Kitchen, Meet Green. Part 2

This is part 2 of an ongoing series entitled Kitchen, Meet Green

In our previous post, we looked at keeping a kitchen clean in an eco-friendly and sustainable way. Keeping a kitchen clean is one thing. But it's entirely another thing to ensure that the food from the kitchen is stored in a safe and responsible way for those who ultimately get to enjoy it.

The heros of reusable kitchen storage are, without a doubt, Mason jars. Canning, pickling and jarring are a great way to eat organic and local all year round. They are also heat-resistant and super durable. At Green Ninja, our favorite coffee comes to us neatly packed up in Mason jars. But what do you do with the jar after you've consumed what's inside? You could pack it away until next year or... maybe turn it into a travel mug, bento box, infuser or storage container?

Cuppow's Mason Jar Drinking Lids replace the seal of the Mason jar and turn it into a travel mug for hot liquids, cold drinks or even smoothies. You can drink directly from the BPA-free plastic lid or use a reusable straw in the hole. Equally innovative is Cuppow's BNTO lunch box adaptor. This BPA-free plastic cup turns a Mason jar into a 2-compartment lunch kit. Carry veggies and dip, salad and dressing, hummus and pita. No need for disposable baggies or containers. One on my favourite jar accessories is Cuppow's Stainless Steel Tap. The tap fits perfectly onto any wide mouth or regular mouth Mason jar turning it into an infuser or pour spout. I love making refreshing cucumber/mint water or infusing oils: sun-dried tomato infused olive-oil is always a crowd favourite.

reCAP is another company to recognize the re-purposing potiential of canning jars. reCAP lids have a leak-proof, snap-down lid which can be used in the pantry for dry goods, on the go as a drink holder, or at home as a drinking vessel that James Bond would approve of. I use mine for making home made salad dressing. Finally a lid that doesn't leak oil everywhere when you shake it!

How about that drawer in your kitchen full of foil, plastic wrap and sandwich bags? We can do better than continuing to consume single-use disposable products. One alternative that can replace all those wrappers, free up a drawer in your kitchen, and ultimately save you money is Abeego, an all natural, reusable storage solution. Abeego is made from pure beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin infused fabric (hemp/certified organic cotton). It is malleable at room temperature, but stiffens when cooled to hold the shape you created. Use it to store food in your fridge or pack food in a lunch. After you use it, simply rinse it in cold water and allow it to dry. Roll, fold it or lay it flat until the next time you need it. The great thing about this all-natural product is it's breathable which allows your food to stay fresh longer.

While you're at it, replace those plastic baggies with a few reusable Snack Bags. Colibri Snack Bags are perfect for sandwiches and snack on the go or at home. My husband and three little ones use these bags every single day for lunches, snacks or whatever "stuff" they can fit in them. I also use them for carrying wipes in my diaper bag. Use them for anything you would use a baggy for. Instead of throwing it away, give it a rinse or toss it in the wash with your next load. They are adorable and very durable. I've been using and washing these bags for years and they still look great.

The convenience and availability of conventional food storage materials is often considered cheap enough and good enough. We've found that if you look closely at all the materials and processing that produce these items, you find they come at a cost that we do not want future generations to bear. With a bit of work and a willingness to experiment, keeping your food safe and delicious for your loved ones can also reduce your environmental footprint.