TOP 10 ESSENTIALS FOR A PLASTIC-FREE KITCHEN
The first plastic was patented in 1856, and since then, plastics have revolutionized the world—for better or for worse. From electronics to clothing to kitchenware, it seems that plastics are everywhere. Even though plastics are flexible, lightweight and cheap to produce, given enough time and heat, plastics leach toxic chemicals into food and drinks.
Whether you’re new to the sustainability movement or a long-time follower, check out our top ten essentials for a plastic-free kitchen.
1. Mason Jars
Mason Jars are a must-have for any sustainable home. Their uses are seemingly endless—from storing dry goods like grains and beans to acting as cute cups for smoothies, lemonade and more. Mason jars are also great to take to the store when buying in bulk. Just weigh your jars before your shop, package, and go!
2. Beeswax Wrappers
Say goodbye to plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and say hello to beeswax wrappers. Coming in a wide assortment of designs and colors, beeswax wrappers are not only multi-use and multi-purpose, but they’re also a statement for any kitchen. With just the heat of one’s hands, the wrappers mold to cover any container, no matter how big or small.
3. Resealable Silicone Bags
In the vein of keeping food fresh, resealable silicone bags are a must-have in any plastic-free kitchen. Convenient and compact, silicone bags preserve foods’ freshness without compromising environmental impact like one-time-use plastic bags would.
4. Stainless Steel Ice Cube Trays
An essential for making cold, refreshing drinks in the summer, ice cubes aren’t usually the first thing one thinks of when wondering how to cut down on plastic use. But the trays used to make ice cubes are unfortunately usually made out of flexible plastic.
5. Reusable Grocery Bags
Reusable grocery bags are a must for any sustainable home. Forgo those thin plastic bags when shopping for produce, and just use your own reusable bag. With new taxes on paper and plastic, not only will the earth thank you, your wallet will, too.
6. Wooden Cutting Boards
Flimsy plastic cutting boards are a thing of the past. Go green with a beautiful, durable wooden cutting board that can be used not only as a cutting board, but also as a centerpiece to display appetizers at an afternoon social or dinner party.
7. Glass Tupperware
Why rely on takeout or fast food at work when preparing one’s own healthy lunch is as easy as purchasing stainless steel Tupperware? Plastic Tupperware might technically be food-safe, but after repetitive use, its structural integrity will begin to break down and it will begin to leach carcinogenic chemicals into food. Stay safe, and invest in reusable glass containers.
8. Glass, Stainless Steel or Silicone Straws
Make the switch to glass, stainless steel or silicone the next time you need a straw. Reusable and sturdy, these straws are handy on any cafe outing, but each has its pros and cons. Glass is the most fragile out of the three materials and might be better for at-home use. Stainless steel conducts heat, so while it may not be great for a hot cup of coffee, it is great for on-the-go travel. Silicone is flexible and does not transfer heat, but they can be a little difficult to clean.
9. Solid Bar Dish Soap
Liquid dish soap is often packaged in plastic containers, so switching to bar soap, which is usually packaged in paper, is a simple way to cut down on one’s plastic footprint. Each person has their own preferences, so find your favorite soap and make it a staple in the kitchen.
10. Plastic-Free French Press
Although one-time-use coffee and tea pods may be convenient, they come with a heavy environmental impact—the pods are made out of plastic #7, which is not recyclable outside of a few locations in Canada. A plastic-free french press can cut down on your morning caffeine costs as well as environmental impact.