Eliminating plastic food storage

I started my plastic-free journey from the kitchen. Typically, the kitchen and bathroom are the places where you can find the most plastic containers in your house. I decided to tackle the kitchen first because that seemed like the easier place to start.

We’ve used the same plastic containers for years. You know the Rubbermaid ones with red lids? You can get a 34-piece set from Target for 20 bucks and they are oh so convenient. You can stack the empty containers in the cupboard, they are great for meal prep, they are dishwasher safe, and they are light and durable. But you are storing your food in plastic.

Those Tupperware containers needed to go. I cleaned them and donated the ones that are still in good condition to Goodwill. Rule number one of getting rid of plastic: make sure everything you donate is still in good condition and accepted by the organization you’re giving it to.

Then I started to research non-plastic alternatives. I consulted my sister-in-law who made the same move a few years ago. She recommended some glass containers and some stainless steel ones. A lot of the glass containers still have a plastic lid, but you can find some glass containers with bamboo lids.

If you’re not interested in buying anything new, you can also use mason jars as well as empty pasta sauce and salsa jars. Repurposing what you already have is definitely a great way to move forward.

We’re so used to horizontal containers that in the beginning it felt a bit weird putting food into vertical ones. But now I actually really like how our fridge and cupboard looks like. It’s easy to see what’s in the containers and the food actually looks more appetizing when it’s not in plastic. 

But of course change is not always easy. On one of the first nights after I had gotten rid of all the Tupperware I dropped a mason jar on the floor. My daughter was playing on the floor while I was preparing dinner and the jar broke pretty close to her. First I got scared and then when she was totally fine I got annoyed. You try to do something good and this is what you get. Glass shattered on the floor and a big mess you need to clean up. Maybe glass containers are not the safest and most convenient thing when you have a small child, but then again we manage to use glasses without breaking them on a regular basis so I think we’ll be just fine.