When I think more about our zero waste goals and the small changes we’ve made to accomplish them, I immediately think of food storage. Grocery stores are bursting at the seams with plastic and excessive packaging, so I’ve changed my habits and shop at farmers markets now. But the question I’m often asked is “When it all gets home, how do you store produce without plastic?” I suppose the concern is that food could spoil more easily without plastic and lead to additional food waste. Shifting the behavior is so easy, especially with these tips to help you store produce without plastic.
These 4 Easy Changes Will Help You Store Produce without Plastic
Every time I share one of my hippie-dippie, no-plastic posts, I worry that I’m going to overwhelm you guys. I want my eco-aware posts to be approachable and easily replicated in any household. I genuinely believe that these 4 tips are easy and actionable changes that you can make to store produce without plastic in your own home. I hope you agree!
Use cloth bags instead of plastic
I’m a really big fan of these reusable produce bags. They come in lots of different sizes and are perfect for produce like loose beans, broccoli heads, apples, lemons, etc. Additionally, those bags are made of natural cotton mesh that is polyester-free, nylon-free, unbleached and biodegradable. I have also loved being able to shop in bulk because it means I get to choose each piece of produce I buy. I sort through the bins, finding the best of the best — and only buying exactly what we need.
Quick tip: The easiest way to remember to bring them to the grocery store or farmers market is to simply store the extras with your reusable grocery totes!
Store cut produce in airtight glass jars
A lot of the time when I cook, I don’t use an entire vegetable. Because I plan a lot of our meals, I know that I’ll slice up the rest of that cucumber, for example, tomorrow for a salad. Instead of storing cut produce with plastic wrap or in a plastic baggie, I use these wide mouth mason jars. The size is always so perfect, no matter what I’m storing. Also, they stack nicely in our fridge and make it easy to see what’s inside that needs to be eaten. Honestly, when I open our fridge and see produce neatly organized in glass jars, my heart does a little dance of joy.
Only buy produce that is in season
Just think of all the plastic that is used to transport out of season produce to your local store! By eating what is in season, that amount of plastic is greatly reduced. I am just as guilty as the next person of craving strawberries in the dead of winter. But I try extremely hard to make sure our meals use ingredients and produce that is in season. That means that I spend time ensuring that we have frozen fruit at the end of the summer so we can use it for smoothies. Or I can homemade pasta sauce to have on hand in the winter.
Start a garden
One of my favorite ways to reduce the amount of plastic in our lives is by planting my vegetable garden! I used to buy at least 2-3 bags of lettuce, kale, and spinach at the grocery store every week. Yeah, we go through a LOT of salad! But now that I have my garden, all of our greens come directly from outside. Any time we make salad, I walk outside with shears and clip off only the leaves that we plan to eat. No plastic involved!
This post is also my first contribution to a new initiative a group of bloggers are sharing called One Small Thing. The goal is to raise awareness of more ways we can all have a more positive impact on our environment and sustainability. Be sure to check out these other bloggers for additional inspiration and tips (I’ll be updating the links as more people share posts!)
- House of Brinson
- Room for Tuesday
- Making It Lovely
- Bre Purposed
- The Grit and Polish
- Park and Division
- SG Style
- Apartment 34
- House 214 Design
- Sacramento Street
- Nubi Interiors
- Deeply Southern Home
- Vestige Home
- Natasha Habermann
- House of Hipsters
- Daniel Kanter
I’d love to know what else has helped you go zero waste and store produce without plastic! Let me know in the comments.
Looking for even more zero waste tips? Check out these posts:
- How to Go Green at the Grocery Store
- 7 Ways to go Plastic-Free in Your Daily Life
- 5 Ways we Reduce Waste in #mytinybungalow
- Zero Waste Farmers Market Essentials
- My Search for a Stylish Countertop Compost Bin
- How to Reduce Waste During the Holidays
- 5 Ways to Reduce Waste in Your Bathroom
- Zero Waste Gift Ideas for the Eco-Conscious
- How To Go Green In Your Laundry Room