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
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
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):
- 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.
- 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.
- Glass preserves the taste of food and drinks perfectly.
- Food and drink preserved in glass can help keep food and drink fresher for longer.
- Glass is made from three naturally occurring, abundant materials – soda ash, limestone, and sand.
- 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.