With the use of disposable plastics being a topic of controversy currently, we thought it was a good time to think about our personal use of them day to day. Where we can reduce our consumption easily? Sometimes you can feel defeatist or “why bother” if other people or countries do so little to tackle the problem, but when billions of people say “its only one straw” we end up with billions of plastic straws chocking up our oceans every day.
Today we wanted to focus on your fridge, food storage and food shopping. The first and easiest change that most people have adopted is taking shopping bags with them, so they can be used again and again without creating plastic waste. You can also take material bags such as hessian, canvas, crocheted/ knitted shopping bags which are sturdier, so longer lasting, and are bio-degradable. There are loads of fold away bags which can be popped into a handbag or clipped onto a bag when your out and about, perfect for that spur of the moment purchase.
If you buy vegetables in plastic packs, the first thing you will likely do when you get home is open the bag and throw it away, so why have it in the first place? Try selecting your vegetables individually and forgetting the plastic bag, they can be washed when you get home, or take a re-usable plastic sealable bag or small crocheted/knitted bags to put your veggies in. Challenge where you shop if the price is higher to avoid the plastic bag, or it will never change. Could you use a shop that offers paper bags for vegetables and fresh goods such as breads or encourage your local shop to use them?
Storing fresh foods at home can be easy with the use of vegetable racks and bread bins, but what about half an onion or leftovers from last nights meal? We have not bought cling film for some time now, opting for re-usable solutions instead. A great choice for many people is beeswax wraps to cover foods like tomorrows sandwich for lunch, they are flexible, being reshaped over and over to fit around foods and bowls. You can also cover foods simply with plates or bowls to keep them fresh in the fridge, and to reheat in the microwave (if microwave safe). Alternatively, you can invest in re-usable tubs and dishes that are fridge fresh and microwavable safe, like the soup pots often seen in offices during lunch, sold in most supermarkets, which avoid single use plastics.
Have you considered drying your own herbs or growing your own vegetables to reduce your plastic waste? I know it is difficult to get fresh herbs without avoiding plastic, unless you grow them at home, but when that supply runs out, a great alternative is dried herbs. You can easily do this yourself by tying bunches together and hanging them upside down in well ventilated areas, avoiding sun and then removing the dry leaves to air-tight jars/ containers.
To avoid single use plastic cutlery always take your travel bamboo cutlery set with you, clipped onto or packed in your bag.
Going green, sustainable, eco or alternative shouldn’t have to cost us more, it should be an easy choice. We love groups and communities fighting to make this so, challenging companies and minds alike. We encourage you to join your local eco community, and the best place to start is to search for local groups on your social media.