Reuse trumps recycle. Recycling is great, but it’s always the better option if you can use something over and over again. We’re proud to have been stocking reusables for 8 years now, and the range has certainly increased over that time. Here’s our TOP SIX PICKS for reusables that you may not have thought of. They’re simple switches anyone can make.
Meet the reusables – Six simple swaps for a plastic free life
ONE - Coffee Cups
Let’s put a dent in that one. If you don’t have time to savour your coffee in a shop or at home, grab a reusable! We have so many options. Keep Cup is great for fill and go drinking. Cheeki Leakproof Coffee Mugs are perfect for filling and drinking later. Cupy are great to fold up and stick in your back pocket when you’re done. There’s something for everyone. Remember, they’re not just for coffee, use tem for smoothies and organic tea too.
TWO - Zip Lock Bags
There’s no doubt, plastic zip lock bags are convenient, and they can be reused a few times, but they start to fall apart pretty quickly. Stasher make a silicone version that can be used over and over again for years. Don’t need it to be leakproof? You then get to step in to a wide variety of sandwich pockets and wraps that you can use repeatedly. Got forgetful kids? Check out the name pockets on the Onya wraps and you can actually write on the Stashers with a ball point pen or whiteboard marker and it washes off.
THREE - Cling Film
This is one a lot of people struggle with, and it’s understandable, cling film is cheap and really handy. If you want to ditch it and still have the performance, Agreena wraps are a silicone version and can be used over and over again for years. They’re even oven safe and can replace your baking paper. If you don’t need that “stretch and cling” to the bowl, beeswax wraps are a great alternative and we also have vegan wax wrap options in store. If you’re simply covering a bowl or a plate, there’s fabric options too with a food safe lining so your food doesn’t soak through or stain the fabric.
FOUR - Feminine Sanitary Products
Menstrual cups and washable pads are becoming more socially acceptable and mainstream. The average woman will use around 240 disposable sanitary products per year. That’s a whole lot of waste in money and resources to make them and ship them around. They’re easier to use than you might think. We understand that they’re not for everyone, but you’d be genuinely surprised at how many people say NO WAY, and then give them a try and are converts for life. Some people literally can’t afford the disposables and the menstrual cups are the most cost effective way to have your period.
FIVE - Freezer Bags
Glass is a safe and clean way to freeze food, but it is delicate and needs to be treated with some care. You’re best to freeze with borosilicate glass (the oven safe range in Glasslock is made from this) but I know plenty of people who re-use glass jars for freezing. Here’s our top pointers:-
- DO NOT FILL any glass container you intend putting in the freezer
- Allow the food to partially or even fully freeze before you tightly seal the lid
- When you remove it from the freezer, allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes before removing the lid
- No sudden temperature changes – no running under hot water immediately out of the freezer to defrost the food
I have successfully frozen bone broth in ordinary glass jars that were reused from other items. I simply 3/4 filled the jars, froze them with the lid off and then put the lid on the following day. When I was ready to use, I just let them defrost in the fridge. If you’re buying glass specifically for freezing, we love the Glasslock borosilicate range. Shop our glass food containers or look at our hot picks below.
SIX - Plastic Produce Bags
We all know we should take our own reusable shopping bags to the supermarket and you can always buy them at the checkout, but what about the plastic bags you put your vegies in? Besides pinching all the mushroom brown paper bags, most supermarkets and fruit stores don’t give you an option (Harris Farm do, and we L-O-V-E what they do!
The Solution? If you’re only grabbing 2 carrots, just don’t put them in anything. They’re simple enough to pull out and weigh loose. If you’re doing a bigger shop, take your own mesh produce bags to put your fruit & veg in. We have options made from recycled water bottles and also organic cotton and bamboo fabric (they can double as a nut milk bag too).
It’s fitting that Plastic Free July is the month that the first stainless steel lunch box options from Ever Eco
We went through every lunch box in our store to see what fits inside the Built NY Downtown insulated lunch