This year we have been focusing on our environmental impact and our human impact. We want to live a life that respects God, his creation and other people. It has not been easy. There are so many things that I did not think about when I made this pledge, like underwear. Have you ever tried to find underwear made in the USA from materials that are harvested and grown in a sustainable manner. Not possible. Toothbrushes have also been a challenge. There are so many things that we use everyday and take for granted. Small things like salt, highlighters, shoelaces. How do I source these things locally and sustainably? It has been a challenge. We are still learning to say the least, we have so much room for improvement. What we have learned is that the best thing to do is live without or with less and consume less. We have made several swaps to try and reduce our impact. Today, I am going to focus on food storage in the kitchen.
Food Storage: Plastic, plastic, plastic. It is everywhere. Everything comes wrapped in plastic and then we repackage it in plastic and then store it in plastic. Plastic, plastic, plastic. We have not thrown away all the plastic in the kitchen. Plastic is really useful and if I already have it I am going to use it. We are trying to not buy new plastic. We wash and reuse our plastic zip lock bags. Once there is a hole in it, we will throw it away. I also do not reuse it if I stored meat in it. I also wash any plastic zip type bags I get from the store. Almonds are an example. When I buy almonds, they come in a resealable bag. I wash that bag and reuse it. These bags are stronger than the clear storage bags you can buy and they are “free”. Win, win for me.
Wax fabric wraps: If we need to cover something instead of using plastic wrap, I use wax fabric wraps. We make these using the bees wax from our hives but you can also buy wax from a local bee keeper or Amazon if you must. Most grocery stores actually sell the fabric wraps ready to use. So next time you need plastic wrap, try a fabric wrap instead.
Butcher paper: We have continued to try and work with our butchers to use paper instead of plastic. It is not always an option, but I will continue to ask. We have found one place that will use paper and we use them when we can. If we butcher ourselves and when we store butter, baked goods, or cheese in the freezer we use butcher paper. I can burn it when I am done or compost it. Zero waste and plastic free.
Mason / Ball jars: We can a lot of our food. We are blessed to have a healthy supply of canning jars. We use these jars for everything from milk storage, leftovers and salad dressings.
These are just a couple of swaps that we have made in our kitchen to help decrease our plastic usage and consumption. Are we zero plastic? No! We use and reuse as much as possible. We are still seeking alternatives and I still buy potato chips. We are trying and I am proud of that! What changes have you made that you can share with me? We are all in this together and have a wonderful chance to learn from each other.