One of the best ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle is by minimizing the amount of plastic you use. For most of us, plastic is often a bigger problem in the kitchen than anywhere else, so let’s take some time to look at the kinds of things we can do to reduce plastic in the kitchen right now.
Use reusable containers
More and more, grocery stores are allowing customers to take their own reusable jars and containers to the store, where they can be filled up directly. This pretty much eliminates plastic packaging when it is possible, so if you do only one thing, make the switch to reusable containers for your grocery shopping.
Buy in bulk
When you buy in bulk, not only are you more likely to be able to use your own containers but if you do need to purchase something that has plastic packaging, there will probably be less of it overall. This may seem counterintuitive, but when you think about it, one big package tends to contain less material and use fewer resources than several smaller ones, which is why bulk buying is often the more sustainable choice. It can save you a lot of recipes instead.
Use cloth wraps
Instead of using cling film or other plastic wraps, which can only really be used once, invest in cloth and/or beeswax wraps, which are just as good at keeping your lunches, or your leftovers fresh, but which can be reused time and time again, and which, when they do need to be retired, will break down far more quickly, and with less impact on the planet, than plastic wrap.
Chances are, especially if you have kids, at least some of your tableware will have some plastic in it, whether it’s the whole plate or bowl or the handle of your child’s favorite knife and fork. Not only is this not great for the planet, but plastic bowls and cutlery can leach plastic into your child’s food which means it is not ideal from a health and safety point of view. Luckily, it is possible to buy bamboo plates for children safety, so next time you need new tableware, switch to a sustainable source instead.
Use an app for your recipes
Instead of handwriting your recipes and laminating them with plastic so that they don’t get covered in food stains when you’re working in the kitchen, download a recipe-saver app instead. It’s far more convenient to be able to find the right recipe in a couple of taps, it’ll take up less space in your home, and most importantly of all, you will be reducing your plastic consumption too.
If you aren’t able to eliminate plastic from your kitchen completely, try to reuse it where possible. Those plastic takeout containers can be used to freeze batch-cooked meals or as containers for your grocery shopping, for example.
A plastic-free kitchen may seem like a pipedream, but you can get there little by little.