HOW TO TRANSPORT, STORE AND KEEP FOOD. IT’S THE BACKBONE OF A LESS PLASTIC-Y KITCHEN
You really don’t need much. I rushed out and over-excitedly bought things, most of which, I’ve learnt are nice-to-haves, not needs. To be honest, you could probably stop reading at up-cycled jars!
My love of an up-cycled jar knows no bounds. I have a deep kitchen drawer that I can barely close due to my obsessive hoarding of ‘just-one-more-because-it’s-a-really-nice-one’. I’ve even found myself making food choices in shops based on the shape of the jar.
I use them for EVERYTHING. For storing leftovers, bringing things back from bulk stores, craft supplies, storing solid shampoo bars, mess-free, on the go-food. You name it, I’ll have a jar that’s fit for purpose.
As well as jars, get into the habit of saving any plastic food bags that will (inevitably) sneak in. Wash them and they can be used to keep green leafy veg fresher for longer, or as freezer bags.
fancy GLASS jars
These days we buy nearly all of our store-cupboard staples in bulk stores. I have a ramshackle collection of cotton bags and jars that I use to get things home, where they top up the big ‘fam-sized’ jars on the kitchen shelf.
I’ve got a simple FIFO method for making sure that I’m using things up in the right order - it’s just a bowl I tip things out into before adding the new bounty (I know, I’m a genius).
My favourite storage jars are made by Weck. They come in loads of different shapes and sizes, don’t cost crazy cash, and they just look good.
Also worth considering are the kilner-style jars at Ikea, which are much cheaper than the originals.
For leftovers that don’t fit in any of my glass jars, I use these glass boxes.
They are from Ikea, and can be bought with a choice of lids, bamboo or plastic, depending on what you plan on using them for. Different sizes, but stackable, which makes for a neat-and-tidy fridge situation.
They are oven safe and dishwasher proof too.
Tiffin boxes, snack pots, sandwich boxes, food storers, water bottles - stainless steel is mighty fine material to choose for a few investment pieces as part of your plastic reduction kit.
But really, after rushing out and buying more than a few (old habits) I wish I’d thought harder about what I actually needed.
Probably because I’m a mama of minis, I find the mini pots the most useful. They are just the right size for snacking.
Thank goodness there’s an easy alternative to cling-film - that useful, but environmentally horrible stuff.
Abeego beeswax wraps are a bit pricy, but they last and last. Plus, if you embrace using old glass jars for most of your food storage, you won’t need many. We have a pack of three, which we mostly use for buying cheese and covering half avocados. I gave my dad a Abeego-wrapped cheese selection for Christmas - nothing like inflicting your plastic-free lifestyle on others ;-)
I love a Stasher bag.
They are made from food-grade silicone, which, unlike plastic, can withstand heating and freezing without leaching hazardous chemicals. It’s also odour and stain resistant and dead easy to clean (it’s dishwasher safe). It’s basically bomb proof.
We use these bags for all kind of things. Beyond the obvious food uses (freezing, storing, defrosting leftovers, sous-vide cooking, snacking) they make a great flight-safe bag for travel sized toiletries and perfect clean/dirty bags for DIY reusable wipes.
Whilst we try to stick to reusables, we do have a stash of these which get a lot of love in our house.
My children get packed off to school with a bag of popcorn for after-school-snacks, like 1970’s throw-backs. We also use them as packed-lunch sandwiches bags and playdate treat bags.
The whole range of products by If You Care are worth exploring. I also like the compostable baking paper, recycled aluminium foil and the compostable cup-cake liners.
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