After making these 5 small changes I was amazed at how little waste has been created when cooking, aside from food scrapes of course! These products have truly stood the test of time in my kitchen. True, they are a bit of an investment upfront compared to their single use counterparts. After having most of these products 3+ years it’s safe to say they have saved me money, and a huge pile of garbage, in the long run.
1. Glass Jars
Now I know what you are thinking and yes glass jars for everything gets pricey. But here me out. You don’t have to go an invest a bunch of money in this. I bought my “fancy” jars from the dollar store a couple at a time as I could afford it. Probably 50% of my jars are reused peanut butter jars, coconut oil jars, protein powder containers, etc.
Pro tip! Take your jars with you to a bulk store. It saves time and you will get exactly as much as you need without using any of those single use plastic bags. Make sure you get a cashier to weigh your jars before you fill them. If you don’t get them to weigh the jars first, even if you have weighed it yourself, they will have to charge you for the full weight of the product plus the weight of your jar.
2. Tupperware Containers
I know these aren’t new and that most people have them. They are amazing for meal prepping, holding snacks to take on the go, storing leftovers or cut up fruit, and for packing your lunch. But let’s be honest how often do you reach for the plastic sandwich bag over the sandwich size container? If you are guilty of this don’t feel bad. I used to do the exact same thing until I made it harder to get to my plastic bags. I put the bags up on the highest shelf in my pantry so that way if I wanted to use them I would have to get a chair and stand on it to even reach them. Whereas my containers were right there in the cupboard at eye level. Take the time to work out an organization system for your container cupboard and stick to it! If it becomes a huge mess you will be reaching for that chair to climb up to those bags over hunting for the lid. Every. Single. Time!
3. Silicone Baking Sheets
Now I was very unsure of these the first time I went to use them. I figured that there was no way they wouldn’t affect the cook time, flavor, or melt. But boy was I wrong! They were a total game changer. The don’t effect the cook time or the flavor and they definitely 100%. Did. Not. Melt. Not only that but when cooking with silicone mats you don’t even need to use oil! I still like to apply a little drizzle of olive oil to help seasonings stick and get the food a bit more crispy.
4. Bees Wax Wraps
You can find these bad boys in health food stores, online, at your local farmers market, or you can make them yourself. They come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and styles. In my home they have completely replaced plastic wrap! I wrap my cut fruit, veggies, and “cheese” in them to keep it fresh. I use them to cover bowls of all sizes to store in the fridge. When it comes time to wash your wraps only use cool water because warm or hot water will melt the wax. Lay the wrap flat wash it gently but thoroughly with a wash cloth. NEVER crumple the wrap! Set flat to dry.
5. Bag Clips
These little things are so handy! They help to keep you bagged goods fresher longer without transferring them into a zip seal plastic bag. You can buy them in a variety of shapes and sizes. Not much more I can say about these guys. They are pretty simple. I honestly use them for everything from spices to dog food.