Plastic wrap. Cling wrap. Saran wrap. It doesn’t matter what you choose to call the thin plastic film that comes in a roll, sticks to almost everything, and is often used to make sure food is kept fresh. What matters is that there are simple alternatives that you can use instead.
This months simple switch: Plastic Wrap for Reusable Alternatives
While plastic wrap is handy, and I must admit I used to use it for that exact reason, it is also generally used once and then sent to the landfill. Instead of using plastic wrap to keep food fresh, here are 5 alternatives that I use instead.
- Top a glass bowl of food with a glass plate.
I used to do this because I was too lazy to reach in the cupboard and grab the plastic wrap, but now I do it because it’s such a simple and easy way to keep food fresh.
- Beeswax Wraps
Beeswax wraps are about as close to plastic wrap as you can get without the plastic. They are pieces of fabric that have been coated in beeswax so that they can be used to cover food and keep it fresh. I have some of these wraps, and while I do use them on a regular basis, I could probably live without them for most things. In general, I use them to wrap up baked goods and cheeses to keep them from going stale. I don’t use them for anything that gets them too dirty, but when they do need washed I use lukewarm water and a little castile soap.
You can make your own beeswax wraps, just check online for tutorials, or you can buy them. I bought mine here because they are made relatively close to where I live and I’m all about buying local. The catch with these is that they will need to be replaced when the beeswax wears off. I’ve had two wraps that I have been using about a year and I can tell they don’t mold around a bowl as well as they first did.
- Use a mason jar
Mason jars, or any jar with a tight sealing lid, are amazing for food storage. I store all of my bulk items in my pantry and my lunches in my refrigerator in jars. It not only keeps food fresh and tightly sealed, but it also makes it easy for me to just grab my lunch and go without worrying about it spilling. And as it turns out, a mason jar is a perfect portion size for lunch.
I also use wide mouth jars to store single servings of sticky pastries, muffins, or donuts. Because the jars seal so tightly the bread doesn’t get hard or stale.
- Glass bowls with plastic lids
While I try to eliminate plastic from my everyday life, some relics from my previous ways of living have stuck with me because they are handy and it would be silly to throw them away while they’re still useful. One such object is my set of Pyrex glass bowls and their plastic lids. At some point the plastic lids won’t be usable and I won’t replace them (I’ll use plates to top the bowls instead), but for now I do enjoy being able to throw all my leftovers into a bowl and put a sealed lid on it.
- Any container that has a lid
Really, at some point I stopped caring what container I was using, and as long as I could put a lid on it I would throw it in the fridge. Turns out that works just fine for most things.
There are plenty of other ways to keep food fresh, these are just the ones that are so simple I easily implemented them into my everyday life once I gave up plastic wrap. The best part, as it is with so many of these simple switches, is that I don’t even miss the plastic, wasteful alternative.