Going Plastic Free in the Kitchen....the to do guide.
As the world heats up more and more and global warming is now affecting us personally rather than being something that is talked about in a UN meeting a massive movement is shifting to plastic-free.
We are beginning to question is this avocado wrapped in plastic really necessary? or as a cling (plastic) film advert to wrap sandwiches comes on the T.V a grrrrr radiates out.
But how do we go plastic free? its almost an overwhelming task when I started reviewing my own home and my own personal values. Even harder in a home if you share it with others that don't care about plastic-free, do you put your moral standing on them or do you do and hope they will follow by example hmmm tricky.
To make it simple I am just going to put what I do. Simplicity is key, I am still working on this one personally but life is a journey.
Rubbish bin; I simply put paper in the bottom of the bin to capture spills and wrap any items such as leftover food such as meat, dairy in a newspaper. Newspaper is available from your local corner store, a bookstore that has old newspaper they are happy to give away.
I now have a bin that is emptied each week so I don't need to use a plastic bag to put out our rubbish. Check in your area for this service.
Compost; Compost any fruit, vegetables, paper, vacuum cleaner dust. Don't compost meat or dairy as this will attract rats. If living outside of New Zealand like in the USA or Europe I think you guys have compost collections in some areas ask local council about this.
Lunch Boxes; This is such a simple one but for some, the shift from the plastic wrap is simply breaking a habit of a lifetime. I place my daughters' sushi, rice wraps (or sandwiches she hates these so hence the sushi) into reusable plastic containers that we have had for years. Or you can buy lunch boxes that have individual compartments in the tin. Plastic can leach so going to metal is the best option. If on a budget just use what you already have as we have to be realistic.
Other options for the lunch boxes depending on the age of your child is small glass jars for chai pudding, muesli (we make our own and Fleur loves it with no milk in her lunch box), frozen berries and so on.
https://www.thewarehouse.co.nz/p/lunch-box-by-pete-evans google this.
Drink Bottles; Everyone knows this I hope, but you need a stainless drink bottle not an aluminium one. Check underneath the bottle before buying it to ensure stainless steel if not don't buy it. You will pay more for stainless but for yours and your children's health its worth it. A lot of The Warehouse metal drink bottles are aluminium. A stainless bottle that is double walled keeps your drinks cool or warm so its well worth the investment. Kmart NZ have them for $7 Stainless or if you want more luxury The Source Bulk Food NZ have great drink bottles but you need to buy instore, stores in Auckland and Tauranga.
Eco Tank I found that they have plastic tops that leak and the actual tank is not double walled so personally I would go with the below links for drink bottles.
Coffee Cups; Invest in a keep cup, a coffee cup that you can bring to your local cafe to be refilled each time. Many cafes sell these. Getting two so a cycle of one in the car or bag and one in the wash works well.
Its a minefield out there if you go supermarket market shopping. I found this overwhelming and depressing but think of reducing your plastic habit rather than eliminating it at first so not to overwhelm yourself.
Buy mesh bags in cotton not plastic for fruit and vegetables. Lettuce and other bulk items can just be loose.
Nuts, lentils etc can be purchased from the bulk loose food dispensary in the fruit and veg section on NZ supermarkets. Or buy items in bulk such as rice in a 5kg bag to reduce plastic.
I use the mushroom bags that are paper if I forget bags.
Really this is about it for the supermarket front.
Sourcing food plastic-free items;
Meat; Buy from your local butchers and ask to be wrapped in paper, bring home and move straight into containers, label and freeze. Or buy as you need it, this actually reduces waste.
Fruit & Vegetables; Farmers markets, make this your weekly social event by making use of your local farmers market. This will allow you to eat with the seasons and have fresh produce. Many time you will have organic growers there too.
Rice, pasta, flours, nuts, seeds; Good For N.Z https://goodfor.co.nz/ you can shop ONLINE and have it delivered to your door. Good For is a no plastic food refillery in New Zealand.
Bin Inn New Zealand are really stepping up their game with some of them being clean and tidy with an array of products. https://www.bininn.co.nz/ to check out your local Bin Inn.
In Australia The Source but unfortunately they do not have an online store www.thesource.com.au
Milk; Source Raw Milk locally in Mangawhai Bakewell Creamery are setting up Raw Milk Delivery in glass https://www.facebook.com/bakewellcreamery/ So if living in the Warkworth, Orewa, Whangarei area check them out.
Biscuits, cakes and slices; This requires some effort but there are a few tricks to make it easier.
Have a recipe book so when you get your favourite choco chip biscuit recipe to write it down.
Set a day each week to make them such as Sunday day/nights are baking day/nights, get the kids involved if you have kids.
Make bulk times the recipe by three and freeze biscuits, cake, slices. Portion them so you can them out piece by piece to reduce waste.
Even reducing one pack of biscuits a week saves landfill of 53 plastic biscuit packets a year. Store in airtight containers, store in cakes tins or glass containers.
Muesli; Make muesli, it's so simple to mix oats, sunflower seeds, chai or any nuts and seeds you wish to have, mix in melted coconut oil and honey. Check out the recipe here https://nutritionbynaturenz.blogspot.com/
Bread; Use your local bakery to buy bread daily, invest in a bread maker (this is what we do), in the supermarket bread can be brought loose and use a pillowcase to put it in to keep fresh.
Tip; Arrange the pantry so all your baking needs are in one area.
Just changing out one of these easy to do tasks helps to improve the health of the planet. Work on one then move to the next one and spread the word on your journey to plastic-free.
Disclaimer; I do not receive any money from the links I have provided. These are purely to link you to a plastic free way of being.