Archive for pre-plastic storage


What About Plastic?

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Thinking back to my Mother’s kitchen, I’ve begun unearthing the images and ideas from my childhood about how we held food, wrapped and saved food, and functioned without any plastic readily available. There are many reasons for this, of course, including our health, the environment, and the use of non-renewable resources to make it.

Waxed paper is a valuable addition to the kitchen and is used to wrap sandwiches, line cookie sheets and cake pans, and as a liner in a jar top for acid things. It’s hard to use as a cover on its own since it does not cling like plastic. With sandwiches, you have to fold it quite like a present with the ends tucked under and for kids a small piece of masking tape helps.

I don’t buy plastic anymore so I have been saving the ‘clean’ bags to reuse in the kitchen. You know how hard it is to open some of the chip bags, salad bags, and cereal bags…well they make wonderful reusable bags for left-overs, sandwiches, and snacks. I also take the produce bags back to the supermarket to use again, bring in my own peanut butter jar to refill at the bulk station (have them weigh it first empty), and reuse the coffee bean bag from the bulk coffee section. Saving and reusing bags and containers has actually given me more storage options than I ever had before!

For reheating food in the microwave (I’m so undecided about a microwave…but one thing at a time) I have bought glass lids and pie plates at the second-hand store. The lids cover a dinner plate or pie pan equally well and usually cost under $1.00 . I have also found storage containers of glass, ceramic, or stainless steel at great savings, hopefully with glass, ceramic, wooden, metal, or bamboo lids. On line there are sites that sell Japanese style lunch boxes (tiffins) made out of stainless steel or bamboo which will last for years and have many different size and shape compartments. Stainless steel water bottles are also coming down in price and I have seen them for under $10.00.

Best of all, I am using my Grandma Armstrong’s glass refridgerator containers with lids that allow safe stacking. These have been in use since the 40’s or so. I find my grandchildren handle things more carefully when they know it can be broken! An added bonus!

Let me know your ideas about reducing any new plastic into your home and what you do instead. Together we CAN make a difference!