WHY AND HOW TO REDUCE EXCESS PLASTIC IN YOUR KITCHEN
As I am personally on a mission to reduce excess plastic at home, I thought I’d share these 8 easy steps with you as they are the very least we can do to contribute to a cleaner world! Let’s start in the kitchen as we find most plastic use there.
Before I start though, let’s get one thing straight, I am attempting to reduce plastic at home as it hurts me to see HOW MUCH we use daily. I am not zero waste, nor is that my mission (yet). However, I do believe that I am (as most of us are) using way more plastic than is needed.
Plastic is harmful for the environment because it doesn’t decompose. Every single piece of plastic that has ever been created is still on this earth. In the ocean, landfill or finding its way back into our food system. Recycling doesn’t make the plastic go away, it simply repurposes it.
Plastic can also have negative effects on our health because it contains chemicals that are known hormone disruptors. One of the culprits has been singled out as BPA (Bisphenol-A). By creating BPA-free plastics, we’ve been led to believe that these are safe when in fact, the opposite is true (see study).
What we can do
1. Glass Storage Containers
No chemical leaching, easier to clean than plastic, look nicer and are all around better for you and the environment. I cringe when I see people reheat food in a plastic Tupper using the microwave. My mind pictures all the chemicals leaching out the container and into the food, onto the plate and into the body it goes. No more of that!
If you do end up replacing your current plastic containers for glass, make sure you recycle them!
2. Mason Jars
So much love for these guys! Wide mouth mason jars are my personal favorite as they are the most versatile. Use them to drink out of, store beverages, soups, salad dressings, nuts and seeds, teas and even leftovers. Buy them at your local grocery store, hardware store or online. If you want to save even more money, just reuse glass food containers.
3. Products in glass containers
When given the option, buy products that are packaged in glass. You know you will end up throwing out the packaging, so why not opt for a better alternative? Glass is easy to recycle, reuse at home as a container and it helps preserve the quality of the food it is holding better.
4. Tote bags for groceries instead of plastic bags
We get tons of tote bags when going to events or expos, they all end up in the back of the car so we always have them handy when going grocery shopping. If you don’t have a tote already, don’t sweat it, you can make your own in 10 minutes out of your fave old t-shirt!
If you forget your tote (as I forgetful me often does…), request a paper bag. If that is not an option, simply reuse the plastic bag as a garbage bag or recycle it in a soft plastic bin (I recycle my soft plastic at Safeway or London Drugs).
5. Stainless steel or wood utensils
Replacing that old spatula or ladle? Look for options that don’t use plastic.
6. Reusable sandwich bags
A perfect alternative for dry items like baked goods, nuts, trail mix as well as fresh fruits and veggies. Choose one that uses organic, non-toxic fabrics - and it's an extra bonus if they're machine washable.
7. Reuse Ziplock bags
Although created as a disposable alternative, don’t be afraid to wash them and reuse them. We use ours for sandwiches, trail mix or to freeze bananas to use in smoothies. Why use a new one every time if one will last forever (literally)?
Why not buy ceramic bowls? Easier to clean, prettier, better for your health and better for the environment. I cringe at the sound of stainless steel utensils scratching against the surface of plastic bowls when stirring. To me, that is the sound of tiny plastic particles making their way into my food…
Although there are many more steps we can take to reduce the presence of plastic in our kitchen, I believe this is a solid start and an easy start for everybody.
It only takes 1 plastic bag to take the life of a beautiful sea creature. Every bit of plastic that we don’t use, decide to recycle or pick up from our beaches does make a difference!!!
In health & happiness,
Natalie McCrae R.H.N.
I transform women's body's by teaching them to eat balanced meals so that they can quickly lose weight, without giving up 🍫 & 🍷