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How to go plastic free in the kitchen

Updated on November 25, 2012

I’ve always considered myself some shade of green, but as life got busy I tended towards convenience over environmentalism. Then, when I had kids, I started thinking more about my choices. It started with baby bottles and all the news about Bisphenol A (BPA). Obviously, it wasn’t something I wanted my kids milk sitting in for hours at a time. With my first baby, I was interested in glass bottles, but everyone talked me out of it, claiming they were too heavy, too likely to break, you name it. I went against my best judgment and registered for BPA free bottles. By the time the second baby came, I knew I was going to use glass bottles.

But glass bottles were only the beginning. Next on the list, plastic utensils. Thankfully, there are lots of adorable and functional stainless steel utensils for kids. Worried about your baby? You can opt for rubber tipper stainless steel spoons. Sure, stainless steel kids utensils are going to cost more than their plastic counterparts, but the great thing about stainless steel and silverware is that it will last forever. My little girl uses a Minnie Mouse silverware set that I had when I was her age.

After the utensils, it was time to move on to plates and bowls. The draw for plastic or melamine is the durability. You don’t have to worry about a plastic plate shattering into a thousand pieces when junior decides to see what happens when it falls from the highchair. Luckily, there are safe alternatives to plastic that won’t break on impact. Consider stainless steel bowls and plates in kid sizes. Another great option are wooden bowls.

For my family, the most difficult plastic to eliminate from the kitchen was the sippy cup. Like most parents, I was concerned that a glass cup would be tossed no the floor and break within days. After a lot of research, we decided that stainless steel sippy cups were the answer. I especially love the Klean Kanteen from Avent. The best part of this system is that all the parts are interchangeable. I can buy some soft spouts for my infant and when he is ready to move to a harder spout, we just have to buy new spouts – we can use the same stainless steel canteen. Even better, when the kids have outgrown sippy cups altogether, we can buy a sports bottle lid. While the cups cost significantly more than a disposable plastic cup, you can literally get years of use from one purchase. I can’t think of a better option. When we are eating at the table, my daughter loves feeling like a big kid with her own tiny little glass.

There are a few other kitchen staples that are commonly plastic that you should also consider. When it comes to food storage, there are a lot of new options on the market that offer glass containers with plastic lids , such as the new Ziploc VersaGlass line. This means I can store leftovers in glass, snap off the plastic lid and pop it right into the oven or microwave.

Packed lunches in plastic sandwich baggies, whether for school or the park, was the next item to tackle. Keeping up with a glass sandwich container isn’t always convenient. The best solution we found was wax paper. You can personalize each sandwich with a cute sticker to hold the wax paper folded down.

I hope this article gave you a few suggestions on how to start cutting down on the amount of plastic in your kitchen. If you have some other suggestions on how to eliminate plastic from your kitchen please share them!


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