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10 Ways to Get Plastic Out of Your Kitchen

10 Ways to Get Plastic Out of Your Kitchen

Earth day is right around the corner–what better time to take a hard look at your plastic consumption?

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!

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by kennymatic


plastic free cooking

10 Ways to Get Plastic Out of Your Kitchen

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?

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by jonathanb1989

Read more: Conscious Consumer, Conservation, Do Good, Eco-friendly tips, Food, Green, Green Kitchen Tips, Home, Household Hints, Make a Difference, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, , , , , , , , , , ,

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!


+ add your own
4:25PM PDT on Apr 4, 2013

Thanks ! I use Pirex with plastic lids more and more.

12:38AM PST on Jan 16, 2013

some of those are good ideas, others aren't very practical. i have a few glass containers for pasta etc but for bulky foods, i have them in plastic ones as they're lighter than glass. i've had carpal tunnel surgery in both hands as well as nerve re-alignment in one, so heavy containers and lids are problematic. i rather a plastic box for lunch mostly as over here in the uk, there isn't many metal ones out there, unless you pay an extreme amount of money for them. 'sistema' items are quite popular here, so i use them for sandwiches, cold pasta etc. i try to keep the plastic tubs from takeaways and use for spices in bulk, various tea bags etc. when shopping, i have my own bag/s and buy fruit loose but have my own bag/container to put them into. most of my pans are stainless steel as well, so although i cannot/won't get rid of all my plastic, i'm very aware of the plastic i do have; i reuse them as much as possible and when i can't anymore, i take them to a charity shop or recycle them. do i get some points still?!

11:44AM PDT on Oct 19, 2012


4:53PM PDT on Oct 15, 2012

I'm getting there. I have glass containers for lunches--they do have plastic lids, but the lids don't go in the microwave. Have some cloth bags for sandwiches. Need to make more. There aren't any plastic utensils or bottled water, and very few plastic bags. Can't use the powdered dishwashing detergent--too humid where I live. It becomes a rock. Good ideas. Thanks for sharing.

6:30AM PDT on Sep 16, 2012


11:56PM PDT on Sep 7, 2012

For the Dr. Bronner's issue, I think you could buy their paper wrapped soap and make it into liquid soap. There are several recipes for that, here is one, for example:

8:21AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Have always preferred glass for storing foods rather than plastic, fabulous ideas!

11:02PM PDT on Jun 20, 2012

i'm working towards plastic free more and more every day. currently i'm only about 7 out of the 10. thanks for the tips and reminders! plastic is not good!

7:49PM PDT on Jun 18, 2012

great tips

1:32PM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

For me, no bottled water. I have a stainless container for work. I use a travel mug for coffee. I have glass containers, bakeware and pitchers and am weeding out the plastic. I try not to buy anything in plastic.

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