Mini Kitchen Intervention: Use Less, Use Better, and Simplify With 10 Eco-Friendly Swaps.
Take a good look at your food storage supplies, you may be surprised by what you find. Self-sealing storage bags, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, plastic containers, and other items that get used once and then thrown away. I have long been a fan of Ziploc bags, but I always knew they were a naughty convenience, and I could do better.
The statistics about plastic use worldwide are genuinely shocking. According to the Earth Policy Institute, a trillion single-use bags are used each year. That number does not include bottles and other single-use plastics! Less than 1% of all plastic bags get recycled because it costs more to recycle a bag than make a new one. Put your seat belt on, because annually (as of 2023), 10 million metric tons of plastic ends up in our oceans and waterways*, and that number is doubling every ten years.
So, those convenient plastic bags I have been using are really an inconvenience and dangerous for both me and the planet.
All types of plastic photo-degrades. Over time plastic breaks down into smaller, more toxic Petro-polymers that end up contaminating soil and waterways. What we don’t know about some of the convenience products we are using every day can be hurting us and the environment.
These are my favorite simple swaps that can streamline food storage, and cut down on waste. It is the little things we do over and over that add up. Here are 10 tips to help you use less, re-use better, and streamline your kitchen.
10 Easy Eco-Friendly Swaps
- Reusable cloth and nylon shopping bags
Always bring your own bag to the store. Keep reusable bags in your car, backpack, and purse and always be ready to say no to single-use plastic bags that are dangerous to us and the planet.
- Reusable Produce Bags
Stock up on reusable produce bags to eliminate using additional plastic. Or bring your own paper bags.
- Reusable Straws
If you love straws, carry a reusable straw in your briefcase, backpack, or purse.
- Hot Drink Thermos/Mug
Skip the plastic treated paper cups in favor of bringing your own thermos to the coffee shop.
- Bees Wax Food Wrap
Stop using plastic wrap that may be leaching dangerous chemicals into your food and is single-use plastic. Swap for reusable cotton treated with bees wax sheets and rolls. Your food actually stays fresher, and each piece lasts for up to a year when used correctly.
- Recycled Aluminum Foil
Buying recycled aluminum foil is a more environmentally-friendly choice. It only takes 5% of the energy required to make regular aluminum foil. And be sure to re-use your aluminum foil whenever possible. It is easy to scrub it clean and save for another use.
- Reusable Paper Towels
Stop using single-use paper towels. Instead, choose reusable ones made from unbleached cotton and bamboo. These paper towels look and feel like regular paper towels with the added benefit that they can be washed and re-used.
- Reusable Silicone Food Storage Bags
Plastic-free reusable storage bags that are microwave safe. These double as zip bags and make reheating a cinch.
- Silicone Bowl Covers
These covers are easy to use and re-use, making the need to cover food containers with plastic or foil obsolete.
- Reusable Water Bottle
Vow to never use another plastic water bottle again!
These simple swaps will help reduce your carbon footprint, minimize single use products, and simplify your life. I promise you won’t miss the plastic wrap and zip storage bags once you make the switch to these kinder and healthier products. Click here to shop my top sustainable swaps!