PLASTIC FREE JANUARY – TIP #2
After years of doing things a certain way, we become conditioned, and such is the case with reaching for that a box of plastic film wrap. After decades of adding a thin plastic seal over freshly baked goodies, leftovers or half cut fruit before placing them the fridge—it becomes a foreign concept to think food can be stored a different way.
The great news is there are many other ways to store your food other than using plastic wrap.
Reusable Storage Containers
Most homes have containers floating around in the cupboard. Some are more organised than others. (It’s easy to let this part of your kitchen get out of control). But it’s January—it’s a new year and we’re resolving to do things differently this year!
1/ Take a look at your “reusable storage container” cupboards and see what treasures you have hidden in the cupboards or draws. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t uniform, or if they’re used takeaway containers, or even if they’re plastic! What matters is that they have a base and a lid to match.
2/ Put the lids on the bases of your containers and put them aside. Anything that has no lid, or if you have too many lids—purge those from your kitchen. If they’re recyclable place them in the recycle bin.
3/ Figure out how best to store your containers. Many people like to store their lids and bases separately. If you have the room in your cupboard, storing the sealed containers stacked on top of one another is an easy way of knowing what lids fits with what base.
4/ Don’t have enough containers? Start the New Year off right. Get yourself some quality Stainless Steel containers rather than the reusable plastic variety. Plastic containers will eventually end up in landfill—even if it’s not for several years. If you place food in a stainless steel container that is suitable for reheating you can simply place the stainless steel container in the oven to heat it up. No need to transfer it to a new dish before heating. And as they are so stylish you can eat it right out of the stainless steel dish. Less dishes to wash—isn’t that the reason why disposable plates became popular in the first place!
Reusable Food Wraps
Reusable Food Wraps come in many different forms. The most common are Beeswax Wraps, or for those that prefer non-animal products Vegan Food Wraps work exactly the same way (they’re just made without the bees wax).
To use your reusable wrap, simply place your hands around the edges of the bowl/dish or food item you are wanting to cover. The heat from your hands will help mold the wrap around your container or food item.
After use, simply rinse the wrap with warm soapy water to clean. If you have a dish drying rack, hang the wrap on the rack to dry out.
Reusable Food Wraps are the perfect alternative to plastic film wrap. With the added bonus that they are plastic free and zero waste! When your wraps start to loose their stickiness you can simply add more wax over the top of the wrap, pop them in the oven to melt and you have fresh new wraps ready to reuse.
Bonus: Reusable Wraps also make a great zero waste gift. Head to your local florist and pick out a bunch of flowers. Wrap the flower stems in a reusable beeswax or vegan wrap. (You’ll want to use a medium or large size wrap for this). Add a card and your gift is complete! No plastic, just nature at it’s finest. When you hand your flowers over, the recipient can remove the food wrap and place the flowers directly into a vase. The food wraps are the second gift, a gift that keeps on giving!
Happy reusable food wrapping and Happy Plastic Free January.