Food & Drink

Food & Drink

Three Plastic-Free Kitchen Swaps | Ad

This post on plastic-free kitchen swaps is paid-for content in association with Friends of Glass.

I’m working with Friends of Glass today to promote the benefits of glass, by sharing my top three plastic-free kitchen swaps. Friends of Glass is a community that supports everything about glass packaging and advocates a lifestyle that includes glass. There are three main reasons for this: health, taste, and sustainability.

My Top Three Plastic-Free Kitchen Swaps

When you first start off reducing your plastic usage, using glass in place of plastic can be daunting. So, I wanted to show you three ways in which I have switched from using plastic to using glass in my kitchen.

1. Store Food In Glass In The Fridge

storing food in glass jars

Preventing food waste isn’t always easy. With the best of intentions sometimes you find something festering away in a tub at the back of the fridge.

I always feel that what lets Tupperware tubs down is that depending on the style of the tub or how tomato-stained your tub is, you can’t always see inside. And out of sight, out of mind. This is not a good thing when it comes to food waste.

Something I have had good success with is storing my food in glass jars. I can easily see the contents of the jars. This means I’m more than likely to use up my food. For added bonus points – glass doesn’t get tomato stained!

2. Store Food In Glass In The Freezer

Did you know that you can store food in the freezer in glass jars? Oh yes! It’s one of the great plastic-free kitchen swaps! You made have heard horror stories about freezing glass. However, I have found that if you stick to the four golden rules when it comes to freezing food in glass jars then you can eliminate breakages:

● Do not overfill your jar. Always leave around two inches of headspace in your jar. As the contents freeze, they will expand a little. As such, this method offers room for expansion, helping to avoid breakage. Jars with a wide mouth, rather than bottles, make for a safer choice for freezing.
● Make sure your food is fully cooled before placing it in the freezer.
● When you first put your food in the freezer, sit the lid on your jar loosely.
Once your food is completely frozen, you can then tighten up the lid. If you forget to tighten up the lid (I often do!), then don’t worry, it won’t affect your food.
● Finally, watch how you stack your jars to prevent jars from falling out of the freezer. This won’t be much of a problem if your freezer has drawers.

I don’t buy specific jars for freezing food in. Instead, I re-use what I already have. Jars that I have found particularly useful are old peanut butter jars and vegan mayonnaise jars.

Food Storage On The Go

plastic-free kitchen swaps

I could wax lyrical about the joys of soup all day long. It’s such a great way to use up any leftover vegetables looking a bit sad in the drawer of your fridge.

Whilst making soup is easy, transporting soup for an easy homemade lunch at work can be tricky. I’ve had many a Tupperware container or a flask leak my precious soupy cargo over the years.

Through trial and error, I can safely say that what I have had the most success with is transporting my soup in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid (not a clip top style jar). Just make sure that the lid is tightly screwed before popping it in your bag, and try not to drop your bag! If you are accident-prone, wrapping a tea towel around your jar can help act as a buffer. It’s also handy for mopping up any soupy spills after lunch!

For an added eco bonus, if your work doesn’t have any composting facilities, you can bring any of your food scraps home in your empty jar at the end of the day.

What makes glass a good replacement for plastic Tupperware?

If you are inspired by these plastic-free kitchen swaps, then that’s fantastic! There are six main reasons as to why glass is a good eco-friendly replacement to Tupperware (remember – only once your Tupperware has come to the end of its lifespan):

  1. Unlike plastic, glass has an endless life. It is 100% recyclable and can be recycled infinitely without loss of quality – it can take just 30 days for your bottle or jar to return as a new bottle or jar to the store shelf.
  2. Unlike other packaging materials, glass packaging is a healthy choice because it needs no chemical layer to protect what it contains, so there is no danger of toxic chemicals, such as BPA, leaching into food and drinks.
  3. Glass preserves the taste of food and drinks perfectly.
  4. Food and drink preserved in glass can help keep food and drink fresher for longer.
  5. Glass is made from three naturally occurring, abundant materials – soda ash, limestone, and sand.
  6. Modern glass bottles and jars are typically up to 40% lighter yet stronger thanks to new manufacturing processes.

Don’t Throw Out Your Old Tupperware Though!

Before you get carried away and start binning your old Tupperware, stop and take a breath. I am a huge proponent of using up what you have – I believe it’s simply not sustainable to throw out plastic items you already have in order to replace them with reusables made from more eco-friendly materials. So I am still using my old plastic Tupperware containers, which will be in active service until they are no longer usable.

When your tubs give up the ghost, I recommend only then replacing them with glass. I have bought two glass tubs, but in the main, I have been using old glass jars as the most sustainable and eco-friendly way to store food.

Are you a fan of glass too? Are you looking to make some of your own plastic-free kitchen swaps? Why not join the Friends of Glass community The Friends of Glass community believes that many families and retailers are unaware of these benefits of glass, and so want to spread the word. You can help by joining the ever-growing number of glass advocates on Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter, to help add your voice!

PS: check out my guide to plastic-free snack ideas for more clever plastic-free ideas for the kitchen.

Food & Drink, Kitchen Staples

Bulk Shopping Online – 10 Things You Can Buy In Bulk for Around £20 or Under

bulk shopping online guide
This post contains affiliate links

Do you have a zero-waste shop near you? Whilst the number of zero-waste shops are growing, a large proportion of us – including yours truly – don’t live near enough to a zero-waste shop to be able to shop there on a regular basis. Enter bulk shopping online.

When my budget and where space allows, I occasionally buy one product at a time online to make a mini zero-waste pantry. When I say mini, I mean mini. We live in a small house so we have space for about three or four cartons at a time, and I haven’t figured out how bulk food storage could work in our small space yet.

Where to Bulk Shop Online

If you have more space then your bulk shopping online possibilities are relatively endless. Some products are prohibitively expensive to buy in bulk, but here are 10 products you might like to buy in bulk over time for around £20 or under. If this is above your budget, you could split the cost with likeminded friends or neighbours – starting your own little zero-waste co-operative!

All options are vegan and cruelty-free, with all products carrying Leaping Bunny and Vegan Society labeling.

Bulk Personal Care Products

Suma White Lavender Shampoo (5 litres) – £21.95

Although Suma’s shampoo is the most expensive product in this roundup, as well as a shampoo, it also makes an effective shower gel, bubble bath, and liquid hand soap, making it a real multi-tasker. I decant a little into a recycled bottle with a pump top and this bottle does everything.

I’ve linked to Amazon here because this is the most expensive product in the round-up and all the other sites that carried this product had a delivery fee, pushing the price up higher and potentially out of reach for some. If you’d rather avoid Amazon, and can pay extra for delivery then you can also purchase it at Super Food Market or Real Foods.

Suma White Lavender Conditioner (5 litres) – £21.95

I haven’t tried this one yet because funds haven’t allowed it, but if you’re looking for a conditioner then this one might be worth a try. If you’re on the fence, because I know conditioner can be a tricky one to get right depending on your hair type, then trying out a small bottle before committing to a 5-litre carton could be a wise move.

Conditioner can also be doubled up as a great shaving gel.

Again, Amazon, but it can also be purchased at Super Food Market or Real Foods.

Bulk Cleaning and Laundry Products

Bio-D Pink Grapefruit Washing Up Liquid (5 litres) – £10.68

I DIY a lot of my cleaning products but effective washing up liquid has always eluded me. Instead, we’ve been using this Bio-D one for items that can’t go in the dishwasher for a good six months or so now and I reckon I still have enough washing up liquid left in the carton for at least another 2 years. We use it on pots and pans, baking trays and the roasting tin – all the tough mucky stuff basically – and haven’t found a job it can’t handle yet.

Ecoleaf Non-Bio Laundry Liquid (5 litres) – £14.39

I couldn’t find any powdered eco-friendly laundry detergent in bulk for under £20, but this Ecoleaf laundry liquid has enough for 125 washes. This one ticks a lot of boxes – it’s vegan, not tested on animals and palm-oil free too.

Bio-D Multi Surface Sanitiser (5 litres) – £11.19

If you can’t or don’t want to DIY a cleaning spray then this multi-surface liquid, when diluted and decanted into a spray bottle, will clean your house from top to bottom – kitchen and bathroom included.

Bio-D Concentrated Toilet Cleaner (5 litres) – £9.27

A bulk toilet cleaning option at a price that’s kind to pockets. I would decant this into an old squeezy washing up bottle for ease of application.

Bio-D Sanitising Hand Wash (5 litres) – £15.99

It’s been a revelation to me to learn that not everyone is into solid bars of soap, but now I know there are myriad reasons why not everyone loves bar soap. If bar soap isn’t for you then this bulk carton of hand wash could be a good alternative.

Bio-D Floor Cleaner (5 litres) – £18.04

To save needing to buy a separate product, the Bio-D multi-surface sanitiser is probably effective at cleaning your floors with. However, if you are particular about your floors and require a specific floor cleaning product then this floor cleaner with linseed soap is the one for you.

Bulk Pantry Staples

Organic Basmati Brown Rice (5 kg) – £18.27

Organic Wholewheat Fusili Pasta (6 kg) – £13.88

Buying food staples in bulk online in such large quantities might not suit everyone, but if you’re a family that eats a lot of rice and/or pasta and have the money to buy in bulk upfront, and the requisite storage space, then it could work out economical in the long run (and hey, you never know what Brexit is going to bring).

Over to you. Are you a fan of bulk shopping online? If so, let me know if you split the cost with friends or if you have worked out a clever storage system for bulk food bought online!