Plastic Free July – Food Storage
So my first tasks for #PlasticFreeJuly I focused mostly on reducing my packaging on-the-go and during food shops; refusing straws, carrying my reusable cup, going to a zero waste shop for my basics and seeking out loose produce. I then tackled food storage; these amazing silicon food savers, brown paper and my own home-made beeswax wraps.
I am a hoarder. My cupboards are filled with tupperware, random lids for lunchboxes lost long ago, an embarrassing amount of take away containers and cute lunchboxes. So, having things to store my food in wasn’t a problem, but storage space to stack numerous boxes in my cupboards and fridge was.
My main issue was half used salad and vegetables. I’d have to buy a whole bag of salad just to use a handful in a sandwich. Salad only comes in plastic bags and if I owned an allotment or a grand old garden I could grow my own but as I live in a small flat with no access to outdoor space or sufficient windowsills, growing my own leaves wasn’t really an option. Nor would I forgo salad altogether, because realistically, people eat salad. So the first thing I reconsidered was meal planning… or at least thinking ahead rather than impulse buying. If I was going to buy a bag salad, it had to be used for more than one meal. Other tips on reducing your food waste can be found here.
I also discovered these amazing silicone covers to use instead of cling film. Perfect for unused onion halves! While silicone isn’t as sustainable as beeswax wraps for example, I use these covers on a daily basis and they are incredibly convenient (dishwasher safe even!) and very long lasting. I’ve had these six months now and they’re good as new.
For on-the-go stuff, if one of my vast collection of Tupperware wasn’t suitable, I turned to beeswax wraps. I actually made these as eco-friendly Christmas gifts for friends and family in fun prints they’d like (who doesn’t love llamas?!) and I’m pleasantly surprised with just how useful they are! Sandwiches, cookies, wraps, carrot sticks etc anything you’d previously wrap with cling film can be wrapped with beeswax wraps. Simply wipe clean after use – perfect! Also good for covering bowls in the fridge. I experimented a lot with different ingredients and quantities but the recipe below, with added pine resin for tackiness, was the most similar to cling film I could recreate. See my beeswax wraps tutorial.
The brown paper bags had been collected from various supermarket trips where I forgot produce bags or my local bakery/deli when I’ve picked up treats… They are perfectly reused as snack bags for things like nuts, trail mix or snacks – anything dry. Ultimately, I will stop using them as I get better at zero waste, but reusing and then recycling them is better than just throwing them out and a lot better than the plastic sandwich bags I used to use!
As a bit of a beauty produce hoarder too, I’ve been reviewing some packaging free beauty alternatives over these two weeks, so stay tuned for my next post on how I’ve found them after a decent trial!