Does it gnaw at you to stand in line at the supermarket ashamed that, once again, you forgot your reusable grocery bag? That’s just one way in which we find ourselves at the mercy of the Plastic Overlords. There are dozens more ways plastic sneaks into our sanctuary, but you do have the power to make your kitchen plastic free. And it’s easier than you think.
1. Leave some extra tote bags in your car. You know you have more than enough of them laying around. So keep a few in the car in case you forget the others at home.
2. Ditch your Tupperware. Well, ok, don’t throw it out, exactly, but stop storing your food in it. Hard plastic can leach BPA (Bisphenol-A), an endocrine disruptor, which is linked to a number of health issues including infertility, neurological disorders and certain types of cancer.
3. Invest in glass. Those glass canning jars are relatively inexpensive and they can actually keep food fresher. Plus, unlike most plastics, you can see through the glass without having to open it to know that you still have that amazing soup from last week.
4. You can use glass jars to buy your bulk foods in, too—just make sure you weigh them before you fill them. Or, if lugging glass to the health food store scares you, invest in cotton or reusable bulk bags.
5. This great tip comes from Allison Rivers Samson, founder of Allison’s Gourmet: Don’t use plastic bags for your produce. Instead, try steaming or blanching all of your delicate veggies as soon as you buy them. Then, store the prepared veggies in glass instead of in plastic produce bags (think kale, broccoli, carrots or other wilt-prone veggies). You can add them to a number of dishes throughout the week with half of the cooking already done!
6. Definitely switch from plastic cutting boards to wood or marble. It’s a better way to avoid bacterial contamination, too.
7. Compost! The more you lessen your trashprint, the fewer garbage bags you’ll need to buy.
8. Recycle and reuse. Sometimes plastic packaging is unavoidable. If it can’t be recycled, see if you can’t use it for a craft, to organize, or serve another kitchen function.
9. Ditch the processed foods. If it comes in a box, chances are there’s an inner plastic liner too. Use it as a rule of thumb for your health and the planet.
Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger