My reusable bottle (in countries without drinkable tap water I carry my filter bottle with me)
My reusable coffee cup/smoothie cup (if you like straws take your reusable straw with you)
My reusable cutlery and napkin
Small produce bags for bagel or stuff from the bakery or for fruits/veggies from the market
A glass jar with nuts as snack
And if I know I will go for lunch somewhere (or if you plan to get take away) and don't know if they serve on reusables I have a reusable container with me too (not on the picture)
Plastic food container, plastic spatulas, plastic salad bowls, single use cups and cutlery, .... all these products have been sneaking into our kitchen in the last decade. Single use cups and cutlery made of a non renewable resource, used once and thrown away. Then lasting forever when ending up on landfill or get washed into our ocean. Isn't it crazy to make throw away products made of a non renewable resource?
Plastic and heat is not a good combo. So plastic (and actually silicone too) shouldn't get used for cooking at all. Plastic combined with heat while cooking (or filling plastic cups with hot drinks and hot food) will even more likely leak toxins into your food. I have seen too many plastic kitchen utensils that had melted spots on them, I don't want that in my food really... We already seem to have too much plastic in our food already (they found micro plastic already in Fish, mussels, Sea Salt, beer, drinking water....).
So what is a good alternative? Stainless steel, wood, bamboo, glass, ceramic. These have always been in our kitchens before plastic got produced for the public market.
Wood is also much healthier to use for cutting boards. If you cut on a plastic cutting board you can see the cut's in the plastic, that means you most likely get tiny plastic bits into your food already.
Wood can heal itself even after the tree got cut down.
Maple, and other woods are a safe option for inhibiting bacterial growth around food. Though it may seem counter intuitive to choose a wooden surface that can’t be heat sterilized over a plastic surface that can, the proof is in the science. Wooden boards use capillary action to absorb bad bugs from the cutting surface pores. Once bacteria is trapped inside the wood’s cells it suffocates, cut-off from the oxygen it needs to survive.
While plastic cutting boards can go into the dishwashing machine and can get sterilized, plastic is not self-healing, like wood, and therefor once a plastic board has been nicked there is a place for bacteria to dwell until it has been thoroughly sanitized. Though there was a brief time in the last few decades when wood was banned from commercial kitchen use, the NSF now approves the use of Hard Rock Maple in commercial kitchens and chefs are not shying away from it. Cleaned and cared for properly, maple is an excellent and safe option for food preparation.
If you can, make sure to find products made with sustainable backgrounds. (e.g. Wooden products with FSC labels. Organic bamboo, etc.).
Stainless steel is so easy to clean and wont get soft or melted when used with heat! It is not leaking any chemicals into your food.
If you need to buy new stuff online, always go for plastic free products. Look out for fair trade, organic or vegan brands. Try to find online shops with products from your own country first, before you buy products that get shipped from other countries.
There are even some plastic free online shops out there already, they ship automatically plastic free.
If you find something on Ebay or in normal online shops, always communicate and ask politely for a plastic free packaging. You can even include a few words about why you want to avoid the plastic. It's important to let sellers know that we don't want unnecessary plastic packaging anymore.
If you don't succeed with your request once in a while, don't get mad or crazy about it. Just write a note back to them. If more and more people talk about this and ask about it, sellers will be pressured to make changes in the future.
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