This is Day 46 of the Green in 365 series!
Plastic is a staple in modern American kitchens today. Food containers, storage baggies, leftover containers, plastic wrap, dishes, cups, and more, plastics are everywhere.
There are several main problems with plastics in our home and our world. First of all, they are made from petroleum, a toxic, and non-renewable resource. Secondly, they are filled with chemicals that leach into our foods and therefore into our bodies. And last, but certainly not least, they are absolutely polluting our world. So of course, cutting back on our plastic use as much as possible is an important step toward greener and more sustainable living.
It doesn’t really help to just throw out all of the plastic in our kitchen and start from scratch. But, we do need to be wise about our use of plastic in the kitchen, and work toward buying as little new plastic as possible.
Here are some simple ways to get the plastics out of your kitchen:
• Don’t heat or reheat food in plastic in the microwave. Heating the plastic can release the toxins from the plastic into your food.
• Instead of storing your leftovers, use plastic containers that you already have for things like organizing your bulk spices or your salad toppings in your pantry, or organizing food in your fridge or freezer.
• Plastics labeled with 2, 4, or 5 are considered safer, those labeled 1, 3, 6, and 7 are more dangerous and should be avoided.
• Invest in glass storage bowls for storing leftovers and other food.
• Invest in reusable glass or stainless steel straws, instead of using plastic ones.
• Get reusable produce bags, and leave the plastic produce bags at the grocery store.
This is really a huge topic and one we’ll probably cover again at some point, but I just wanted to get you started with thinking about how you can cut back on using plastic in your kitchen, and start finding other alternatives to things that are usually plastic. This is something that our family is still working on too!
For more resources and further reading:
Kitchen Stewardship’s Spring Cleaning Carnival: Get the Plastics Out
Healthy Child, Healthy World: Step #5 – Be Wise with Plastics
7 Ways to Avoid Using Plastic Wrap at Green Your Way.
How have you cut back on using plastic in your kitchen?
Photo by Les Haines/Flickr
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