Today is Earth Day and I wanted to share with you some simple things we can do in the kitchen that will help us to all create less waste and save the planet.
First, we need to stop using plastic wrap and baggies for everything. Yes, I am guilty too, especially baggies. I’m an elementary school teacher and baggies are everywhere, but I am really, really trying to find other ways of packaging and storing food.
I have stated to use wax paper bags and coffee filters as containers to serve treats in during class. They look super cute, don’t cost a fortune, and are much better for the environment.
Last year, I purchased some beeswax wraps and I have come to love them. I have about 10 now in different sizes. They work great to seal up a bowl, cheese, a sandwich, or just about anything else. The heat of your hands seals the wax. When you’re ready to open the package simply warm it in your hands for a minute. You can wash these with warm soapy water and allow them to air dry. They seem to last quite a while. The ones I purchased a year ago are still going strong. When they do wear out they will be composted.
I wash and reuse my plastic silverware. I keep it until it simply can’t be used anymore. Did you know that the handles of the silverware make great little stakes that you can use to label plants in the garden?
I also really like my Lunchskin bags. I use them to store snacks and they come in a wide variety of patterns and colors.
I recently purchased Snack Time Bags and Food Kozy Reusable Wraps too from Thrive Market. I haven’t gotten to try them yet though. I’m going to use them as gifts for my family to try to get them to kick the plastic wrap habit. (Products are pictured above.)
Secondly, if you haven’t gotten metal straws yet, get some! What are you waiting for!?! I am trying to ditch the straw habit when I am eating out too. We don’t need more plastic floating around. While you’re ordering your metal straws, get yourself a few reusable water bottles too. Did you know that a metal straw fits perfectly into a reusable Tervis water bottle? I just discovered this last week. I love my metal straws, but I hate them sticking out while I’m teaching and walking around. I feel like it’s less germy stuck inside my bottle until I’m ready to drink it.
In addition, stop throwing out all your glass bottles. Clean off the labels and reuse the bottles. I started making sun tea and cold brew coffee in mine. I also use old jelly jars and bottles for sauces and dressing in the refrigerator. I keep spices, rice, and popcorn in jars in my pantry too. I cleaned out old candle jars with lids to store my tea bags on the counter too. Any little bit helps even if glass is recyclable.
Finally, try to purchase items that don’t use plastics. Yes, it’s hard and we can’t stop buying everything, but get the milk in the paper carton and the pop in a can. They can be recycled too. When you go shopping bring your own bags. They even make mesh reusable bags for produce. I use them all time and I just keep them all in my car. Try composting your food. I can’t do a ton yet, but right now I put egg shells, coffee grounds, and tea bags around my plants. I, addition, I use my cooled pasta water on plants too.
What do you do to help reduce waste in your home? Please share below!
The Teacher's Table
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