A couple of years ago, before I began to give the idea of zero waste any thought, I was in a meeting when someone at the end of the table announced, “I never use plastic wrap.” How could this be? How is it possible?
I had always used plastic wrap. It was a staple on my shopping list, and, when I lived at home, my mom’s shopping list. It turns ordinary bowls and plates into leftover containers. It’s magical. How did that person at the other end of the table go without? Was her food just sitting there exposed to refrigerator air, getting crusty? Did she use those plastic-shower-cap looking things to cover her bowls? I didn’t have a chance to ask before the meeting got underway.
Fast-forward to today and I unexpectedly have the answer: reusable containers. Obvious, right? Not exactly.
At first we bought containers, including a memorable set of nesting containers from Ikea with sizes ranging from useable to comical single-strawberry size. Eventually, we ended up with the unusable tiny containers and lids for all the others. Digging through the cabinet to find the right lid was time consuming, if not impossible, so we just used plastic wrap instead.
It wasn’t until I stopped throwing away/recycling containers and started using them to store leftovers that I realized:
- how many tubs of salsa we buy and jelly we eat,
- what a perfect size food containers are for leftovers,
- we didn’t lose the lids because each container’s lid is identifiable by color, material and shape,
- all of our bowls and pots are freed up to be used for their intended purpose, and most importantly,
- we would never have to use plastic wrap again.