During a time when more and more emphasis is being placed on sustainable living, there’s no reason that we all can’t use what we have right now, in our very own kitchens, to start doing our part to contributing a greener planet. From reducing plastic usage to using recyclable containers (and preferably glass containers when possible), every one of us can do small things each day to live a little greener without much time or hassle involved.
Get started right now with these simple recycling ideas for commonly used plastic and glass food containers.
1. Give protein powder tubs an afterlife
One of my favorite ways to practice eco-responsibility is to reuse empty protein powder containers (or similar large, tub-style containers). Reusing not only lets you reduce waste, you're also gaining new containers in the process! If you go through as much protein powder as I do, it can really add up over time.
Better yet, most companies now use BPA-free plastic, and some even use recycled materials - meaning you’re giving something that might normally be thrown away two to three times the life it would have had. Plus, you save money (and that's never a bad thing, right?).
Large tub-style containers make great storage spaces for bulk ingredients or odds and ends around the kitchen. Just wash them out, remove the label and store whole grains, nut- or grain-based flours, bulk nuts and seeds, ground flax seeds or even small kitchen supplies inside. To keep track of your goods, stick on a label and update it when you swap out the contents.
2. Go nuts over nut butters in glass jars
Another eco-conscious practice is to aim to buy products that come in optimal storage containers, such as glass jars. A good example is nut butters. If you purchase raw nut and seed butters in glass jars, they can be cleaned out and reused just as you would use any mason jar.
Glass jars are great for storing dried fruits, for housing small recipes (like overnight oats) and for portable food or drink containers (fill them with homemade nut milk, juice or and smoothies). Like large plastic tubs, they can also house odds and ends (paper clips, coins, buttons, etc.) that would normally be tossed in a kitchen "junk drawer." Add some decorate ribbon and line them up on a small shelf or window sil.
3. Play nice with spice jars
They're small, cute and can be used over and over again. If you already have glass spice jars, don't toss them in the recycling bin after using up your stash. Instead, purchase refills in bulk and repackage them in the old jars from the corresponding spice. Not only is this better than buying (and re-buying) plastic spice jars, it's less expensive in the long run – and more aesthetically pleasing, too!
Not only can these three kitchen tips help you live a little greener, they’ll also make you a more savvy, sustainable shopper by choosing products made by companies that are committed to producing more eco-friendly products sold in reusable containers. That gives your dollars more life and saves our planet a little more with each choice, day by day. Who knew a few changes in the kitchen could do that much?