I’m working to make changes in our lifestyle – like these ideas for food storage without plastic! I read recently the world makes and consumes about 600 billion pounds of plastic yearly, and the market is still growing about 5% a year. That’s because us consumers associate plastics with convenience and affordability.
Sure plastic has its perks, but I’ve noticed more and more people shifting towards sustainable storage sources, especially for things that could affect our health, such as food. My friend Piernina from CeroWaste has so many ideas, she is all about the zero waste life! She has inspired me a lot to make these changes, little by little – one at a time!
Here are just a few resourceful and sustainable alternatives to plastic-based food storage I found online with some of my favorite sustainable-friendly blogs!
Mason jars (video by Carisa) are among the most versatile and durable alternative to traditional plastic storage. They can be heated, frozen, and reused countless times. They’re generally pretty affordable and easy to find at your local hardware store.
Mason jars can store everything from soups, smoothies, nuts, seeds, veggies, and much more. They’re also ideal for all-in-one salad storage, even with herbs that are temperature-sensitive, such as basil. Keep in mind that microgreens and related items should be kept in Refrigeration at 38 to 40 degrees in a closed container. Basil is very sensitive to low temperatures and may turn dark brown or black within a short time of exposure to temps 32 degrees or lower.
If you do want to use your mason jars for long-term freezer storage, it’s recommended to leave at least an inch of space at the top for the contents to expand. For an extra layer of storage protection, consider pouring half an inch of water over the frozen food and re-freeze it. To thaw, simply rinse the ice seal with warm water.
(Video from Buzzfeed) Did you know there’s a storage material that’s just as effective as plastic wrap, yet reusable and therefore not nearly as wasteful? Now you do! Reusable beeswax wraps can be used to store and transport a number of food items, but they’re especially useful for covering produce that’s been cut into, such as half an onion or avocado. You can also cover bowls and dishes with beeswax wraps to help keep them fresh. These highly flexible wraps can be molded into countless shapes for optimal storage capacity and freshness. Best of all, instead of ending up in a landfill, you can rewash and reuse them indefinitely, so they’ll just end up back in your cupboards.
Ultimately, replacing the plastics in your life — especially in your kitchen — may seem difficult. But with some effort and awareness, anyone can make the transition toward an eco-friendlier and more sustainable future. Meghan Telpner, Toronto-based author, speaker, nutritionist, and founder of the Academy of Culinary Nutrition, says it best:
“Whether we recycle it or not, once a piece of plastic is created, it is with us forever. Every piece of plastic ever created on this planet since plastic started being created still remains in one form or another,” writes Telpner in her book, UnDiet.
“We can do better than plastic. Much better.”
This video is from my friend Break + Remake! She shows two ways to make reusable wraps! So smart! you can use these to take your food to go, to wrap your fruit or sandwiches, even snack foods. Sure you can buy them, but making them is even more fun!
Here is an extensive guide to help get you started. I have to admit, it’s hard at first but the more you practice these methods, the more they will become habits. And you’ll feel better because you are saving money as well!
These are all great ideas, do you have any others?