How to Store Vegetables Without Plastic

Bringing a reusable canvas bag to the grocery store is a fantastic way to avoid sending plastic to the landfill on a regular basis. But what happens when you get all that delicious produce home? How do you keep it from going bad without using plastic wrap, plastic baggies or other types of packaging?

That’s right, we’re talking about zero waste food storage!

Stored in plastic, fruits and vegetables stay fresh for weeks. But the environmental footprint that comes with using plastics—wildlife-destroying pollution, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, adding debris to landfills—makes using plastic bags and wrappers far from eco-friendly.

Ready to kick your plastic habit? Here’s how to store every type of vegetable in your fridge without a single piece of plastic. Stored like this, your produce should last for up to 2 full weeks!

Veggies by Type

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are known for their tendency to wilt or brown quickly. To keep your greens from spoiling too soon, first remove any tight bands or ties, then rinse and dry fully (these should not stay wet!) before wrapping loosely in a dry tea towel and placing uncrowded in the fridge. Kale, a hardier green, will stay crisp and full when placed in a cup of water like a bouquet in the fridge.

Bulb Vegetables

Bulb vegetables should always be stored in a cool, dark, dry place with good air circulation (a.k.a. a cellar or cool pantry). You can also store them together with tubers in a thick paper bag, then place them in a cool area. A dark corner of the kitchen pantry should work too!

Tubers

Store your tubers just like your bulb vegetables (see above), in a cool, dark location that has good air flow. What you’re trying to avoid is your potatoes getting too much sun and greening or growing eyes.

How to Store Vegetables Without Plastic

Fruit Vegetables

Fruit vegetables like bell peppers, cucumber and zucchini have a tendency to mold, thanks to their high moisture content. Only wash these vegetables right before you’re ready to eat them, as wetness will decrease your storage time. Place your vegetables loose in the crisper if it’ll be a while before you use them, or leave them on the counter for up to a week.

Inflorescents & Mushrooms

Inflorescent vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower should be put in an open container or wrapped with a damp towel then placed in the fridge. However, they will likely have the best flavor if used the day of! Mushrooms, on the other hand, should be stored in a paper bag in the fridge. Bonus tip: if they dry out before you use them, you can reconstitute with water!

Root Vegetables

Beets, carrots and the like, tend to wilt before they mold. No one wants a soggy carrot! To store properly, cut the tops off (leaving any top on root vegetables draws moisture away from the root, making them lose firmness) and then place in an open container with a moist towel on top, or dunk in cold water every few days to rehydrate.

How do you keep your vegetables fresh without using disposables?

Related:
Tips to Reduce Vitamin and Mineral Loss When Preparing Food
8 Tips for Keeping Vegetables Fresh Longer
Make Your Own Vegetable Broth

330 comments

Olivia H
Olivia H8 days ago

Thank you

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Aubrey L
Aubrey L14 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Gino C
Gino C17 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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Emma Z
Emma Z20 days ago

thanks

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Kimberly W
Kimberly Wallaceabout a month ago

TY

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Maud M
Maud Mabout a month ago

thank you for sharing

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Patricia D
Patricia Dabout a month ago

Thanks for the tips!

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Marion Morin
Marion Morinabout a month ago

Merci!

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Richard A
Richard Aabout a month ago

Thank you for this helpful article.

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Marge F
Marge Fabout a month ago

Thank you for posting this informative article.

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