Want a Clean Green Kitchen? Ditch the Plastic and Go Glass!

I'm always encouraging clients to cook more at home, and if they can, make enough to freeze so they can have meals at the ready. What's better than coming home from a long day and having dinner already made, and just in need of a little heat? Nothin I tell ya, nothin! But most people use plastic tupperware at home to store leftovers, and to stash stuff in the freezers, and that my friends, is not awesome.

Plastics are nasty, I do not like them, and actively encourage people to find alternatives. Plastics junk up our planet with stuff like this and devastatingly and heartbreakingly destroy wildlife like this and this. According to Greenhouse Neutral Foundation, we use an estimated 500 BILLION plastic bags annually, (that's about 1 million per minute!). And in case you didn't bother to click on those three links above (do it!), here are some other sad facts about plastic, also from the Greenhouse Neutral Foundation:

* Once brought into existence to tote your purchases, they'll accumulate and persist on our planet for up to 1,000 years.

* Every single piece of plastic ever manufactured is still on the planet. It is in use, intact in landfills, as windblown litter, and also toxically contaminating global river systems and oceans.

* The US goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. An estimated 12 billion barrels of oil is required to make that many plastic bags.

As if their physical litter wasn't bad enough, plastics also contain phthalates, which are known endocrine distrupters, and Bisphenol-A, another endocrine disprupter, among other horrible things. A lot of people have gotten hip to carrying re-usable cloth bags with them to the grocery store, but not enough. And a lot of people have gotten hip to carrying re-usable water bottles like Siggs or Klean Kanteen, but again, not enough. Sadly, when it comes to kitchen use, even those who are green minded still cave to the "convenience" of plastic food containers for leftovers. I say, GET HIP! Glass is back! Since we know every piece of plastic ever made will be here on earth, leaching chemicals, and strangling wildlife, for all eternity, we really shouldn't be buying anything made of plastic or containing plastic at all. Glass may not be perfect, but it's infinitely better for food storage than tupperware or cheap Chinese food containers.

Reuseable Glass Jars

Glass doesn't leach anything into our food, does not retain odors, and does not stain. It's reuse-able for ever and ever and is universally recycle-able unlike some plastics. Plus, if you're smart and think ahead, it can even be free! When you buy foods that are packed in glass jars, not only are you assured that chemicals aren't leaching into your food, but you get an instant re-usable storage container. Jam jars, pasta sauce, peanut butter... shopping smarter means you get more than just food. If the mis-matched jar thing isn't your thing, there are less eclectic options out there. There aren't many glass container options that don't use plastic lids, or silicone sealers, and since I'm talking about not using plastic, here are my two top picks for 100% plastic free storage:

BALL MASON JARS - Really inexpensive (as little as $1.80 each for quart sized jars) these glass canning jars come in a whole variety of sizes from 4 oz up to half gallons, these can be used to store everything from grains and dried beans, to leftover soups and stews, to actual jam. The jars can even be re-used over and over for canning (with new lids), can be used in the freezer and even if the oven (see below)!

ANCHOR HOCKING - These vintage style glass refrigerator containers are stackable, dishwasher, oven, and freezer safe, and pretty great looking if you ask me.

Tiny Pies Baked in Jars - from NotMartha.org

As if mason jars weren't great enough for just storing food, apparently (and I'm DYING to try this) you can bake in them too! I found these great websites where food bloggers baked teeny weeny pies (the pic above is from notmartha.org) inside some 4oz mason jars, and even cupcakes! So delish!

So ditch the plastic for good, and that includes shopping bags, toys, food storage, and toys! Your planet will thank you.

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