Happy Green Friday San Diegans! With another work week down, I hope you are all set to have a relaxing and restful weekend! In today’s edition of Green Friday, we will be continuing our theme of Living Green by targeting alternatives to single-use plastics in order to move towards zero waste. By opting for washable and reusable products, we can not only limit the amount of non-biodegradable materials going into our landfills but save money in the long run.
Plastic wrap is hyper-functional in the kitchen. Covering a dish for the fridge? Done. Making sure your guacamole doesn’t start turning brown on the way to a friend’s house? Perfect. Baking and covering dough as it rises? Check. It is a great product that is easy to use, cheap to buy, and easy to throw away. However, it is also one of the most wasteful items in our kitchen drawers. With a charge towards being greener by reducing our waste, reusing our resources, and recycling what we can, even little changes to our routines can make a big difference in the long-run.
I previously touched upon issues concerning microplastics getting into our oceans, water supplies, food chain, and even air/rain in my Green Friday post in September. In this post, we explored how small plastic particles can leech into our local environment either during primary use (washing microfiber cloths and clothes/plastic silk tea bags) or through long-term breakdown (think landfills). In my final words, I suggested renewable and reuseable products being a major inroad towards making noticeable changes. As such, and as promised, reuseable plastic wrap replacements are just one of those products I will be exploring in the near future.
Thinking about when I have used plastic wrap in the past, I can think of several instances. 1. When I am looking to store something in a container in the fridge, 2. wrapping up a sandwich or something else for lunch, 3. covering food as I get ready to bake it/when making bread. Knowing that these are my starting points for cutting Saran from my shopping list, I did a few quick searches online and found just what I was looking for.
Beeswax and cotton wraps and baggies have not only presented themselves as washable and reusable alternatives for covering and storing my food but have presented more stylish options and patterns for my home. Offering the same functionality as plastic wrap, but with more durability and longevity, I am now able to skip tossing single-use plastic in my trash can every time I take some food to work with me or save something for later. A quick wash with warm, soapy water and they are good to go for their next use.
Silicone food bags and glass Tupperware have also presented themselves as great alternatives to bringing more plastic into my home. Durable, freezable, and dishwasher-safe, these make it easy to see what I’m storing, label my things, and avoid the extra steps of handwashing my dishes or throwing away more money in my trashcan. Also keep an eye out for these at your local grocery store or Costco, as these are a great deal to stock up on when they are on sale!
Lastly for today’s post, whether you are covering bowls of watermelon, pasta, or rising dough, silicone and fabric bowl covers present themselves as adaptable reusable options for your kitchen arsenal. These are easy to use, either pre-fit to your bowl or adjustable to bowl size and available in plenty of colors and patterns. One of my least favorite things is trying to make an airtight seal with plastic wrap without it sticking and folding over on itself in the process. Many silicone lid options make that seal with a quick snap or stretch into place, reducing my blood pressure, while being one rinse away from reusing.
Do you already use any of these replacement products in your home? Are there any that you think you can see yourself using in the future? The transition to reusable, renewable, and recyclable items in our everyday lives is not one that can be done overnight. However, by making small changes, we can make lasting impacts that can save us money and environmental stress over time.
As always, make sure to check back on Fridays to catch my newest Green Friday posts. #LiveGreen, #LiveLong, and #LoveWhereYouLive!