way!
4. When cooking, aim to use glass bowls and dishes if you need to marinate, mix, or serve anything! Then, store leftovers in assorted glass containers.
5. Switch out your kitchen sponges, which are made from polyurethane, for ones that are made with plant-based materials. These are much friendlier for the environment and for your health!
6. Check out mesh produce bags, they’re great! If you want to bundle your produce instead of letting them loosely roll around in your reusable tote bag, pack them up in mesh produce bags. They come in various sizes making them super easy to use!
7. Opt for glass kettles in the kitchen for boiling water. I LOVE my Gohyo glass kettle and can’t recommend it enough!
Let’s Make Some Changes
So these are some starting tips towards going plastic-free in your kitchen. While I have already adopted some of these, I definitely have some more changes to make! I hope you join me on this journey and make some positive changes in your kitchen too!
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