We are already halfway through #PlasticFreeJuly and if you have been following us this month you’ll know our family decided to give up the use of plastic water bottles. Not just single use plastic but ALL plastic bottles. Partially for the environment but also for all the health benefits. Read our post and review on Pura Stainless bottles here, (GOING GREEN WITH PURA) and find out why it’s the best change we’ve made for our entire family.
Switching out our bottles inspired more change. I couldn’t stop myself. I needed to declutter and purge some more! So today I share our progress and 5 eco-friendly kitchen hacks to further reduce our plastic use.
When grocery shopping…
This is an easy one (and stylish too). Saying no to plastic bags and making sure to always have your own shoppers and totes handy, whether it’s for food, clothing or anything else. Fabric bags can be used over and over again. By far the best choice. I keep a few in the car, at our home entrance and in the kitchen too. Easy to grab whenever we leave.
The String Green Market bag from Faithful to Nature is one of my best buys. 100% cotton, super flexible and strong. I can’t believe how a bag that rolls up to the size of my fist stretches to fit our entire week’s fruits and veggies. It’s also completely compostable and biodegradable. If you’re looking for something that makes a statement… ZANA. They have an ever growing collection of fun, stylish and pretty shoppers and totes. Also made from 100% cotton heavy weight fabric. These bags are sturdy and sure to last.
I really dislike all the plastic food containers in our kitchen. One, because I don’t know where they come from – I’ve only bought 10 and most of them have disappeared, yet multiplied at the same time… Two, it’s impossible to store them away neatly and three, I’ve never liked the idea of leftovers, pantry items or other fresh food being stored in plastic.
Thankfully I’ve found a few great solutions.
I think these Consol Jar in a Jar jars are the coolest! Available in 2 sizes, 500 ml and 1 liters. Each wide-necked jar has a little 100 ml jar nestled inside. It’s basically a glass lunchbox. Use the large jar for your main meal and the small jar for garnish, toppings & seasoning. Being glass means it’s non-leaching & BPA-free and it won’t absorb any odours or flavours.
Dishwasher-safe, 100% reusable and recyclable too. Given, I won’t necessarily be sending Eliana to school with one next year but these are great for picnics, on the go meals for myself and Mr. Perfect as well as the girls during weekends.
Also consider taking one along next time you dine out. No need to ask for those terrible polystyrene takeaway holders when you have your own glass container handy.
Next up, the Duralex Lys stackable bowls. Functional and stylish. I’m on a mission to replace every last plastic container with one of these. The Lys Square Bowls are clear, stackable, dishwasher and microwave safe, extremely durable, impact and chip resistant.
Available in various sizes, holding up to 3 liters.
I’m also in the process of replacing all our plastic food containers in the pantry with glass ones. I especially like the selection available at Mr. Price Home.
Lastly, eliminating plastic fruit and veggie packaging. FreshBags are breathable, lightweight, mesh bags made from nylon. Take them along to the grocery store. Weigh and store all your fresh produce directly inside and when you get home, use them in the fridge too. Zero waste.
No more cling wrap – Spaza Homeware makes the most stylish dish covers in all sizes you could need. Keep food tightly covered thanks to the elastic edge and if anything gets dirty, simply pop them in the washing machine.
I’ve already mentioned and discussed how we’ve banded the plastic water bottle, replacing all ours with new Pura Stainless ones. Decluttering one of our messiest kitchen cupboards in the process has also been amazing.
Another easy trade…
Declining the use of straws, even for the kids. We carry our own steel straws in the diaper bag ready for use whenever, wherever. With so many plastic-free straw option; paper, bamboo, steel, glass… Straight, bent, wide… There’s no shortage of options.
Recently I spotted the EbonyMoon copper straws. So pretty and lux. They are perfect for kids and adult parties. It will never wear out or crack and copper is naturally antimicrobial, proven to kill germs, fungi, and parasites.
The straws are completely recyclable too.
We have also decided to replace all our plastic kiddy glasses with Duralex Picardie tumblers.
Made from signature Duralex tempered glass which is considerably stronger than standard glass, withstanding heating and cooling changes and shock. These crystal clear, dishwasher and microwave safe drinking glasses have been the primary drinking glass for children in France for decades in both homes and school cafeterias. Picardie tumblers are solid and won’t topple over easily even when bumped as a plastic cup will.
These little tumblers really are fantastic quality, withstanding more than a few falls and knocks. We haven’t had to replace one in the past year. I’m also just such a sucker for anything French.
Make your own…
Something I noticed a while back, something that really bothered me was the amount of plastic we waste due to yogurt. The girls love yogurt and they should, it’s delicious but we need to be more mindful. So, I’m giving homemade yogurt a go. It will be something new for us but after the success of our bread maker (which we can’t do without – enjoying homemade bread for more than a year, not needing to ever buy a loaf) the seven-jar Severin yoghurt maker will hopefully be a hit too.
Let me know below if you’d like a follow-up post regarding our homemade yogurt experiment.
We obviously still have a long way to go on our plastic reducing journey but, these are a great start.
Do you have any tips or tricks on reducing plastic use? Please tell us more in the comments below. We’d love to learn more and be better.
Where to buy?
All the items mentioned above are available online from Faithful to Nature. Just click on the links provided above or shop online at www.faithful-to-nature.co.za (not a sponsored post or anything, just where we always shop). Added bonus; with the exception of the Duralex Picardie glassware and Severin Yogurt Maker, all items are made in South Africa too.
Product images courtesy of Faithful to Nature.