Saturday, 24 January 2015

Would you like to use less cling wrap?

Here are a few simple things you can do to quickly reduce your cling wrap use:

Managing leftovers

Cover up bowls or plates with plates or bowls instead of cling wrap. This is very quick way to cover up your food before popping it into the fridge.  It also uses things that you already have (at no cost) so that is always a bonus.

Plate and bowl food covers
I do find bowls and plates can take up a bit of space if left for a few days in the fridge.  For some items it is definitely more practical to use a resealable plastic or glass container.  I recommend stocking up on a few different sizes of re-usable container.  They are easy to find at the supermarket or general household stores.  It may end up being a bit of an outlay to do this but having the right containers on hand makes it easy to store things as you need to.  If you don't want to buy new things then look for alternatives - op shops might have something or empty jars could be used.  If you buy or find a reusable container each week for a couple of months I'm sure you will quickly have enough to manage with little or no need for cling wrap.

A few of the containers that are currently in my fridge

Using the microwave

Basically the same rules apply here as for leftovers.  Use a re-usable plastic (the stronger or more rigid the plastic the lower the likelihood that chemicals may leach from the material into your food) or glass container.  Or simply cover a bowl with a plate and pop it in to cook.  The best part about using alternatives to cling wrap is that you won't have it melting in your food, further reducing the potential for chemicals leaching and entering your body.

Packing lunch

This is not rocket science - re-usable containers come into their element here, especially the flat plastic containers that you get when you order take away meals.  They are the perfect size for a sandwich to fit and not fall apart (that's right - put the sandwich in UNWRAPPED).  Play around with whatever items you like to take.  I tended to take a sandwich and crackers to work most days which fit perfectly in the flatter take away style container.  If I was taking fresh fruit then I would use a taller container (yes, the sandwich was still UNWRAPPED).

Small containers are great for snacks like nuts or sultanas, which are a great pick me up in the afternoon.

For kids lunches you can use the same approach above or if you're worried about things getting messy (since your child might not take the same care that you would) then buy a compartmentalised lunch box for your child.

You can also buy reusable sandwich holders if you can't handle the idea of a naked sandwich.  However, these can become expensive if your dear little one has a habit of losing things.  For those of you that are thrifty (or have loved ones that are) here is a link to a tutorial prepared by the Eco Faeries on how to make your own sandwich wraps at very low cost.

Storing odds and ends in the fridge

I think this is a big saver of cling wrap that you probably don't even think about using.  Do you automatically reach for the wrap when you have used half a tomato or avocado? Or any other vegetable or fruit? Why not put them all (separately or together) into a reusable container? It's faster and more convenient when you are making your next meal since they are all stored in one container for you to grab out.
The vegetable drawer in our fridge

Are you convinced? Can you imagine life without cling wrap? 

I am so used to doing all of the above things that when a visitor pulls cling wrap out of my cupboard I am always surprised to see it there.  If you do want to try some of these ideas then I would love to hear how it goes.

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