13 Ways to Reduce Plastic Use & Waste
If you’re here reading this (which I guess you are, right?!), then we should be friends! Please come follow me on Instagram, if you’re not already, so we can hang out there and get to know one another better!
It was on Instagram that I first shared some of the ways we reduce plastic in our home, especially when it comes to food and beverages. Currently, on Tuesdays, I share tips for reducing toxins in our lives in my Low-Toxin Tuesday Series in Instagram Stories. I also do a Thought(ful) Thursday Series.
If you’re currently feeling FOMO and wondering how you could’ve possibly been missing out all this time– DON’T! You can go to the highlights section on my Instagram profile and find all the past installments saved there. No need for FOMO around here!
Also, if you’re looking for snacks or small meals to pack for yourself or your littles, please go grab my free snack guide too! And since we are on the topic of packing food for on-the-go, let’s start with some of the ways we reduce plastic there.
13 Ways to Reduce Plastic Use & Waste
We use these for some of the kids’ school lunches or for packing snacks. This is the only size we have, but I think the LunchBots Large Trio would be a great size to have as well (see below).
We use these inside the LunchBots for foods that we don’t want to make other foods soggy- think dips, spreads, olives, sauerkraut, yogurt, applesauce, etc. Plus, they make the meal even more fun and colorful! And, of course, they can be used for making muffins and cupcakes and even for freezing small portions (e.g. pesto, broth, pâté, etc.).
3- Stainless Steel Snack & Condiment Containers
These are excellent for small portions of leftovers, yogurt, applesauce, dips, nuts and seeds, trail mix, and so much more. We love the various sizes.
4- Thermos – 24 oz, Wide Mouth
This is great for bringing hot foods on the go with you! It works best with foods that have liquid, such as soups, stews, and chilis, and is great for keeping beverages hot too.
This size is so great for kids!
5- Pyrex Glass Food Containers
We use these for leftovers and transporting food all the time. This package has all of our favorite sizes.
6- Wide Mouth Mason Jars – 16 oz
There’s almost no such thing as too many mason jars! We use this 16 oz size the most. I make salad dressings in them, use them for drinking and for storing cut avocados and leftovers, freezing portions, and so much more! You can also bring them with you when purchasing foods from the bulk department (just make sure they get tared first), rather than using plastic bags. Unrelated to food, we organize other items in them, such as make-up, pens, and more. We use various sizes of Mason Jars, but this size is our most used.
We bring our spice jars with us to the health food store to refill them in the bulk area. Just make sure you have them tare your bottle before you fill it. This not only reduces our use of plastic, but also saves us money. Over time, I’ve personally reused glass spice jars I already had from when I bought them that way. Recently, however, I’ve been working to have all square and similar size bottles because they’re so much easier to store and access! This set will allow you to do the same.
These obviously allow you to eliminate plastic produce bags and reuse, reuse, reuse! Just make sure to store them with your reusable grocery bags so you don’t forget them. I keep mine in the back of my car so I always have them. When I unload the groceries from them after shopping, I put them right back in my vehicle.
These are great at keeping water cold and they never leak. I prefer the wide mouth because they’re easier to see inside for cleaning.
10- Yeti Travel Mug
This mug is so great at keeping hot beverages hot! My coffee-loving husband adores his!
11- Stainless Steel Drinking Straws
We really like our stainless steel drinking straws. If you don’t have children, you may like glass straws (see below) better so you can see inside to make sure they’re coming clean.
12- Food Storage Bags and Wraps
Since we use a combination of the various items I’ve already talked about for snacks and food storage, we haven’t yet invested in Stasher Bags, however, I’ve heard nothing but good things about them. They are a silicone replacement for Ziplock style bags and come in various sizes!
Beeswax food wrap is also a great alternative to plastic wrap and can be used for wrapping up leftover dry foods short-term and covering dishes for food storage. I particularly love that the brand I linked is made in Vermont (where I live) and is an Amazon Choice item!
13- Reduce Single-Serving Items
One other suggestion I have for you today is to buy food in larger sizes and make your own single serving portions. With all of the great food storage options we just discussed, it’s easy to portion out yogurt, applesauce, crackers, raisins, dips, etc. This will cut down significantly on packaging waste.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips and found some news ways to reduce plastic in your life as well!
Which of these do you already do? And which will you try?