Monday, 18 February 2019

Eco Food storage and implementing the same

I am keen to be more eco friendly when it comes to food storage and indeed have made myself some fruit and veg cotton bags for when I go to the veg shop so as not to use carrier bags and have smaller bags to hold more fragile fruit etc.  These bags will wash at the end of the day whereas plastic etc. goes into landfill and does not necessarily break down.

Whilst I am not buying any more plastic containers per se, I do have a lot already in existence and it really would be defeating the process if I were simply to dump these which will only add to the landfill problem.  What is here is here and if it is capable of still being used properly I will do so unless and until a day comes where it cannot be used again.  However in the process that also raises up a whole load of problems.

I have a lot to learn in this respect and as a result I have been reading various articles to see other people's take on this issue.  Including articles on making and sewing bags and helpful items myself.

I came across the following post which made me think about my food storage generally.  I certainly like some of her ideas as to what she stores in what. 

This is also another useful site again with some different ideas on storage.  Each to their own though and sometimes these little differences help you incorporate different ideas into your cooking repertoire. 

This I have found to be a very useful article which shows some very resourceful and useful ideas for storing food in her fridge. This article has certainly opened my eyes in what I can and cannot do and how to extend food shelf life in some instances.

I know that Kilner have brought out a range of zero waste storage but thus far I have not come across any.  They are a little expensive but if it is safe long term storage I would not mind investing in the same.

The Kilner jar site is here and this is the section for these storage options. They can be used in the fridge, freezer and the microwave (not the lids in the microwave) as they have metal on them.

One of the areas of concern to me is what do we do to store freezer stuff.  I think many of us have stored our food in the freezer bags over the years or if a sturdier storage has been needed a small box or the like  or even Pyrex dishes. Now that is something I am going to have to look into further.

I have also found this site which gives a list of shops that supply items on a zero free basis across a full spectrum of things and also the same for other countries.  Looks to be a very useful list and I am going to investigate this further.

Link is here:

I only buy stuff if I really have to and if I can do stuff at home I will do.  There are various different posts on You Tube for making your own beeswax wraps.  There are also lots of Pinterest posts for sewing said accessories like fabric or breathable bags for fruit and veg, bread bags and cloths for yourself.  If you can do stuff cheaper at home it pays in the longer run to do it to keep costs to a minimum.

Bread bags:

Bread bags and other items


  1. What a useful round up of zero waste sites, thanks Pattypan. My problems with glass storage in the freezer are (a) They are thicker than plastic so take up more room. (b) they are heavier and I am concerned about dropping them (c) if the contents expand, will they crack? Totally in agreement about "use up what you already have" it's stupid to consign it to landfill whilst it is still usable.

    1. Hi Angela, thank you. I hear your concerns and to some extent you have voiced my own fears. However, as you know I do a lot of preserving and for the past couple of years have been doing research on canning and preserving food and a lot of the sites I use are in the USA. I had noted that the Americans were chucking the plastic away at the beginning of my research and they were using Kilner or Ball jars to store stuff in the freezer as well. I tend to only use these jars for hot water bathing (bottling) produce or for stuff for the canner on the grounds that they have always been a little pricier than jam jars say. I tend to use jam jars for curds, jams and chutneys. I have used Pyrex in the freezer successfully especially the square dishes with the lids but I am not sure whether the lid is a plastic or a more user friendly material. Those dishes are very useful for putting aside a couple of home made meals in the freezer. When freezing anything in any event you have to leave an expansion space when filling your containers particularly with soups. Sometimes I freeze soup when we are getting fed up with having the same a couple of days running so rather than waste it, it gets popped into the freezer. Something to look into I think. Take care Pattypan xx

  2. I am all for zero waste and as near to zero cost as I can get. I used a white 100% cotton sheet to make storage bags for bread and fruit. I used a similar sheet, only patterned to make bags for veg shopping and storage. Old tea towels, usually holiday souvenirs from the charity shop at around 50p each are cut in half and run through the overlocker to become "kitchen towel". Towels get cut and overlocked to become cleaning cloths, white in the kitchen, blue in the bathroom and random coloured for everywhere else. All of these can have a boil wash with no colour runs to worry about. I do wash the kitchen and bathroom cloths separately and have a large pot to boil them on the stove top. Old fashioned but that is my way. There are so many things that we can do to help save the environment and save money into the bargain. It does take time of course, which is the most expensive commodity around.

    1. Morning Pam, I too was bought up to recycle a split sheet into cleaning cloths or sometimes if the cotton was still good quality pillow cases. A lot of old towels here get recycled for the animals either as towels for Missy or liners for the cats beds. That is a good idea for the cleaning cloths from towels as well. I have a couple of large boiling pots which were bought from a charity shop as potential preserving pans but they are not up to snuff for that. However, as I recycle my dish cloths through soaking and then boiling and have done this since I have had a home of my own they have been put to work there. I also boil cotton underwear first this way as it saves on the main wash in the washer. Things come up a lot cleaner that way on to my way of thinking. I was also thinking of having a towel roller installed again in the kitchen with the long fabric drying cloth. Thought would make the cloths myself and then just wash on a regular basis. Doesn't matter if it is considered/perceived to be old fashioned as long as it works for you. Where I come from Lincolnshire, there is a saying "If its not brock don't mend it".

      I recycle toilet roll tubes for seed setting, big water dispensers for cloches in the garden and anything else which can potentially be recycled I use especially in the garden come setting seeds time when I have run out of trays. I also keep broken pottery to one side and use it when I pot up to give extra water drainage to the plant.

      You are quite right though about time being the most expensive commodity.

      Hope you are keeping well. Take care Tricia xx

  3. Thank you for all the links you provided. I ran across this on Facebook last night on freezing with glass. I have been using canning jars for years to freeze food in. I only use straight sided jars / wide mouth jars with canning lids that have previously been used (which I mark with a permanent felt pen).


    1. Hi Diane, glad that the links were helpful. So you fully agree with using glass for the freezing. I and a couple of other ladies are a little worried about whether there would be any cracking of jars or whether the glass would make things too heavy. Is there anything that you could advise us what to do in relation to this as this side of things is something relatively new to a lot of us. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and take care Tricia xx

    2. I just had a look at that, it is a good idea but will waste some space but I will be trying it out. I have a stack of jars with lids and they will be perfect for leftovers. As my square and rectangle plastic containers become too brittle to reuse I have been replacing them with glass containers. These do have clip on plastic lids though. I think that reusing my "jam jars" will be a much better step.


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Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
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