Updated: Apr 8, 2021
When you think of Food Sustainability, you probably think of organic foods, buying local, or perhaps growing your own food in your back yard. But what about the tools we may use to store food or consume food in the kitchen? You'll be surprised how plastic-reliant we have been. Here's LbE's Top 5 countdown for Eco-Friendly Kitchen Tools.
5. Reusable Produce Bags
Do you love grocery shopping? Picking the best looking bruise-free vegetables and fruits is exciting as slicing them up at home to eat. But where do many shoppers place such produce?
You guessed right! Thin plastic produce bags that you can see in the vegetable and fruit areas at grocery stores are non-recyclable and non-reusable.
These seemingly harmless looking lightweight plastic produce bags are often left behind from the "plastics are bad discussion," however, we cannot forget about its negative impact on the environment. Even though they are extremely thin, they are a huge contributor to landfills.
There are some alternatives to using single-use plastic produce bags. Our recommendation is to simply bring your own reusable produce bag to the grocery store and into the kitchen. Make it a habit to bring your reusable bag to the grocery store such as storing the bag in your car or purse/bag.
This simple change in habit will limit your dependency on plastics and may inspire others to follow your leadership. What might a plastic-free planet look like? Well, how long has plastics even been around?
Photo courtesy, COLONY Co.
4. Reusable Straws
It might be difficult to deny that you have used a plastic straw at least once in your life - at a coffee shop, restaurant, fast food joint, or your favorite smoothie stand. Perhaps the drinks we consume simply taste better from a straw, or is easier to drink than drinking from the lip of the cup.
In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that over 500 million plastic straws are used everyday!
Along with many other waste, plastic straws finds its way to the ocean. Plastics can absorb harmful pollutants, making it an unfortunate predator to marine life and even humans. If marine animals were to consume the toxic plastic in the ocean and if were humans were to consume to marine animals who have consumed the plastic, we have a problem!
Wait, but I thought plastic straws could be recycled. Unfortunately, due to its lightweight, the plastic straws cannot be properly recycled.
What can we do? Refusing the use of single-use plastic straws is the easiest and simplest way for us to address the plastic pollution issue. It begins with us as individuals to prepare our own reusable straw. It can be stored in the kitchen and even in our bags so you can take it wherever you go.
The next time you are offered a drink, be sure to firmly request: “no plastic straw, please," then proudly use your reusable straw. Happy sipping!
Photo courtesy, Wise Fool
3. Stasher Bags
It's snack time on the go! You just might have a small plastic resealable bag storing your favorite nuts or chips. We have already discussed the negative impacts of plastic on the environment in our 4th and 5th picks. But here's another fun (but disturbing) fact about plastic bags. Can you guess how long it takes for plastic bags to break down? 500 years!
So what's the solution? We're excited to introduce to you the Stasher Bag. These bags are booming among conscious people as a safer alternative to plastics. You may think these bags are made of plastic, but they are flexible and reusable made out of 100% food grade silicone.
Besides the contribution of plastic waste, a great benefit of using these bags is it can be used multiple times - in fact, forever (that is if you take care of it)!
By using these Stasher Bags, you eliminate future plastic waste to be born, and save a lot of money on purchasing single-use plastic bags.
Photo courtesy, Stasher Bag
2. Glass Containers
You might think you are doing the environment some good by using reusable plastic containers. But did you know that plastic containers are known for its toxicity and easily absorbs smells and stains?
Plastic containers might last for a while, but not forever. So, like the items we have already mentioned in this list, these containers will also end up in land fills and the ocean.
A simple solution would be to purchase and utilize glass containers. They are much safer, stronger, and minimizes our exposure to toxic chemicals found in a lot of plastic containers.
By taking the simple step of storing your foods in glass containers, you are showing your care for the environment and your family's health!
Photo courtesy, Mighty Nest
1. Beeswax Wrap
Trivia. How might you wrap your lunch sandwich on the go? If you answered "with plastic wrap," don't worry. It is understandable how useful plastic wrap is in the kitchen from wrapping food to covering leftovers, but one of the most essential questions to determine if something is sustainable is, "can I use this forever?" The answer for plastic wrap is NO! And we have already discussed what happens to plastic waste in our list.
So, here's our number one pick on our list - Beeswax Wrap. This may sound unusual, but it is simply a substitute wrap to plastic wrap, containing beeswax and other organic materials like cotton and tree resin.
These beautiful wraps can function the same way as a plastic wrap, but eliminates the use of plastic and can be reused for quite some time. If for whatever the wrap can no longer be used, it's okay, since it is 100% biodegradable. What's more, like we have discussed regarding plastic containers, you eliminate the risk of consuming harmful toxins.
Like all our other pics, use of the Beeswax Wrap eliminates your reliance on plastic in the kitchen and beyond. You can show off your sandwich at school or at work and inspire others to follow your lead.
Photo courtesy, Meli Wraps