What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Continuing on the Theme of Reducing Plastics in the Kitchen

Continuing on the them of reducing plastics in the kitchen it really is interesting to do an inventory of anything plastic in the kitchen.  The problem with plastic is it is everywhere from large and small appliance components to utensils, serving dishes, handles, dish soaps and even kitchen decor.  It is everywhere!  Realizing this makes it easier to deal with plastics that come into the kitchen.  In some instances you can eliminate or reduce certain plastics in your kitchen.  In other cases plastics are desirable due to the safety aspect of plastic not breaking like glass.  In many cases though you have no choice because the plastic is part of the appliance or that is how it is packaged (eg. dishsoap, some dairy products).  So the plastic does come into the house.  The way to deal with this is reduce what you buy and recycle what plastics you can.

I am most concerned about plastics that come into direct contact with foods.  That includes utensils, food storage containers, dishware, serving bowls and that type of thing.  When it comes to these types of things plastic does have its place.  In fact plastic can be better than metal or glass for some of these application.  Here is my hit list for avoidable plastics in the kitchen.  :

  • disposable anything - This includes: cups, cutlery, disposable plates/bowls, plastic wrap, food containers, spice/seasoning bottles, and water/juice/soda bottles.
  • individually wrapped anything -  This includes things like condiment packages, snack foods, drinks, frozen treats and that type of thing.
  • excessively wrapped anything - I prefer buying the least amount of plastic packaging possible.  Excess plastic packaging adds to the cost of the product and often ends up in the landfill because it can't go in the recycle bin.
  • non-recyclable plastics - If I can't put the plastic into the recycle bin I try very hard not to bring it into the house. 
It can be difficult to eliminate these plastics entirely so the goal is to reduce and use the least amount possible.  It is a continual battle and sometimes it becomes a compromise.  If you pick up a deli roasted chicken that is cheaper than raw and eliminates cooking on a hot, humid summer day but the chicken comes in a plastic container it may be that the chicken is the more eco-friendly choice.  Quite often take-out or delivered food includes things like disposable cutlery so I usually tell them I don't want it but on the rare occasion we go through a drive through restaurant any extra plastic cutlery or individually packaged cutlery are saved.  In this case I feel it is better to use/recycle these items rather than just tossing. 

Garden Gnome