Zero Waste Shanghai
Plastic Free Kitchen
Plastics seem to invade every aspect of our lives, and the kitchen is no exception. From cooking to storage to packing food for on the go, there are places that we can ditch the plastic in favor of safer, more Earth-friendly materials. This Earth Day, take some time to inventory the plastic in your kitchen and see if your kitchen can go plastic free. What a great way to make your Earth day action last the whole year!
Plastic is no good for the planet, and it’s no good for people, either. Plastic pollution is a serious environmental problem. It pollutes our waterways, causing ocean dead zones and killing countless numbers of aquatic life. You don’t want plastic coming in contact with your food, either, especially hot or acidic foods. Plastic cooking utensils and food storage containers can leach toxins into the food that it touches. No, thank you!
Luckily, there are lots of simple ways to get plastic out of your cooking processes. One word of caution: if you’re getting rid of plastic that you already have, like ladels or tupperware, see if you can come up with crafty or creative ways to reuse them elsewhere, rather than sending them to the landfill. That plastic still exists, even if it’s not in your home!
Ready to ditch the plastic in your kitchen? Here are 10 tips to get you going!
1. Store your food in glass or metal. Instead of plastic Tupperware containers, chose metal or glass food storage. Glass Mason jars are great for storing bulk items like beans, grains, and nuts. You can also check retailers like The Container Store. I’ve seen some great glass and metal food storage options there.
2. No more baggies! When you’re packing lunch, choose reusable glass or metal containers instead of plastic baggies or plastic Tupperware containers.
3. Choose reusable. You don’t need plastic forks and spoons in your lunchbox! Grab metal utensils from your own utensil drawer instead. If you want something that’s just for lunch, check out these cute, reusable wooden utensils!
4. Get rid of plastic cooking utensils. Ditch the plastic tools like spatulas and serving spoons in favor of metal ones.
5. Skip the processed food and produce in plastic bags. Processed food almost always means disposable plastic packaging, so choose whole foods wherever you can. When you’re hitting the produce section, don’t buy fruits and veggies in plastic wrap or those plastic mesh bags.
6. Forget bottled water. Chances are you already don’t buy bottled water, but just in case there are any hold outs out there, this is a no-brainer. Bottled water is expensive and the plastic bottles are unhealthy. Choose filtered tap water in a reusable glass or BPA free metal bottle instead.
7. Bring your own bag to the grocery store. You probably also already have reusable grocery bags, but what about when you’re in the bulk or produce aisle? Skip the single-use plastic bags in favor of reusable produce bags instead.
8. Buy dishwasher detergent that comes in a cardboard box. Dishwasher detergent often comes in a plastic container. Skip the plastic and opt for the powdered stuff in a cardboard box. Even better? Make your own dishwasher detergent!
9. Make your own dish soap. No need to buy dish soap in a plastic bottle, either. You can make your own dish soap at home! I know, the Dr. Bronner’s in this recipe comes in a plastic bottle, but many co-ops offer bulk refills of Dr. Bronner’s, so at least you only have to buy the one bottle. If anyone has suggestions for getting around this one, I’d love to hear them!
10. Skip the nonstick. Did you know that the nonstick coating on pots and pans is actually plastic? Instead of nonstick, choose cast iron or stainless steel so you can cook plastic free!
I’d love to hear from you guys! How do you keep the plastic out of your kitchen?
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