PLASTIC FREE KITCHEN

PLASTIC FREE KITCHEN INITIATIVE

We can all agree, that no matter who you are or what you do, we always somehow manage to have extra plastic in the kitchen. I feel as if we live in a society that is constantly telling us we need more…Most items always have hidden little single use pieces of plastic. Individual pieces of fruit or vegetables come packaged in plastic, even plastic brushes are still wrapped in extra plastic!! The kitchen is a minefield of potential excess plastic, that often goes unnoticed. This blog post is about becoming aware of what we purchase and how to reduce the amount of unnecessary plastic we throw away!

A plastic free kitchen is a very broad outline which should be taken with a pinch of salt! We shouldn’t let the word “Plastic free” intimidate us, but rather guide us into a better direction! My number one rule is to strive for progress, not for perfection!

Before you get ahead of yourself, simplify the process.

HOW TO START
1. Begin by completing a “trash audit” for a couple of weeks, to analyse what and how much you are actually wasting. Each household will have their own accumulated waste, so we need to figure out the problems before we initiate solutions!
2. Within the period of your trash audit, look through your pantry, fridge or freezer and use this time to cook up any items that come packaged. (For example: packets of lentils / pasta / herbs / spices / nuts / fruits / vegetables / etc)
*Write down your most commonly used ingredients that can be bought in bulk in the future.
*If you live alone, get your friends involved and split the costs of your bulk bought goods.
3. Collect jars, containers, material bags and material cloths to make the transition into plastic free a whole lot easier.

EASY PLASTIC SWAP OUTS
1. Ditch the plastic packaging and store dry goods in glass jars.
*It is easy to see what is running low, and it is also easy to see what you have which allows for a quick dinner decision!
*Support shops that have loose items or bulk bins. This goes for take away cafes and restaurants too.
* I keep a set of cutlery, reusable coffee mug and container in my car for those “On the go” Lunches.
* Shop at the farmers market, and support locals. MY TIP: Write down a rough meal plan for the week to prevent impulse buying. Poor planning results in wasted food!
2. Swap your plastic sponge for a durable bristle wooden brush or copper scrubber
3. Use containers to store food and keep food fresh instead wrapping them in plastic wrap. A new alternative is Bees wax wraps, just please look into the brand you are supporting and make sure they are not harming the bees for their wax! #sustainability
4. We all love a good cup of coffee or tea, and their packaging is completely unnecessary. Take your jar down to your local coffee shop and ask to buy 1 kg of fresh roasted coffee beans.
*Store them in the freezer and grind beans as you go.
*Invest in a glass french press to use for your coffee.
*Buy loose tea leaves to use in your french press too!
*And the best part? You can use it to strain any plant based milk! Just blend your preferred nut or grain with water in a blender, and pour it into your french press! The strainer will strain the pulp from your nut milk and allow you to get rid of the messy nut milk bag!
*If you don’t have a juicer at home, and you’re on the celery juice buzz, blend organic celery with a little bit of water and strain it through the french press too!
5. A oldie, but a goodie…. SHOPPING BAGS!!!!! It is imperative, one of the simpler swap outs but also the one everyone seems to forget!
*MY TIP: I have shopping bags that fold up and can be attached to a key ring! This way, even when i have an unplanned stop at the shop, I’ve always got bags with me!
6. Paper towels can be swapped out for material clothes, rags and old t-shirts upcycled into clothes. Not only are you preventing bleached paper from releasing its chemicals into the earth, you are also preventing old material from heading to a landfill! Washing and reusing clothes reduces your waste as well as saves you money!
7. BUY FRESH BREAD! Use a material cloth and support your local bakery.
*MY TIP: Stock up on a couple of fresh loaves of bread, pre cut them and store them in the freezer. You’ll have fresh bread on hand at any time and you won’t have to deal with any unwanted plastic!

Lets unite together as a conscious community and share our tips and tricks to becoming more aware of plastic consumption and reduction!