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7 Easy Steps to a Plastic-Free Kitchen

7 Easy Steps to a Plastic-Free Kitchen

Plastics are so passe. They’re usually made of petroleum and chemical additives that can disrupt our reproductive systems and cause learning disabilities in kids. They’re sold as “indestructible” but break into tiny pieces that float in rivers, lakes and oceans until birds, fish and turtles swallow them thinking they’re food. Plastic bags and bottles create unsightly litter that just doesn’t go away.

Yet, we still use it, especially in our kitchens, one of the easiest places in our house to give plastic the heave-ho in favor of greener options.

Here are 7 ways you can get started:

1) Use reusable bags. Reusable cloth, jute or recycled fiber bags last for years and eliminate the need for plastic shopping bags. Many communities now charge a nickel for every plastic bag a shopper uses, which has been enough to convince people to bring their own bags.

2) Buy fresh, unpackaged food. One of the biggest sources of plastic in a kitchen is all the plastic that food comes wrapped in. This is especially true if you’re buying pre-packaged food that’s supposed to be convenient – but ultimately just creates a lot of trash. In addition to reusable shopping bags, get a set of reusable mesh produce bags. For bigger fruits and vegetables like apples, oranges, pears, eggplant and onions, you can skip bags altogether.

3) Choose glass jars rather than plastic. You can find tomato sauce, condiments, olives, peppers, soups, spices and more in glass, rather than plastic.

4) Use glass storage containers. Glass jars and dishes with lids are very effective storage containers – they don’t leach chemicals into food, they’re durable, and you can easily see what’s inside them. I re-use glass tomato sauce jars and juice bottles. I also prowl yard sales and thrift stores for glass dishes with lids that I can buy for a couple of dollars at most.

5) Make your own soda. A big source of plastic in the kitchen comes from soda bottles. We haven’t bought soda since we got a counter-top carbonation machine. We simply filter a jug of water (which takes about a minute), pour the water in the bottle that fits the machine, pull a lever to add carbon dioxide to the water (another minute at most), and add whatever flavor we choose.

6) Make your own bottled water. Single-use water bottles are another significant source of kitchen plastic. That dandy carbonator you got for making soda is also great for bubbling up a bottle of filtered water.

7) Replace plastic utensils with stainless steel, wood, and silicone. I primarily use stainless steel or silicone spatulas when I’m frying and sauteeing and wooden spoons when I’m baking.  I have glass 1 cup, 2 cup and 4 cup measuring pitchers and aluminum measuring cups and spoons in a variety of sizes. I also use glass and aluminum mixing bowls. Look for these and other non-plastic kitchen tools in the pots and pans section of your grocery store or in the kitchen utensils section of a department store.

This is only the beginning. How are you getting plastic out of your kitchen?

Related Posts:
5 Key Strategies for a Plastic-Free Life
Can You Be Plastic-Free?
5 Tips for Plastic-Free Cooking

 

Read more: Eco-friendly tips, Food, Green, Green Kitchen Tips, ,

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Diane MacEachern

Diane MacEachern is a best-selling author, award-winning entrepreneur and mother of two with a Master of Science degree in Natural Resources and the Environment. Glamour magazine calls her an “eco hero” and she recently won the “Image of the Future Prize” from the World Communications Forum, but she’d rather tell you about the passive solar house she helped design and build way back when most people thought “green” was the color a building was painted, not how it was built. She founded biggreenpurse.com because she’s passionate about inspiring consumers to shift their spending to greener products and services to protect themselves and their families while using their marketplace clout to get companies to clean up their act. Send her an email at Diane@biggreenpurse.com

87 comments

+ add your own
12:19PM PDT on Aug 24, 2014

Thanks for sharing. I already do some of the things you list in your article.

4:32AM PDT on Aug 21, 2014

Thanks!

9:43PM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

Thank you :)

1:47PM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

Good tips, thanks for sharing. I have a lot of glass and wood and stainless steel. I do have some Tupperware from years ago. No modern day plastics.

5:10AM PDT on Aug 19, 2014

Work for our homeland

1:26AM PDT on Aug 19, 2014

thanks

10:20AM PDT on Aug 18, 2014

Nice!

8:34AM PDT on Aug 18, 2014

Thank you

4:32AM PDT on Aug 18, 2014

ty

1:27AM PDT on Aug 18, 2014

thank you

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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I think I'll try it in my almond milk tonight.

The eggplant dish sounds good.

Good and practical information.

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