The #WarOnWaste has had great success with cutting out shopping bags and straws from retail outlets. But many of us use and dispose of plastic regularly in our own kitchens and don’t know how to eliminate it easily. Fear not: we’ve done some work in helping find alternatives to stop you drowning in single-use plastic waste in your own kitchen. Read on…
Fruit and veg shopping
A fair number of plastic bags come into our kitchens each week by way of the bags we use to group together fruit and veggies in the shops – e.g. apples, green beans, broccoli, mandarins etc. So instead of grabbing for a plastic bag from the roll, think about bringing your own to the shop. We’ve found these great reusable produce bags made from recycled plastic bottles, which you can also wash. Each holds up to 2kg/4lb of produce per bag. I store them with the green shopping bags to make sure I remember them each time I go to the shops. You can use them in your refrigerator for food storage for items like green beans, or transfer your larger items into the crisper directly when you get home from the shops. Check them out at onya.com.
Plastic wrap alternatives
While it is difficult to cut plastic wrap out entirely from your kitchen, there are a few good alternatives.
- You can buy Beeswax wraps online or at Farmers’ Markets, fetes and in specialty shops which are great for wrapping up kids’ sandwiches or covering bowls of food in the refrigerator. Buy the largest size of wraps you can.
- Use a plate turned upside down to cover bowls or other plates of leftover food.
- Brown paper bags are a good product for sandwiches and bread.
- Wrap cheese in baking/parchment paper as it doesn’t sweat.
Storing herbs and loose-leaf lettuce
Pick and wash fresh leafy herbs then store in a sealed container between paper towel. Same applies for loose-leaf lettuce. Spin them in a salad spinner if you have one to dry them out once washed. You can also use the salad spinner as a storage container.
Storing refrigerated vegetables
Cucumber and carrots often go rubbery in the refrigerator crisper. So how about wrapping them in a damp tea towel as an alternative? Wet and wring out a tea towel, then wrap the vegetables in the tea towel and store in the main part of the refrigerator or the crisper. Works well with cucumbers, carrots, broccoli and celery. Also try storing green beans and snow peas this way. And remember only to buy in the quantities you need for the week.
Onions and potatoes
Onions and potatoes like dark places, so store them in the pantry. We like to keep them separate (potatoes in one container, onions and garlic in another) to keep them from sprouting.
Meal planning is a great way to reduce your food waste. Get on board with the PlanBuyCook meal planning app, available for iPhone and iPad at the App Store.