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your ultimate guide to a beautiful plastic free kitchen

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:

grocery shopping:

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!

French market baskets

French market baskets

African market basket from Oxfam (Fits a surprising amount of things inside and very durable with heavy items)

African market basket from Oxfam (Fits a surprising amount of things inside and very durable with heavy items)

Produce bags (on left) for fruit, veg and grains

Produce bags (on left) for fruit, veg and grains

takeaway food

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.

Double walled cup by Forestry Labs to keep coffee and tea warm for longer!

Double walled cup by Forestry Labs to keep coffee and tea warm for longer!

Keep Cups

Keep Cups

storage:

cling wrap

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. 

 

DIY beeswax food wraps

DIY beeswax food wraps

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food storage

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. 

 

 

Vincent Van Duysen

Vincent Van Duysen

Kiyokazu Tsuda/Yoshiyuki Kato

Kiyokazu Tsuda/Yoshiyuki Kato

Upcycled glass jars

Upcycled glass jars

food preparation:

Coffee

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. 

Yonobi Studio filter coffee set

Yonobi Studio filter coffee set

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Salt and Pepper

These bad boys by MENU can be refilled with rock salt and peppercorns for plastic-free grinding.

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cleaning

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. 

 

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dish washing

For kitchen cleaning, there's plenty of alternatives including wooden scrubbing brushes, copper scourers, twine or coconut fibre scrub pads and cotton re-usable dish cloths

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For soap dispensers, we found these beautiful amber glass one's from Rail 19, but if you're a fiend for good design then these one's by Eva Solo or Vipp 9 you'll probably have for life. 

 

 

Vipp 9 soap dispenser for kitchen/bathroom

Vipp 9 soap dispenser for kitchen/bathroom

Evo Solo soap dispenser

Evo Solo soap dispenser

Rail 19 amber glass soap dispenser 

Rail 19 amber glass soap dispenser 

cookware

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. 

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10 luxurious plastic free items for your home

The plastic free movement is gaining momentum with so much social sharing of late, particularly this alarming viral video of a British Diver with a go-pro swimming through a sea of plastic. There's endless bloggers and influencers sharing plastic-free tips, from using jars as storage, to DIY-ing everything and while these are great for the environment, they seem to be void of one thing; luxury.

Let's be clear though, our definition of luxury isn't about needless spending and consumerism, quite the opposite. It’s the kind of thing that your grandma enjoyed back in her day when buying clothing so sturdy they could last a lifetime. We're constantly in search of the most tasteful, ethical and eco-friendly items out there. Funnily enough designers can often be eco-friendly by default, as they tend to favour premium and natural materials like wood and aluminium anyway. Combining form and function, a lot of this stuff doubles as artwork. 

Here’s 10 luxury plastic free staples for your home that your grandma would approve of:

 

Organic Cotton Bedsheets

Synthetic fabrics contain micro plastics that leak into the ocean with each washing cycle. Using organic cotton bedsheets means the crop weren't grown with harmful pesticides, herbicides and insecticides that also seep into and poison our waterways and irritate the skin. We love these one's by my organic sleep.

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Ferm living drupe bottle grinder

Freshly grind spices, salt and pepper with these fancy designer kitchen staples that double as little sculptures. They're made from ashwood and come in six different colours so you can colour coordinate your spices. 

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Menu dustpan

As innovative as it is stylish, this little guy has a funnel to easy dispense all that funky dust you sweep up in the house. These one's from menu are pretty lush and they also come in black. 

 

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Double walled stainless water bottle

They're everywhere and they're overpriced, but these one's by The Source Bulk Foods come at a much friendlier price of $29 for their largest size. 

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Wooden brushes for the bathroom

Whether it's a hair brush, comb, or dry body brush, there's probably a wooden alternative that does exactly the same job. There's so many brands out there now selling plastic-free brushes. We love these one's by Meraki or this one by Vegan Organics.

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Cotton muslin produce bags

There's really no reason to use plastic in the supermarket other than pure forgetfulness. Produce bags are cheap, fold into nothing and can be always kept in your car for the next time you're at the grocer. It's a much nicer experience using these instead of plastic and if you forget yours, don't stress, just grab a few paper mushroom bags to store lose leaves or grains in the meantime. 

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Ginko Walnut Cube Alarm Clock

In the age of iPhone alarms, you're probably wondering why this is on here at all. Well, with studies have shown that electromagnetic radiation from your phone isn't all that great, not to mention the temptation of a phone charging near your bedside might keep you up at night — especially with the blue light it emits. Keeping an alarm clock by your bedside removes the excuse of needing an iPhone by your side overnight and we love this stylish one by Ginko.

 

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Ratio Eight Coffee Maker

This sexy pour over coffee maker also comes in a blonde wood trim and is made with aluminium and borosilicate glass which (for coffee enthusiasts) heats water to the ideal extraction temperature. It supposedly produces the kind of pour over your local barista would make for you, all without leaving your place. 

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Ever Eco Rose Gold Straws

Why have silver when you can have rose gold? These one's from Ever Eco come with a straw cleaner so you can sip hygienically, sustainably and in style.  

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Seagrass storage baskets

Using baskets for storage is a no-brainer because they're cheap, durable and they look beautiful in almost any space. They can be used for everything from a laundry basket, bathroom storage, to pot plants. We love these by Dos Hombre.

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