No plastic wrap, aluminum foil and no Baggies? That's just crazy talk! Well no, I'm serious. I don't use any of these at all. Well to be honest, I do have 1 roll of plastic wrap in my home. I do not use it, it sits there collecting dust and I'm not sure whether to give it away (which I feel like I'm giving them toxins) or to throw it away. Throwing it away would be putting it in the landfill which is what would also happen if I gave it away. Oh how my mind wanders...
What started me on this whole thing was the fact that we used a ton of Baggies for our girls lunches. I felt guilty for using these only one time and throwing them in the garbage. My 2 girls alone were using 3 each lunch per day. That's 1,440 a year. I was throwing plastic Baggies in landfills each year and those probably are still there not breaking down. Makes my stomach ill thinking about it. Well I decided to stop buying them and washing the ones we had over and over again. Then I started hearing about plastics leaching toxins into your food. Then aluminum toxicity was the talk of the town. And I really started getting paranoid. Long story short, I decided to stop using everything all together. No aluminum foil, no plastic wrap and no Baggies.
I must admit that this sounds like a big task.
At first it felt this way but it really was not that hard. First step is to NOT buy these products. You will save so much money by doing this step. $1.99 a box of 100, $1.99 for 50ft roll, and $2.99 for 25 ft roll really do add up. That's about $7 for products that will last your family about 2 weeks if your lucky. Don't you want $167 back in
your wallet? I thought so. So to make your life easier I thought I would tell you all the ways I get around not using these items. It took me several months to figure these things out and every once in a while I have to stop and think.
1. Start looking for glass dishes with lids. (above pic which is not mind but oh how I would love to own them) Thrift stores, garage sales and grandparents are a great place to start. Glass will be your first choice because you can heat it in the microwave or oven. Plus you can use them to store left overs in the fridge, just be sure to keep the lid on it.
You can use vintage Tupperware (above pic is a vintage AD but I do own the cereal bowls shown) but do not heat in the microwave! Heating plastic leaches toxins in your food. Wash your Tupperware with warm water and soap. I have read that its the item they put into plastic to make plastic clear that is toxic. Almost all of Tupperware is not clear and is some very vibrant color so most should be A ok! I throw mine in the dishwasher each night. If its a soft plastic Tupperware then I would hand wash it. Otherwise just toss it in the dishwasher. Softer plastic will melt and warp. Again...oops!
2. What about oven cooking? If I'm cooking dinner in a glass dish I simply use a metal lid from my pan set to cover it. It doesn't have to cover completely and you wont have to worry about your food drying out. Just needs to be mostly covered. If your worried about it drying out, just add a little extra water. If you do not have metal lids then you can use a baking sheet. Anything will work.
3. What about wrapping meat for the freezer? Use butcher paper with NO WAX! Wax paper cannot be recycled to just use good old butcher paper. Make sure to ask your butcher at the store if they use the wax paper and if they do request your meat on non waxed paper. Ive heard stories of people using just newspaper which freak's me the heck out. Toxins in ink and who knows what else can leach into your food. I use vintage Tupperware containers in my freezer and it works just fine. Just make sure not to drop them or they will brake. I'm just saying...oops.
4. What about my kids lunches? Again look for small Tupperware containers. I used them until I had the extra money to buy reusable fabric sandwich bags. The fabric bags are much lighter and your kids will thank you for them. There are so many options now when it comes to reusable fabric bags. www.snacktaxi.com is a great place to find them and you can pick from lots of cute fabrics. They can be hand washed or just thrown in your laundry. Super easy to keep clean. Just look up reusable fabric bags on google and you would be amazed how many people are selling them.
5. What about left overs? Again use those glass containers with lids or Tupperware containers. I have a extensive collection of Tupperware and use each and every one of mine. From tiny ones for my kiddo's lunches, medium ones for left overs, and large ones for salads. I even have party platters, gravy boats, pickle holders, and salt n pepper shakers. All were bought used and from thrift stores or garage sales. I do buy glass containers but they are very hard to find. I run across one of those per 10 Tupperware I find. People just do not give them up. I wouldn't! Grandparents have them so give them a call and ask if they have any they don't use. Plus they came in pretty colors years ago. Now days you get clear glass and they are expensive. But they do carry them so that's always an option. My mother keeps her eye out for Tupperware for me. So tell your friends and family to keep their eyes out for you. Each time I see my mother its a new surprise for me! Yipee!
6. Realize that yes you will survive without these items and your family will be better off without them! I promise your life will not be any harder and yes you will save a bundle by not having these in your home.
Now having all that said I am not against using Baggies all together. I still have a few roaming around in my home. But they were given with items in them to us by other people. I just wash them and reuse them till they truly fall apart. First they are used for food until they cannot hold liquids. Then onto my kids and their barbie toys and tiny rubber Polly clothes. Once they fall apart I cut them into small pieces and throw them in the garbage. Mentally I think they will break down quicker by doing this but who knows. At least no animal will choke on them or get hurt by them. I also own 1 roll of recycled aluminum foil. I basically got this for free or close to it and wanted to try it out. Then I realized I was still using it and then my mind wandered to aluminium toxicity and now it sits in a drawer collecting dust. Notice the pattern here? My mind wanders a lot? Well yes it does. Its a bad habit I have. lol