Transitioning to a Plastic Free Kitchen

One of our goals is for Tule Peak Ranch to be as plastic free as possible. However, I didn't realize until I started trying how hard that can be! Plastic is everywhere. It's easy to buy, use, and throw away, without really thinking too much about it. And lately I've found myself turning to ziplock bags and forgetting my reusable grocery bags at home way too often. So, we're turning over a new leaf... or trying to. Beginning with the kitchen.

We started off on the right foot and set up our pantry to be plastic free by buying most things in bulk and using mason jars for storage. This has the added benefit of allowing me to see everything I have and know exactly what to add to our grocery list with just a quick glance in the pantry. 
I write labels on bits of scrap paper and stick them to the jar with milk. I just rub a little on the back of the paper with your finger and press it to the jar. When it dries, its like a glue but is super easy to wash off.
I love my pantry setup, so surely eliminating plastic from the rest of the kitchen will be awesome, too. I figure that even if I make just a few changes, that is better than nothing. Here are a five things I decided to try right away:
  1. Replacing zip lock bags with beeswax coated food wrap for food storage. After reading a few blogs about going plastic free, I decided to give beeswax coated food wrap a try. It's reusable, easy to clean, and pretty cute! (And I'm secretly hopeful that once our bee colonies get established, I'll be able to make my own with my own beeswax.)
  2. Getting a refillable soap dispensers and spray bottles. We really should have done this long ago, but I'm swapping out our plastic soap dispensers and spray bottles for glass ones that we can refill.
  3. Freezing things in mason jars. I didn't even know this was possible, but apparently you can totally freeze things in wide mouth mason jars, as long as you don't fill them all the way to the top. I'm pretty excited for my freezer to look as cute as my pantry. 
  4. Remembering my dang shopping bags! This one seems simple enough, right?
  5. Getting a reusable lid for the cat food. Tilly only eats about 3/4 of a can of cat food a day, so we always have an open can in the fridge... in a plastic bag. While we do, of course, reuse the bag, I'm excited to get washable lids that are infinitely reusable. 
New Bee's Wrap and refillable glass bottles from the Grove Collaborative.

I should note: We are not simply throwing out all our plastic stuff. If I can refill and/or reuse it, I will. For instance, I have plastic freezer containers (as well as a glass and ceramic food storage containers with plastic lids) that are in good condition. Throwing them out would feel way too wasteful. But as I do replace these items, I'm going to prioritize more sustainable and healthier alternatives to plastic. 

We will definitely keep you updated on how we're doing with our plastic-free goals. But we're a work in progress over here, so if you have any tips or plastic-free products that you love, please let us know! 


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