One of my New Year’s resolutions is to use less plastic. Some plastic uses are hard to live without, but there are few habits that are pretty easy to change, especially in the kitchen.
Food stored in glass usually taste better and left overs in glass containers can go straight from the fridge to the microwave, often saving an extra dish to wash.
These classic Italian glass containers with clamp lid and rubber seal, keep dry good fresh for a long time and are on clearance at Crate and Barrel for only $3-$8, even with shipping costs, a set is pretty reasonable. The thick glass 3L was not nearly as heavy as I thought and have a classic style that will work in my kitchen for years.
I have used the Pyrex glass storage with glass containers with plastic lids for a few years and love them. They are the best of both worlds, available at Amazon and Target. I usually wash the lids by hand to prevent warping. Heavy glass container are less likely to break. I have dropped several on my wood floors and haven’t cracked one yet. Tattered plastic food storage containers have found a new home organizing the garage.
Old School Waxtex paper bags are great for sandwiches and run about $3 at Drugstore.com, but I found them in my local store for about $2. And I feel better that when they get throw in the trash, I know will eventually compost.
While cleaning supplies still come in plastic, there are a few ways to reduce using so much plastic.
Seventh Generation Dish Soap is in a 90% post consumer recycled plastic bottle, and I love, love the new Fresh Citrus Ginger scent.
Buy in bulk. Mrs. Meyers All-Purpose cleaner is concentrated and comes in 32 oz bottle for $8, reducing the number of plastic bottled products I used to buy. This is one of the greener and less toxic cleaning products out there and comes in Basil, Lavender, Geranium and Rosemary, but they don’t exactly smell like those, so maybe smell them first. I also buy 2 gallons of white vinegar at Costco for $4; it’s great for glass doors, soaking casserole dishes and disinfecting sponges.
By now most of us have reusable grocery bags (we often forget in the car) or opt for paper grocery bags. Where I tend to get a lot of plastic bags is in the produce aisle or at other kinds of stores.
Washable Veggie bags are available at washableproducebags.com $7 for 5 or $20 for 15. Buy the three sets and give one away as a hostess gift. The bags are great for rinsing vegetables and can be wadded up and used to scrub potatoes or veggies from the garden.
I try to keep a foldable, reusable bag tucked in my purse for the pharmacy, make-up counter and other small shopping trips. Baggu bags come in dozens of AWESOME colors and patterns and can double as a purse in a pinch. They start at $9 each, but more you buy the more you save.
Steel drink containers, lunch containers and bamboo cooking utensils are also great additions to the kitchen to reduce your use of plastic. Also save glass jars for use both in the kitchen and little loose items in drawers. I’d love to hear any other tips you have!