The time for New Year’s resolutions may have passed, but warmer weather is quickly approaching, and for many that means continuing to exercise and eat healthy. At OBIC, we want “consumers to feel good about the products they use, the companies they support, and the environment they leave behind.” Here are some ways to reach your health goals while reducing plastic waste in the kitchen.
The convenience of single-use disposable plastic like Keurig’s K-cups or Ziploc bags cannot be matched, but these items are terrible for the environment. With the average plastic item taking anywhere from 200 to 1,000 years to decompose, we should shift our attitudes from “this is super convenient for me now” to “this is convenient for me and the environment.” K-cups are advertised as recyclable, but many current recycling facilities are not equipped to properly recycle the tiny individual components, so they end up in landfills around the country. If all of the K-Cups sold in 2014 were placed end-to-end, they would circle the globe 10.5 times. Many Keurig users have since switched to a reusable coffee pod such as the My K-Cup® offered by Keurig or others found in local retail stores. This simple switch saves the average consumer money while also allowing them the flexibility of selecting their coffee flavor outside of Keurig’s offerings.
Many households in America use Ziploc® bags for a variety of reasons: food storage, piping icing for baking, travel, etc. However, most consumers use the bags once and then throw them away where they will typically travel to a landfill and never biodegrade. Reusing the Ziploc® bags to reduce waste is an easy option, but if you are concerned about reusing a plastic bag, there are many sustainable substitutes on the market today. There are reusable cloth bags, silicone bags, and even a silicone pouch one can use for snacks. These items can be hand washed, put in the dishwasher, and even in a washing machine depending on the item! In addition, these mesh produce bags can be used instead of the plastic bags at the grocery stores. Over time, these investments will allow you to save money while helping keep the planet free of greenhouse gases.
Plastic wrap is also commonly used in the kitchen to quickly store food. Rather than using this harmful product, try using a laminated bowl cover like this, a microwave-safe food cover like this, or this beeswax wrap. Click this link to learn how to customize and DIY your own beeswax wrap.
There are many ways to reduce our daily plastic waste. If interested in more sustainable kitchen options, click here to find some reusable “paper towels”, lunch boxes, water bottles, and more. Tweet us at @OhioBioProducts to let us know how you are being sustainable and reducing your plastic waste.
This article was written by Shivani Patel, OBIC Student Assistant and Senior at The Ohio State University.