Our tipps for a kitchen without plastic, part 2
In our last post we have already provided you with some tips on avoiding plastic when shopping and storing food. Of course, it is not possible to follow all of them at once. But maybe you have noticed: once we have started to pay attention to it and to question our daily plastic consumption, we become aware of a lot of habits that we could change. And that’s the point. Here is some more inspiration on how you can gradually work towards a plastic-free kitchen: do more things yourself, carry less and, in case of doubt, also consider a little boycott.
Dispense with plastic straws
Let’s face it: in most cases drinking straws are more of a decorative habit than a necessity, aren’t they? And anyone who has ever seen a documentary showing the damage such an inconspicuous plastic tube can cause in the nose of a sea turtle, probably wants to abolish this product immediately. In many countries they have already been banned, others are planning to ban it soon. For those who like to mix cocktails and don’t want to do without straws: sustainable (and turtle-friendly) alternatives are available in glass, bamboo and stainless steel.
Avoid kitchenware made of plastic
A fact that can easily be forgotten: even reusable plastic products will eventually become plastic waste. For example cooking spoons, spatula, salad servers, drinking bottles, storage boxes and chopping boards. Wood, for example, is not only more environmentally friendly but also more hygienic, since it has an antibacterial effect and you do not risk to eat plastic particles. Of course, you don’t have to discard all of it now. Rather replace your kitchen gadgets gradually with sustainable alternatives.
Drink tap water
In Germany, for example, water from the tap is of even better quality than bottled water. By drinking it, you save a lot of money, avoid plastic waste and have to carry less. If you like it fizzy, simply buy a water carbonator. And if you need it to go: just fill a glass bottle or one made of stainless steel.
Separate waste and avoid garbage bags
It goes without saying that despite all due care and attention, people produce waste. That’s why it is important to separate it in a responsible way so that it can be recycled. And remember: garbage bags are garbage as well – so we should avoid them as far as possible. You can simply collect your dry waste in a garbage can. And for wet waste, there are special stainless steel or ceramic containers which are easy to clean. Alternatively you can make garbage bags from waste paper. And if you cannot do without them: simply use biodegradable compost bags made of corn starch.
Making coffee – without using plastic
You do not have to produce (plastic waste) to make your morning coffee. Instead of plastic capsules you can use a French press, an espresso pot or a reusable filter to get your coffee dose. However, if you already own a capsule machine, you do not have to dispose of it. As of late, you can also buy biodegradable capsules and reusable capsules suitable for many models.
Hundreds of different cleaning agents? Nobody needs them!
The rows of shelves full of cleaning agents in supermarkets and drugstores suggest that you really need an (often expensive) special product for every area of the household – and of course every one comes with its own plastic packaging. The pleasing truth: you can actually mix everything you need using only five ingredients: vinegar, citric acid, soda, sodium bicarbonate and curd soap. This way, you save a lot of money, produce considerably less packaging waste – and it’s a lot of fun.
In case of doubt you can decide for a little boycott
Triple-packed biscuits, shrink-wrapped vegetables, tiny yoghurt cups, salad to go in a plastic bowl? Just ask yourselves every time you buy something if this is absolutely necessary. Where there is no demand, there is no supply. And somebody has to make a start on stopping producing plastic waste. Another good idea: writing to the producer and asking if he maybe could do without plastic.