Plastic-Free Kitchen Series: Plastic-Free Pantry

Kitchen pantry with glass jars holding grains and flour, bowls and a green flower vase

A series of blog posts dedicated to providing you with tips, tricks, and products to help make your life in the kitchen as eco-friendly as it can be. So be sure to check back in as the series really gets cooking! Now, without further ado, let’s bag the chatter and get you packing up tips for a:

Plastic-Free Pantry (And Other Types Of Food Storage)

If you’re the one who puts the groceries away, you know: there’s plastic bags, bottles, caps, wrap, boxes, and practically plastic everything surrounding your food. It can be a real cornucopia of polymers. And while we at Blueland can’t help you change the system, we can help you change your system. So here’s a list of items to help make your food storage plastic-free, and your pantry a little more green.

1.   Resealable Sandwich Bags

Next time you’re packing a lunch, pay attention to how much plastic is going into the lunchbox. There’s plastic wrap, plastic bags, and not to mention all of the plastics your food products came in. And it’s true, you can’t always help how all your deli meats, breads, and produce were packaged. But you can help how you package them!  So why don’t you give a few resealable lunch bags a try? They’re sturdy, easy to keep cool with reusable ice packs, better for the environment, a great talking point, and will pair well with other items on this list to make your packed lunches as green as can be! A few of our favorite brands that can help with an eco-friendly lunch are Stasher and Lunchskins!

2.   Pasta (OR Anything)  Jars

Regardless of how much plastic is in your kitchen, you should have some mason style jars. Everybody should have some mason style jars. They are the most classic type of storage, after all. Just ask old cowboys from 1891, or any hipster in Bushwick! They can’t get enough of these jars! And it makes sense since one jar serves as a replacement plastic bag, cup, mug, snack bowl, Tupperware, dry storage, or even cocktail shaker! So what are you waiting for? Go on out and purchase some jars, or grab the ones you already have lying around! They’re perfect for storing food, pasta, grains, dairy, and liquids, they prevent plastic from leaking into your foods, and they can help in the pantry or the fridge!

3.   Stainless Steel Funnels

This one is meant as a companion to your good ole mason jars. After all, if you’re gonna use your jars as storage, you need a good way to get your food into the jars. These funnels help with the clean, waste-free transfer of snacks, cereals, liquids, and pretty much anything else. Just pop them into your jars, and pour from your groceries’ original packaging. They help prevent plastic leaching into your foods, and they keep those oats from ending up all over your floors. A few brands we recommend for your funneling needs are Sur La Table and New Pig!

4.   Beeswax Wraps

When it comes to preserving food, there doesn’t seem to be many options other than single-use plastic wrap. But that wrap is bad for the oceans and seeps plastic into whatever it’s wrapped around. Beeswax Wrap, however, is here to save the day! It’s sustainably produced, reusable, BPA free (Bisphenol-A), and it’s designed to wrap around bowls, sandwiches, veggies, fruits, breads, cheese, and into lunchboxes. And it also looks great! Just use it, wash with biodegradable soap and cold water, and reuse! And if you’d like to know where to start, we love the wraps from Bees Wrap and Abeego. 

5.  Refillable Food Bags

Storing dry foods, breads, and snacks is usually synonymous with one thing: plastic bags. And these bags almost beat out shopping bags for the largest percentage of all plastic waste. Reusable cloth bags with drawstrings (like the ones from Earth Junky or Earthsider), however, are great replacements for plastic storage bags. They look classy. They come in all different sizes (ranging from bonbon to baguette). And they are plastic-free. So if you really want an eco-friendly kitchen, give these bags a try for your bread and other dry foods.

Extra-Credit:  Look for eco-friendly grocery store brands and local farmers, butchers, or store owners from whom you can pick up eggs, meats, and produce in your own refillable containers. If you can cut store-bought packaging out of the equation, then you’re really cookin’! And if you’re interested, check out this zero waste, plastic-free grocery store in Brooklyn!

Check out some other tips for how to keep your kitchen clean without single-use plastic and how to keep your morning routine plastic-free!

The Clean Essentials

The perfect way to start cutting out single-use plastic from your home