The following post is from Katie of Kitchen Stewardship:
Reduce, reuse, recycle has long been the green battle cry to save the earth.
With some things, there’s really only one option.
Plastic wrap, for example.
The die hard environmentalists among you (and I count myself in that number) may try to reuse plastic wrap. You know that even re-covering the same dish is usually foiled: if the plastic wrap doesn’t fold in on itself and become a battle you’ll fight for five minutes before declaring its victory on the way to the trash can. Then, surely some well-meaning party-goer will clean up and swipe away all the plastic wrap and aluminum foil that is not tied down, even the ones you carefully placed “food side up” off to the side.
You can’t recycle it, either. So, the only end game for plastic wrap is to reduce how often you rely on it.
I laugh when I notice that I have not one, but two backup boxes of plastic wrap, because I’ve been working on the same box for over four years now.
Here’s how I avoid covering food with plastic wrap:
1. Plates on top of Bowls
Not all plate/bowl pairs will be airtight, but Corelle is one brand that seems to work very well. I even cover larger bowls with full-sized plates. This is a great way to keep uneaten dinners for the next day when your kids won’t finish, or to make large batches of food into quick single servings.
2. An Inverted Cookie Sheet
3. Silicone Mats
If you’re nervous about the safety of silicone, especially under heat, this is a great way to use your mats. They might not even touch your food. (And if you aren’t nervous about silicone, it’s an easy quick way to cover a dish.
4. Cloth Covers
Many small WAHM and Etsy shops sell cute cloth covers with elastic that fit various bowl sizes; if you’re a seamstress, it would be simple to sew your own – just remember they’re not quite airtight.
5. Shower Caps
A cheap and airtight solution to the cloth covers above. I bought a box made for food at a dollar store, but you could use shower caps rescued from hotel rooms too. This option is perfect for covering full-sized dinner plates. If they do touch food, a quick rinse and air dry makes them reusable.
6. Use a Bag Instead
Even if you use a plastic bag, at least it’s easier to reuse than plastic wrap. If you like the fancy reusable ones, check out my reusable sandwich bag review.
7. Dare I Say…Just Use a Lid?
Really, it’s not so hard to find lids in lots of sizes. I took this picture when I realized I practically had a commercial for Pyrex in my fridge.
I feel compelled to say: Don’t use aluminum foil instead. It kills me when people use aluminum foil to cover a plate of brownies or some other non-heated, completely unnecessary item.
I just want to thrust my extra plastic wrap in their hands.
Aluminum is a non-renewable resource. When it’s gone, it’s gone. It can be almost completely recycled with very little waste, but once foil is covered in food, there’s little chance of that happening. And besides that, it’s not even good for people. (Perhaps a post is coming about ways to avoid using aluminum foil?)
What other alternatives to plastic wrap are there?
|Katie Kimball has been “green” since 5th grade when she read 50 Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth. She remains slightly disappointed that she didn’t actually save the whole thing back then, but now that she has 3 kiddos counting on her, she keeps plugging away hopefully. Katie blogs at Kitchen Stewardship about real food and natural living and is the author of Healthy Snacks to Go and other eBooks, available for Kindle.|