This month is Plastic Free July! The Australian-based initiative encourages people to use less plastic and to be more mindful of how much plastic we use in our daily lives. My own personal goal this July is to avoid plastic bags at the supermarket, both check-out bags and produce bags. Other great goals could be to avoid disposable packaging, to bring your own water bottle to work, or, if you're really serious, your goal could even be to avoid all plastic throughout July.
Whatever your goal is, one of the most impactful places to cut down on plastic is in the kitchen.
Here are some easy swaps to get you on your way to a plastic-free kitchen:
Swap Ziploc bags and plastic Tupperware for...
Glass mason jars:
Nuts, beans, leftover soup--mason jars are good for storing just about anything. You can also take them with you to the store and use them to buy bulk goods. Just make sure you know how much the jar weighs beforehand; keep a piece of tape on the bottom with the weight written on it so the cashier can easily adjust the price.
Glass or stainless steel storage containers:
Glass Tupperware is a lot cheaper than it used to be, and it works great for storing leftovers or packing a lunch.
Swap a plastic sponge for...
A scrub brush, cloth, or natural sponge:
You can find any of these options made from wood and/or plant fibers, and they clean just as well as plastic sponges. The best part is that, when they start to get old, they're compostable and will return to the earth. A wooden dish brush also has the option of a replacement head, which would help save even more resources.
Swap cling wrap for...
These really work! It's essentially cotton fabric coated in hardened jojoba oil, so you can easily mold the cloth just like cling wrap and it will stay shut. These are great for small things like lemon slices and tomato slices, or even to put over the top of a bowl.
Swap plastic drinking straws for...
Stainless steel or glass straws:
Reusable straws will save you money (you'll never have to buy straws again!) and they work just as well in your morning smoothie. Keep one in your car, bag, or purse in case you're out and want to buy a drink!