One of the effects of trying to simplify my surroundings (and life) has been a growing interest in more sustainable things. I've read quite a bit on more natural and reusable products. I've also become more... aware, I guess, on how harmful plastics are for nature and for us. The big waste hub in the middle of the Pacific. Animals who`s digestive tracts are clogged with tiny plastic bits. Toxic chemicals in food containers.
I can't undo all the plastic I've bought so far, but I've been trying to do better choices now. I've especially made am effort to switch out of plastics that are in contact with food. Instead of plastic I've focused on stainless steel, glass and wood.
There`s also the issue of what to do with the plastics we don't use anymore. Throwing it away doesn't (obviously) seem like the right course of action. So, I've been donating it.
Here are some of the things we used to have in plastic.
Cutting board. This was really the thing that kick-started it all. I read an article about a study that found that plastic cutting boards are pretty much covered in bacteria while a wooden one will self-disinfect. And when you cut on plastic small bits of plastic can end up in your food. Ugh. No, thanks. And I have to say a wooden cutting board feels a lot nicer somehow.
Straws. We don`t use straws that much, they are nice to have at hand. I bought these stainless steel ones from the flea market for no more than about fifty cents each. They can just be thrown into the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
Glass containers for leftovers. The lids are plastic, but they don`t actually touch the food, so I feel much better about storing leftovers in them. Apparently putting hot food especially in plastic containers is a big no-no.
Glass containers for bulk-foods. These I found on sale. Added bonus: they look neat.
Spatulas and ladles. These again are in contact with very hot food, so I made it a priority. I've yet to find a really good big wooden spoon, they are for some reason really shallow compared to the plastic ones we used use.
Mixing bowls. I have two big ones and two small ones. Absolutely love these. That tiny handle kills me. They seem so sturdy I think I`ll be using them for the rest of my life.
This is obviously an ongoing process. We have plenty of plastics in the house, and even in the kitchen still. And probably always will. But I`m working on it. Now, every time we need something new, when possible, I try to choose a natural material over plastic.