post

Kettle

People are always asking about plastic free kettles. There is one very easy answer – get a stove top kettle. That’s it. Spend a bit more and you can get one that doesn’t have a plastic handle. Spend a lot more and you get a kettle you will be handing on to your kids. I am saving up for this one.

Shropshire Made Traditional Kettle

  • Hand spun body and lid with durable hard anodised finish.
    Precision cast spout for perfect pouring.
    The base of kettle is very thick 1/4 inch (6mm) aluminium, we machine grind this flat to ensure rapid boiling on range hobs.
    Hand turned British oak handle & knob.
    Lovingly hand made in Britain.

A stove top kettle for use on range stoves, electric, gas, ceramic and halogen hobs. The perfect companion for country cottages, retro conversions, Victorian kitchens, Edwardian homes, glamping and garden cooking (it complements Netherton Foundry garden hob).

Comes in two sizes and  the packaging is cardboard.

Cheaper Kettles

The downside is they are over a hundred quid. You might want to look at some of the cheaper options below. The cheaper kettles often have plastic handles. Very cheap kettles often warp with time. You need a good heavy bottom!

Amazon Catalogue

Here are some links to products sold on Amazon. Amazon is a very dirty word at the moment and I thought long and hard before I did it. Heres why I went ahead…..

.

Grunwerg Cafe Ole Stainless Steel Stove Top Whistling Kettle 3L HTK-3
Grunwerg Cafe Ole Stainless Steel Stove Top…
£11.82
Wesco Classic Line Stainless Steel 2 Litre Stove Top Kettle, Black Garden Trading Enamel Stove Kettle - Flint Yoshikawa 1 Litre Stainless Steel Fons Drip Stove Kettle
Wesco Classic Line Stainless Steel 2 Litre …
£49.99
Garden Trading Enamel Stove Kettle – Flint
£31.50
Yoshikawa 1 Litre Stainless Steel Fons Drip…
£74.99
post

Frying Pans

I have been wanting to get rid of my non stick frying pan for ages. I bought it before I knew about polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), the plastic non- stick coating.  Nor did I know that polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) can give off toxic fumes that can kill budgies. I don’t have a budgie but even so! That doesn’t sound good.

Non Stick

I wanted a light weight pan with a ceramic non stick coating (promised to be toxin free), BUT it had to have a metal handle. Finally found this one from BergHOFF. The earth chef Montana range  which goes under the following specification….

  • Ceramic nonstick coating:
    • Naturally 6x stronger than traditional nonstick coatings
    • Non-toxic: no PTFE fumes
    • No PFOA used and energy-saving manufacturing
  • Hollow cast stainless-steel and riveted handles
  • Polished stainless-steel lids
  • Fast and even heat transfer
  • For all types of cooktops, including induction
  • Durable construction
  • Oven-safe to 540 degrees C / 1000 degrees F
  • Metal-utensil safe and dishwasher-safe

Delighted to see it came in cardboard packaging, disappointed to find it was also wrapped in a plastic bag. So far it is doing well….

If you can’t find one locally you can of course get them from Amazon – read more about our relationship here

BergHOFF 26 cm Earthchef Frying Pan
BergHOFF 26 cm Earthchef Frying Pan
£39.99

Cast Iron Pans

I chose this pan for the van. I really wanted a cast iron frying pan but our light weight flimsy camping stove would almost certainly crumple under the weight. Those of you with sturdier stoves could consider a U.K. made, cast iron pan from Netherton Foundry. It will last a life time . Pricey but nicey.

They alo do reather nice looking plastic free kettles.

If you cant afford to buy new you could try Ebay. They have a whole load of second hand iron pans for sale.

 

 

Greaseproof paper

Greaseproof paper was first developed as a replacement for parchment by the  engineer Otto Munthe Tobiesen in 1894

During the paper making process, the paper pulp is beaten hard so the fibres bond more firmly. This results in a paper of high density with a small number of pores. It is now less absorbant making it reisistant to grease, fat and oil.

Natural greaseproof paper does not have any chemical treatments or coatings. It can be recycled, composted or burnt.

Other kinds of greaseproof paper, the  unnatural kind, are normal paper that has

  • been  coated with another material usually a fine layer of plastic or
  •  chemically treated with a variety of chemicals including PFCs and PFOA.

Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) are a family of man-made chemicals.

  • When they enter the food chain they are retained in animal tissue leading to a process called biomagnification, meaning that they are passed on up the foodchain from animal to animal and because they are stored in the body for years the amount increases exponentially as they travel up the food chain.
  • Recent studies have found perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in human serum.
  • You can read more about them here

Greaseproof paper of all kinds is used for wrapping butter and other fatty foodstuffs.

If You Care supply genuine greaseproof paper products. You can buy them in stores and online.

On Line

You can buy from Nigel’s Eco Store or

Amazon Store

If You Care Baking Sheets Cut Unbleached 24 Sheets THREE PACKS of If You Care Mini Baking Cups 4.35Cm X 4.13Cm 90 Cups If You Care Baking Cups Mini
If You Care Baking Sheets Cut Unbleached 24…
£7.40
THREE PACKS of If You Care Mini Baking Cups…
£7.94
If You Care Baking Cups Mini
£5.83

Gourmet Wrap supplies to the trade, and you, if you want 400 sheets.

With thanks to Kau and gourmetfood wrap

 

post

PTFE Non stick plastic

When I was young and innocent, I knew nothing of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Well, it’s not the kind of thing a nicely brought up girl should have to deal with.

Instead, I went out met a man, got married and got given some very nice, very expensive wedding pans. Lovely non-stick pans.

Which brings us right back to polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) .

  • This is what the non-stick coating on pans is made from.
  • Teflon is perhaps the best known manufacturer of polytetrafluoroethylene (non-stick) linings.
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene is a plastic and, like other plastics, has a down right nasty side.

Over to wise geek…..
The nonstick coating used in DuPont’s Teflon® pans has been found to release one or more of 15 different toxic gases when heated to certain temperatures, but is generally safe when used according to manufacturers’ specifications. Which chemicals are released depends on the temperature of the pan. This outgassing can be fatal to pet birds and can cause “polymer fume flu,” also known as “Teflon® flu,” in humans.

read the rest here

Teflon say if you use the pans properly(?), there shouldn’t be a problem. Try telling that to the budgie.

Whatever, the pans are too good to throw out, and I feel bad about giving them away, so I am still using them – but in future I will not be buying any more non-stick.

New Non Stick Pans

 

No PTFE non stick frying pan

More info

You can find out about the other sorts of plastic here


post

How to wash the pots plastic free…..

By Hand…Sigh

Washing up liquid and I use Ecover  in a refillable plastic bottle. I know the bottle is plastic but kitchen? glass? This is a case for reusable plastic if ever there was one and I have been using mine for YEARS now.If you wanted to be a purist you could use a metal bottle I guess.  Check out where you can find a refill service here .

Cotton dishcloth. You can usually find the old style cotton knitted dishcloth in local shops and hardware stores such as Wilkinsons. Or you can knit your own. If you cant knit you can buy hand knitted from Etsy and lie.

Bristle brushes are useful for  scrubbing away  burnt on gunk.  They can  bought on-line here or from the delightful kitchen ware shops at Saltaire Mill.

You can find a range of scouring  pads here from the butch knitted metal to the soft and natural luffa. 

Washing up gloves. – biodegradable Fairtrade rubber gloves – guaranteed to compost down.

Cotton tea towel.

Now all you need is someone to actually wash the dishes. Come on Grandma….

Dishwasher

Or you can get an dishwasher and use this plastic free dish wash powder from Sainsburys and other supermarkets.. Goodbye Grandma…

 

 

post

How to drink plastic free

Paper Cup?

Nooooo plastic lined! Consider bringing your own. Here are some funky options.

Plastic Pints

Grim! Try a steel tumbler.

Straws Arghhh….

If you are out and about please, please refuse the plastic straw. Watch a turtle having a straw removed from his nose here if you want to know why.

If you must drink through a straw consider bringing your own reusable. Here are some options…

Reusables reusable stainless steel , glass or bamboo straws

Disposable Compostables If you need a disposable straw at least make it   cornstarch compostable disposable  straw.

Plastic free booze

Plastic free booze is hard to find….glup!!!!. But we have managed to source some for you here… 

Cocktail Shaker

You don’t need one – just more rubbish in the kitchen cupboard. Mix them in a jug! Stirred James, stirred!

Ice and Cocktail Sticks

You can read about reusable and compostable straws here.

For the rest,this  Amazon  shopping list may inspire you.

Andrew James Double Walled Insulated Stainless Steel 2 Litre Ice Bucket With Set of Tongs Premier Housewares Sphere Ice Bucket - Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Ice Cube Tray - BPA Free
Andrew James Double Walled Insulated Stainl… Premier Housewares Sphere Ice Bucket – Stai… Stainless Steel Ice Cube Tray – BPA Free
£40.00
FIREFLY® Eco Straws - Stainless Steel Drinking Straw Premium Grip with Cleaner 4 Pack Stainless Steel Martini Picks - Pack of 6 | Novelty Cocktail Sticks, Stainless Steel Cocktail Picks Sustainable Bamboo Drinking Straws - 12 Pack
FIREFLY® Eco Straws – Stainless Steel D…
£9.99
Stainless Steel Martini Picks – Pack of 6 |…
£9.99
Sustainable Bamboo Drinking Straws – 12 Pack
£14.95

 

post

Cups BYO

Any one lucky enough to see the photos of Vladimir Putin bare-chested in camo  will have some idea just how butch the Russians can be. A fact reinforced by the number of camping shops in Moscow selling rugged man’s stuff. And they don’t get much more rugged than this tin cup, double wall construction and complete with sturdy clip to attach it to your rucksack. So I got one.

I take a reusable cup travelling with me because  I am highly dependant on take out. I don’t want to use plastic cups and so-called paper cups are plastic lined so I take my own cup and use that instead.

I have to say, as reusable cups go, this one is as good as Vlad on horseback – and you can’t get better than that!

But reusable cups are not just for travellers.

A report conducted jointly by the Alliance for Environmental Innovation and Starbucks found that 1.9 billion cups were used by Starbucks in 2000.[5] In 2006, Starbucks reported that this figure had grown to 2.3 billion cups for use at their stores.[6]

And just recently the Guardian reported that “A conservative estimate puts the number of paper cups handed out by coffee shops in the UK at 3bn, more than 8m a day with only  one in 400 is being recycled.

You can read more about disposable cups here

Good enough reasons to take your own reusable cup to the coffee shop.

Buy

I don’t know if you can buy such a good cup in the effeminate, decadent West but you will find something in outdoor shops that might do. Most do a good range of camping cups.

More Options

I have not used these myself  so I cannot say how well they perform or what the onward packaging is like. You will have to check with the suppliers. Any one who has tried them, can review them or can recommend some other great product please do  leave a comment.  Together we can make changes.

Some of the products featured may come plastic packed or even be made of plastic. They are included because if a product reduces the consumption of plastic disposables or packaging waste then, we feel,  there is a strong justification for using it. You read more about using plastic to cut plastic here.

Reusable silicon cups with lid

They wont break in your bag and will save the planet – result. You can buy them from Onya – the people who do the mesh produce bags.

Heres some blurb from them

Did you know you can take your own reusable coffee cup to most coffee shops?  They will fill it instead of the usual disposable one and some of them even offer you a discount! red_lge

Features:

• Foodgrade silicone cup/lid

• Eco friendly and reusable

• Dishwasher safe

• Withstands up to 200ºC heat

• Cool to the touch

• byocup and lids are not available separately.

The byocup silicone story

We are conscious of the fact that manufacturing reusable cups also   has an environmental impact, so we have put a process in place to    recycle the cup responsibly.

At the end of its life as a byocup, please return it to us and we   will forward it to a silicone recycler in India who will turn it into   charity bracelets or key rings.

Ceramic Cup

If you don’t like the sound of that or prefer something ceramic try the I am not a paper cup – a pottery cup with reusable silicon lid.

I know it looks like a polystyrene version but thats the joke. It’s also double wall construction so it will keep your drink hot and your hands cool. Shame about the plastic packaging! You can buy them here.

notpapercup-pr

Catalogue

Being committed to local shopping, I prefer to buy that way whenever possible. I would encourage you to do the same. One of the joys of living plastic free is mooching round the local shops seeing what you can source. Coffee Evolution were doing take away ceramic cups for instance.

If you can’t buy local, please do check the links above. They look direct  to the suppliers.  Do consider buying from them and support their online businesses.

If you can’t do that then I have put together and Amazon catalogue. Yes I know…

 

Yellowstone 300Ml Stainless Steel Mug Creative Tops Katie Alice Cottage Flower Doubled Walled Porcelain Travel Mug with Silcone Lid Glass Mason Jars
Yellowstone 300Ml Stainless Steel Mug
£3.24
Creative Tops Katie Alice Cottage Flower Do…
£9.05
Glass Mason Jars
Aladdin 31843 Double-Walled Drinking Cup with Handle 0.47 Litres Helikon Swedish Army Folding Cup Camping Hiking Olive Primeshop-30ml Stainless Steel Tumblers Glasses Drinking Cups for Camping Garden BBQ
Aladdin 31843 Double-Walled Drinking Cup wi…
£16.88
Helikon Swedish Army Folding Cup Camping Hi…
£3.95
Primeshop-30ml Stainless Steel Tumblers Gla…
Amazon is a very dirty word at the moment and I thought long and hard before suggesting them.  Heres why I went ahead….. No we are not entirely happy with Amazons recent history. However, we have always found their service to be good and their packaging usually compostable.

If you buy a product via this link we do get an affiliation fee for this. That’s not why we do it.

post

Buns cases

Really!  I mean buns as in muffins …..

Baking buns is so fun but try getting plastic free bun cases and you will be in difficulties as they all come packed in plastic tubes.

Lucky then I found these…

Paper cases in a cardboard box can be bought on line.They do three different sizes and are as green as a leaf.

Otherwise you can go for silicone reusable cases.

First I went for these . they come in plastic packaging but the long-term gain is a net decrease in plastic use. Yes they are made of plastic, (if you count silicone as a kind of plastic and we do),  but they are reusable as oppose to disposable paper and look,  you can get them with feet …

and heart-shaped .. ahhh..

 

Heres what the manufacturers say they “are incredibly versatile and durable. They are the perfect size for small individual jellies, can be used to bake cup cakes in the oven or microwave and then frozen if necessary. No muffin pan required, they are stain and odour resistant and even have a line to fill up to for a consistent look.”

You can get them from cakecraftworld.co.uk or lakeland

You can get  silicone reusable  moulds  in cardboard packaging. These came from  Strawberry Fair, Byram Arcade, Huddersfield but that has since closed down. 

cup cakes

 

Find lots of  plastic free recipes with the plastic free cook book 

 

post

Straws Compostable

The picture shows a turtle with a plastic straw stuck in its nose (You can watch the video in full here). Every years hundreds of thousand plastic straws end up polluting the environment. Ecocycle estimate that 500 million straws are used in the US every day alone.

If you must have disposable straws, (and none of these great reusable options suit), then why not try these compostable ones made from cornstarch. They look and act  just like  plastic straws…  but they are made from PLA cornstarch and are certified compostable.

Find out more about compostable plastic here.

You can buy them from Vegware. They do everything from black cocktail (1000 for 10.00)  to jumbo smoothie.

I have seen  paper straws on ebay but (as far as I know), they are not certified compostable and  may be plastic lined. They certainly are plastic packed.

Any one know any more?

Composting

One type of certified compostable plastic is  Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) plastic.

Some say that PLA plastics do not break down in home compost bins. THEY ARE WRONG. We have used and composted a number of  PLA plastic products.

You can see the PLA products we have used here.

More

Or you can try these  reusable stainless steel beauties or glass straws. 

post

Straws – reusable

I don’t use straws but if I did I would go for one of these.

Do note I have not used these myself  so I cannot say how well they perform or what the onward packaging is like. You will have to check with the suppliers. Any one who has tried them, can review them or can recommend some other great product please do  leave a comment.  Together we can make changes.

Bamboo

Super fun for a cocktail party – haven’t tried them myself yet but will do….. You can get them from boobalu  an ecofriendly online store

or these from Amazon

bamboo straw

  • 12 pack of bamboo straws.
  • The ecological choice for your health and the planet.
  • Washable. Reusable.
  • Made from 100% Real Whole Bamboo Stalks
  • Each straw is 10 inches in length
  • You can find a range of reusable straws on Amazon

 

steel strawsSteel Straws

Urban techno chic! I love the look of them, stainless steel straws for the classiest of drinkers.

USA -Can be bought with a whole load of other good stuff from Reusable Bags (USA based).

Or you can make your own

UK – You can find a range of reusable straws on Amazon

Glass Straws

The glass straw man?? Yes he makes reusable glass straws. Glass straws may sound like a bonkers idea, but read this and then decide

I haven’t used them myself but if you fancy giving them a go they are currently available in the UK from EBAY and from this UK based online shop A Fine Choice

Disposables

If you must have disposable straws buy these compostable ones. 

Campaigns

Join the straw wars here.

Buy

Being committed to local shopping, I prefer to buy that way whenever possible. I would encourage you to do the same. One of the joys of living plastic free is mooching round the local shops seeing what you can source. Coffee Evolution were doing take away ceramic cups for instance.

If you can’t buy local, please do check the links above. They look direct  to the suppliers.  Do consider buying from them and support their online businesses.

If you can’t do that then I have put together and Amazon catalogue. Yes I know…

4 Straight Metal Drinking Straw Stainless Steel Reusable Straws Stylish ref.112.z90/4 4 Metal Drinking Straw Stainless Steel Reusable Straws Stylish ref.112.z89
NRS Healthcare Clear Safesip Drinks Glass a…
£5.99
4 Straight Metal Drinking Straw Stainless S…
£5.49
4 Metal Drinking Straw Stainless Steel Reus…
£5.49
6 Metal Drinking Straw Stainless Steel Reusable Straws Stylish ref.112.z89/6 Kitchen Craft Stainless Steel Two-in-One Drinking Straws / Stirrers- set of two Stainless Steel Zack Vitis Straw Spoon Set/4
6 Metal Drinking Straw Stainless Steel Reus…
£7.49
Kitchen Craft Stainless Steel Two-in-One Dr…
£4.75
Stainless Steel Zack Vitis Straw Spoon Set/4
£12.00
Sustainable Bamboo Drinking Straws - 12 Pack
Sustainable Bamboo Drinking Straws – 12 Pack
£6.00
Amazon is a very dirty word at the moment and I thought long and hard before suggesting them.  Heres why I went ahead….. No we are not entirely happy with Amazons recent history. However, we have always found their service to be good and their packaging usually compostable.

If you buy a product via this link we do get an affiliation fee for this. That’s not why we do it.

Clingfilm/ Saranwrap, foodwrap and poisons

Not being much of a Suzy Home maker I have hardly ever in my life bought cling film. Rather glad now I’ve found out that PVC is added to most food wrap film  to make it more clingy. Though there are some films that do not contain it such as LDPE cling film.

PVC clingfilm contains Phthalates. These are added to make the plastic stretchy.

They have also been linked to possible birth defects and asthma and other nasty things.

And it gets better. PVC is known as the “poison plastic”. Toxic chemicals are used in its creation. One of those is vinyl chloride monomer (VCM). VCM is a gas and a known carcinogen causing cancerous tumors in the brain, lungs, liver and various tissues in humans.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is  a chlorinated plastic 2011-22.7 changmai 2 (49)

Dioxins are unintentionally, but unavoidably produced during the manufacture of materials containing chlorine, this includes halogenated plastics, i.e made from chlorine or fluorine.

Burning these plastics can release dioxins.

Dioxin is a known human carcinogen and the most potent synthetic carcinogen ever tested in laboratory animals.

This means that that clingfilm is hard to recycle as it gives off nasty and dangerous fumes.

PVC cling film is not at the moment recycled – not that it cant be but that it is not as easy to recycle as LDPE clingfilm (film with out PVC)

According to some it is almost impossible to tell PVC clingfilm and polythene cling film apart.

PVC cling film is often used in the food industry.

China produces large amounts of PVC clingfilm.

Foodplast -( they make food wrap) – say sure leaching happens but the levels are completely safe.

How to cut the cling film

Am I teaching my granmother to suck eggs?

  • Keep it in a bowl with a plate on top.
  • Use a re-usable container with sealable lid.
  • Kilner jars (glass) are good and come in all sizes.
  • Get a sandwich box.
  • Don’t ever believe that wrapping your legs in plastic will burn any more calories than the energy it takes to wrap your legs in plastic.
post

Dishwash Powder

I have tried to make my own dishwasher powder but with variable success. Rather sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t and it can’t be so green to wash them twice. Very glad then to hear tell of plastic free dishwasher powder on sale. Not used it yet but will be trying it very soon.

Sainsbury Supermarket

have come up trumps with this dish was powder in a cardboard box. Not used it my self but   who sourced this  assures me the packaging really is plastic free. Hooray.

Though according to Louise” they now have a small plastic attachment to the pourer that is black so non-recyclable in my area. Previously this pourer was metal and previous to that cardboard.”

Waitrose Supermarket

Vicky tells me that Waitrose essentials come like this too.

My Hand

For those of you who prefer washing up old school you can find how to do it, plastic free, right here. Everything from washing up liquid to rubber gloves!

More

While you are there you can check out these other Sainsburys plastic free products.

And see what other supermarkets do here.