It might seem overwhelming at first, but turning your kitchen into a plastic-free zone is easier than you think. The trick is to take it slow and swap a habit every fortnight or so. You've already got a head start seeing as there's lots of ceramics, glass, wood and steel already present in the kitchen. With a little awareness, swapping your remaining plastic items like shopping bags, cling-wrap, storage and plastic food packaging is a no brainer and super rewarding. No more overwhelming and ugly brand packaging, just beautiful jars of nourishing whole foods that make the whole experience of cooking so much more enjoyable.
Here's what you need to replace:
Local supermarkets are filled with plastic and unnecessary packaging. Luckily, bulk whole food stores and farmers markets are growing steadily in numbers. Bulk whole food stores like The Source, also sell reusable produce bags so you don't have to go hunting for them.
baskets and produce bags
Always keep baskets or cotton shopping bags with you. This includes produce bags for storing loose items at the supermarket like grains, flour, and spinach. Onya do some great ones at an affordable price, but if you prefer canvas or muslin, try these by Leafico. Otherwise, your local bulk foods store should sell them too, but of course online will likely be the cheaper option!
For takeaway cups of coffee, I love using my glass KeepCup, but if you don't want something as heavy as glass try these double walled stainless steel one's by Forestry Labs come with a handle and keep your coffee hot for longer. For smoothies, try Kleen Kanteen's range of larger cups and for food, try to avoid getting takeaway, but if you have to — use a storage container like this one from Cal Tiffin.
There's no need for cling wrap with so many other alternatives available that do the exact same job and these days, they're much easier to find in your local bulk foods shop for example. Biome has a huge selection of beeswax wraps in patterns and plain colours that you can buy online. They can be used 6-12 months and work just like cling wrap. Use them for sandwiches or to keep food fresh in the fridge.
Saving jars from pesto, tomato sauce, or preserves is a great and cost-effective way to store food, but if you're after something with a little more personality, check out these incredible Danish and Japanese slick storage solutions by Vincent Van Duysen and Kiyokazu Tsuda/Yoshiyuki Kato.
Nespresso coffee pods take 150-500 years to break down. They're polluting our oceans and are found washed up on remote beaches. Swap the pod machine for a beautiful ceramic filter coffee system like the one below by Yonobi Studio, an espresso machine, Moka Italian coffee pot, or a French Press. There's so many alternatives that make superior coffee to the lowly and wasteful Nespresso Machine. George Clooney we love you, but you've got some explaining to do.
Salt and Pepper
These bad boys by MENU can be refilled with rock salt and peppercorns for plastic-free grinding.
dustpan and funnel
There'll be a separate post coming up for zero-plastic/natural cleaning, but we couldn't go past this cute sweeper and funnel by Polish designer Jan Kochanski. It's innovative, sleek and made from nothing but natural materials.
Notice how most non-stick pans only last a couple of years? If you add up the cost of that over a period of 5-10 years, it'd be a lot more expensive than the price investing in some good copper pans. Copper pans don't stick either. Sticking occurs when heat is unevenly distributed in the pan, but copper's ability to conduct heat evenly fixes this problem and rarely sticks to food. While it's a big investment (between 400-600 for a single pan), they're the kind of things that your grandchildren will pass on to theirs.
Brands like Mauviel and Falk sell the real deal, but for something a little less pricey these one's by Chasseur Escoffier aren't much more expensive than a good non-stick pan. For slow-cooking and pots, investing in one good all-rounder Le Creuset cast-iron pot will again, last a lifetime. Westinghouse also do them at about half the price tag. No more re-buying crappy pans with toxic non-stick chemicals every 2 years — just good old school cooking.