Plastic baggies and plastic containers: two things I really don’t like to buy. They are expensive, hard to store and just icky. Therefore, we improvise the best we can.
For the most part, we rarely have to use a plastic container for food, we tend to almost always finish the meal we make. However, there are obviously times when we do have to store homemade food such as our hummus or guacamole or other extra items. We just use saved containers from another items we bought at the store. We will wash and reuse various clear containers instead of spending money on tuperware. If it has a lid and you can see what’s inside of it, I will wash it and reuse it 2-3 more times before recycling it. Glass containers with screw tops work really well for homemade soups, salsas or other liquids.
Plastic baggies are wonderful and a pain in the butt at the same time. I grew up with everything being sorted into plastic ziplock baggies and I still do this; however, now I only use a handful of the plastic ones. A few years ago when I started to travel with J.O. full time and began to make his daily lunches, I noticed how many plastic baggies we were going through. I was constantly buying them. One for the sandwich, one for chips, one for fruit, one for a snack/dessert. Four to five baggies, at least five days a week equals a lot of baggies. I then started to think about all that plastic being tossed: what a waste. After looking around, I found a product called LunchSkins. These adorable, reusable baggies are awesome! They are washable, come in fun designs and work great for J.O.s lunches. They also come in a variety of sizes. I have seen them for sale in some Target stores, but you can also buy them directly from their website, here We have also bought some handmade reusable bags with zippers from different vendors on Etsy.com We still use the store bought plastic bags here and there (things that contain liquid or will go stale fast, such as chips for J.O.s lunch) but now I buy a box of them maybe once a year, not every few weeks.
We don’t have the room to store personal water bottles from the store. The amount of room the recycling would take up alone would be nuts! We have invested in the personal sized, reusable bottles by Britta. Each has a filter inside it that last for over 200 bottle refills! We keep two in the fridge to stay cold and then we each have one we’re drinking from. After we empty one, we wash it, refill it and exchange it out. They cost around $15 a piece and the refills are around $5. They paid for themselves within the first few weeks!
Finally, we always use our own bags when we go to the store. I keep one in my purse at all times and the rest we keep in the truck. There are so many stores that either charge you for NOT bringing your own bags and some will CREDIT your bill for each personal bag you bring in to use! There are some cities now banning stores from using plastic bags at all. If we do end up receiving a plastic bag from a store, we will reuse it as a trash bag in the bathroom or the truck. You can easily make your own bag from a pillow case or old shirt too. Simply cut off the sleeves or the sewn corners of a pillow case and sew the bottom together.
Cut down on the plastic and you’ll save money, space and feel good about helping out mother nature!