How To Reduce Plastic Use In The Home
Can silicone replace plastic in the home, especially the kitchen? Many people want to know how to reduce plastic use in the home.
What about all those plastic food storage bags that we use for everything, right?
- They take up less room than tubs in the fridge or freezer
- They are all too handy for taking lunch to work in, and then just throw away
- Same for hiking, picnicking, – light to carry, and throw away
- Great for traveling light, separating small garments and items in a carry-on bag
Have you ever noticed how many you use in a week?
What Is Silicone?
“A silicone or polysiloxane are polymers made up of siloxane (−R2Si−O−SiR2−, where R = organic group). They are typically colorless, oils or rubber-like substances. Silicones are used in sealants, adhesives, lubricants, medicine, cooking utensils, and thermal and electrical insulation. ” – wikipedia
Traditionally, silicone has been used for a variety of kitchen products.
Silicone has become a common product in kitchenware, particularly for baking and everyday kitchen utensils.
It is an insulator in protective oven gloves and potholders. Silicone oven mitts are effective with temperatures up to 260 °C (500 °F), making it possible to reach into boiling water.
Silicone makes excellent molds for cooking chocolate, making ice, plus cookies, muffins, and many other foods.
It is a non-stick liner for baking pans and reusable mats used on baking sheets.
You’ll see it commonly used in other items like vegetable steamers, egg boilers or poachers, cookware lids, trivets, and kitchen mats.
Now we can get silicone food storage bags in various sizes, that seal well.
This is the way we can reduce and maybe eliminate plastic use in the home.
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Zero Waste Kit | 21 pcs Premium Set for an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle | 6 pcs Silicone Stretch Lids, 6 pcs Reusable Food Storage Bags, 6 pcs Mesh Grocery Bags, 3 pcs Beeswax Wraps in Various Sizes
Wow! Save hundreds of dollars that you will spend on plastic bags, plastic wrap, plastic tubs, and more!
Reuse hundreds of times!
Product arrives in a compostable carton! (You DO compost, don’t you?)
The mesh grocery bags are made from cotton. They are easily washed.
Stasher 100% Silicone Food Grade Reusable Storage Bag, Aqua (4-Piece Bundle Set) | Plastic Free Lunch Bag | Cook, Store, Sous Vide, or Freeze | Leakproof, Dishwasher-Safe, Eco-friendly, Non-Toxic
This product is made from 100% platinum food-grade silicone. The items are safely used in the freezer, microwave, dishwasher, boiling water, and oven up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
The bags seal well and will not leak.
If you take a sandwich to work you can microwave it and have a warm meal.
Choose from thirteen colors!
This package consists of:
- 1 of half-gallon size 10. 25” x 8. 25” x 1. 5” (64. 2oz)
- 2 of sandwich size 7. 5” x 7. 5” x 1” (15oz)
- 1 of snack size 4. 5” x 7. 5” x 1” (9. 9oz)
Stasher Reusable Silicone Food Bag, Sandwich Bag, Snack Bag and 1/2 Gallon Bag, Sous Vide Bag, Storage Bag (Clear, 3 Pack)
Stasher bags contain no petroleum, no PVC, and no latex. These bags can go into the top dishwasher rack, or be hand washed with warm soapy water.
Reusable Food Bags,Silicone Food Bags Set,Multi-Purpose High Temperature Resistance Food Storage Bags Fruits Vegetables Meat Storage Bags Food Freezer Bags Can Be Used In Microwave Dishwashers (4Pack)
These bags can be safely used in microwave ovens, refrigerators, toasters, steamers, boiling water and freezer.
These are so handy for preserving cakes, breads, jellies, ready-to-eat foods, chocolates, sandwiches, and meats. They will not leak the juices from your foods.
These are perfect for carrying fruit or lunch to school or work.
This is a great as a way to save money and stop polluting the environment.
Reusable Silicone Food Storage 4/5 Gallon Heavy Duty Ziplock Dishwasher Safe Bag (2 x 101 Oz) Stand-Up Flat Bottom Microwave Freezer Bags For raw meats, marinates
Yes, this bag will stand up on its flat bottom. This makes it very easy to use for marinades.
It will come inside out, easily, for thorough cleaning.
No more freezer burn – they seal well.
The vendor states: “Our silicone bags are manufactured in China within an FDA registered and approved facility/factory and also ISO9001 audited. Our product itself is FDA,BPA-Free certified and all of them are fully inspected pre-sale.”
5 more top-rated silicone kitchen products.
Sponge cake type SLC1 Yaki Tomica silicon (japan import)
The vendor states:
“The SKATER Co., Ltd. has been granted product commercialization licenses by character licensors such as Sanrio, Takara Tomy and Disney, and produces and distributes lunch boxes and water bottles for children.”
Winco Silicone Baking Mat, 15-3/8 by 21-1/2-Inch, Set of 10
This baking mat is hand wash only. Wash when hot and it will easily come clean.
This mat fits large 2/3 commercial pans.Great for making toffee and other extremely sticky foods.
Ohequbao Non-Stick Silicone Baking, Pyramid Healthy Cooking Oven Mat, Red,Black
- Made of food grade silicone
- Odorless, nontoxic, BPA free and safe for the whole family to use.
- Non stick – use it in freezer, oven and microwave up to 428F
- Reduced fat cooking：Baking mat with specially designed 500 silicone pyramids – air circulates evenly from top to bottom and around the food, drips away fat and grease so, no flipping and turning required, leaving you with a delicious healthy meal.
- Easy Storage: This 15. 1 x 10. 6 inch Silicone Baking Mat can be easily cut to size
- Foldable for easy storage
- Trim to fit the size of your oven.
- Clean in the dishwasher or can be washed by hand with soap and water
Enjoy the benefits of healthier cooking — Your food will be more crisp, and juicy.
Plce your food on this raised cone shaped pan while baking. The fat and oil drips away from the food, and it won’t stick to the baking tray.
This silicone bake mat that will not melt, tear or wear off due to normal use.
Silicone Baking Molds, Pans and Utensils (Set of 13) by Boxiki Kitchen | Silicone Cake Pan, Brownie Pan, Loaf Pan, Muffin Mold, 2 Spatulas, Brush and 6 Measuring Spoons
180 RECIPES INCLUDED – get 3 Free eBooks with your purchase. The best 65 cake recipes, 50 cupcake recipes, 65 loaf/bread recipes that are delicious, simple and healthy.
Silpat ADN800585-00 Roul’ Pat Perfect Pastry Jumbo Size Non-Stick Silicone Countertop Workstation Mat, 23″ x 31.5″
- Non-stick surface allows for easy food release, making clean up fast
- Made with a backing which prevents it from slipping or moving around while you’re at work
- Perfect for rolling and kneading dough or working with sugar art, chocolate, fondant, caramel and candy
- Can also be used a work surface mat for craft projects involving glue, permanent markers, and other messy projects
- Generous sized mat measures 23″ x 31.5″
- NOT to be used as a baking mat – not an oven safe product
- Durable and reusable for thousand times – just rinse with soapy hot water after use and lay flat or hang to dry
- Lay flat or roll to store
The following is a contributed article about plastics, and why it is imperative that we reduce our use of plastics as much as possible.
Reducing Plastic Use at Home by Dan G. Carter
Most of the products we buy are either made of plastic or come encased in plastic for protection or transport. Add to the fact that most of us use plastic bags from our local stores, plastic pop bottles, or in some cases plastic furniture and you can see how plastic is everywhere. Unfortunately however plastic is not very recyclable and while certain things like pop bottles and bags can be reprocessed furniture cannot.
Certain plastics also contain harmful components that when exposed to in low quantities do not cause a problem but over time can cause health issues. One thing to remember is that plastics from all categories are not biodegradable and take centuries to break down. This means that the less plastic you use in your home the better off the environment will be both in the short and long terms. But how do you go about reducing your plastic consumption?
First you can recycle what plastics that you can. Bags and bottles are the most common form of plastic waste but also the easiest to recycle. Many recycling centers will take them and some major grocery stores have collection bins. If recycling isn’t an option then you need to limit your use as much as possible. Many stores offer fabric bags as an alternative to paper or plastic. These are a bit more expensive but they can be reused repeatedly.
Some of them can even be washed if they become stained making them a very long term investment. You can reduce your use of pop bottles via one of two methods. Either buy a larger bottle instead of multiple smaller ones, or buy canned pop. Cans are made out of aluminum which is one of the easier metals to recycle making them a viable alternative.
As for products however reducing your plastic use can be a bit difficult. Consumers have no control over what a company chooses to wrap their product in but for certain items you can find alternatives. Not all products come wrapped in plastic and some may come in a good old fashioned cardboard box, which can be recycled or reused after you’re through unpacking. That is provided you don’t have to destroy the box just to get to the product.
Plastic use in the home is not just limited to products however. There are many components of our home and appliances that are made out of plastic. It can be hard or impossible to do without these and there are few alternatives. However if you have the money to invest there are a few ways to reduce your plastic usage in this category as well.
You can buy utensils and kitchen appliances that are made out of metal instead of plastic. Alternatively you can use wooden cooking bowels or wooden silverware. Believe it or not you can still find high quality wooden silverware that is often hand carved. It’s bit expensive but 100% natural and non toxic.
Reducing your plastic use is no easy task. Many of the products, utensils, and appliances in our homes are either made from or encased in plastic. But cutting corners here and recycling what you can there does make a difference in the long run. Just remember that there are always alternative products and packaging methods to look for, they just might take a little while to find.
Dan Carter writes for the Solar Power House website, specializing in solar power kits [http://www.solarpowerhouse.org].
Note: Author’s link has expired on original publication.