I’ve spoken about greening my kitchen before, and while I’ve certainly come a long way from where I was, such as going paperless and making my kid’s lunches waste-free, I felt that there was one more step that I needed to take, which was to get rid of plastic. Volumes have been written about the risks of BPA (and other nasties) which are found in a lot of plastics, and are of particular concern when food is warmed up in it. Given that pretty much my entire stock of food storage containers are relatively expensive, BPA containing Tupperware, I was both concerned about the health risk AND faced a dilemma!
The more and more I read, and the more I thought about it, the more I realised that I could not ignore the health concerns, particularly when it came to containers that were used for heating up food, or storing foods high in fat, the two situations that seemed to pose the biggest risk. So my plan was to start saving money to replace these containers with glass, and re purpose the Tupperware containers for storing other things, such as my dry bulk storage of rice, beans, pasta, cereal etc. Every week I would put money aside for my “non-plastic” fund, and waited for the items I wanted to go on sale. Eventually, 2 wonderful Pyrex sets with BPA-free lids came up on huge discount, and just like that, I had taken one more step to a greener and healthier kitchen. One set I bought contained rectangular containers of various sizes, and the other round, but in hindsight I would definitely have bought only rectangles, as they store so much more efficiently in the cupboard and the fridge.
As well as the containers, I also replaced all the plastic that the kids use with either melamine, ceramic or glass. Following the Montessori principle of allowing children to take responsibility for their items, I bought child sized (but relatively heavy weight) glasses for their drinks, and ceramic or Corelle bowls and plates for their meals. I then purchased some melamine sets for when other children are visiting, as melamine is considered a safe and environmentally friendly option. The only plastic we are now using with the kids are their straws and their BPA-free lunchboxes.
Eventually, I plan to replace all my plastic containers with glass or metal, but for the moment, I am happy with the compromise I have made.