One of my many 2016 goals has been to go plastic-free in the kitchen, and it’s not been an easy transition by any means.
I mean, I really love my Ziplock baggies and how convenient they are, but this has been one of those things that’s been coming for a while. It’s the next step in moving forward and living life a bit more naturally.
Not only do I want my kitchen to be more healthy, but plastic does not break down, y’all. I’m not exactly sure how they dispose of it (Do they burn it or bury it?), but in my mind, reducing the amount that I use is one step in the right direction.
No, I’m not banning all plastics from my life. I’m simply trying to get away from it as much as I possibly can. I’m starting small and trying to go plastic-free in the kitchen only, I’m only focusing on the things that I can easily switch, and I’m not trying to stress myself by being a perfectionist. A tiny bit of plastic is better than a lot of it.
Today, I’d like to tell you how this has gone for me so far. You know, what’s been easy, what’s been hard, where I’ve compromised… that sort of thing. I’d also like to share several eco-friendly products with you that can help you go plastic-free in the kitchen as well!
Moving Forward, One Step At A Time
A year or so ago, it would be no surprise to come into my kitchen, browse through my draws and cabinets, and find them loaded with plastic products commonly found in most modern kitchens.
Plastic utensils, plastic storage containers, plastic baggies, plastic wrap, plastic cups and kids plates, plastic mixing bowls, etc..
However, in my constant effort to do better, reduce toxins, and live healthier, I made the tough decision that those things had to go this year.
And, yeah, it really was a tough decision. I remember asking myself, “Do you really want to do this? Is it really worth it to you because it’s not going to be easy or convenient?”
Ultimately, I did want it. Moving forward is oftentimes an uncomfortable process. It stretches you, you know?
During this process, I never planned on going cold turkey and making the switch all at once. I like to ease my way into things. I also knew that I wasn’t going to have a perfectionist mindset with this either. I was going to make the switch from “not great” to “better.”
We all have our reasons for “greening” our lives, and those reasons will determine the extent of how natural or “green” we go. For me, my reason was not to have a 100% plastic-free home, not to save the earth (although I’m all for being a good steward of it), and not to save money. Instead, it began as a way to decrease the toxins in my home.
Some Easy And Not-So-Easy Changes
Some of the things I’d been using for plastic kitchenware like plastic storage containers, plastic serving utensils, and plastic mixing bowls were easy to replace.
- I simply switched to storing soups and liquids in mason jars and dry foods like rice or leftover veggies and casseroles in glass storage containers with snap lids (which are plastic, but they don’t touch the food).
- I switched the kid’s plates to stainless steel ones and switched their plastic utensils to regular ones and their plastic cups to stainless ones.
- I switched all my plastic mixing bowls to glass and stainless steel versions.
- I tossed all the plastic serving utensils and replaced them with stainless or silicone versions.
- Ice cube trays and other molds switched to silicone versions as well.
However, things like Ziplock bags and plastic wrap were more difficult to switch. I love my plastic baggies. They’re so convenient, and honestly, up until this year, I’ve not really thought a lot about tossing them when I was done with them. I can’t imagine how much money I’ve spent or how much plastic I’ve thrown away.
Thankfully, there are some options out there to make even this transition a bit easier. Many of these things are still “in-progress” for me at this point in the year. Hopefully, by the end of the year, I’ll be using them 100% of the time.
- Use reusable baggies to store dry foods in like sandwiches, sliced veggies, fruits, and cheeses in. You can buy them or make them.
- Use smaller mason jars to store smaller amounts of wet foods you’d normally put in baggies.
- Use beeswax wrap to cover bowls or wrap certain foods in to keep them fresh in the fridge.
- Switch to parchment or freezer/butcher paper to cut down on using plastic wrap. Many of these aren’t 100% plastic-free, but they’re better than plastic wrap. They make unbleached and even soy versions. I use these when freezing and storing cuts of meat in the freezer rather than putting meats in plastic baggies.
Ultimately, this transition has been a (challenging) process for me. It’s almost like I’m having to retrain my brain to ignore what’s convenient and to only choose options that are reusable and healthy. No matter, I’ve made some big changes, and I’m continuing to make more thanks to you.
Now, if you, like me, wanna go plastic-free in the kitchen, then what I have below is for you. Below, you’ll find some essential products you’ll need to replace the convenient plastic kitchenware you’re using with healthier, eco-friendly versions.
9 Essential Products To Help You Go Plastic-Free In The Kitchen
- Glass storage containers with snap lids ( assorted sizes and shapes )
- Glass mason jars ( quart | pint | jelly )
- Stainless dinnerware for kids ( dish set | utensils )
- Mixing bowls ( glass | stainless )
- Serving utensils ( silicone | stainless )
- Beeswax wrap ( assorted sizes )
- Reusable baggies ( assorted sizes )
- Silicone kitchenware ( baking mats | ice cube trays )
- Baking and storage papers ( parchment | freezer )
So there you go. I’m doing it. I’ve replaced most of the plastic kitchenware that I used most often with healthier, more eco-friendly products, and if you too want to to go plastic-free in the kitchen, then I hope this post encourages you and inspires you to make it happen. You can do it! You just have to get started and do one small thing at a time.