Reducing household waste: discussion thread, wins and questions

Thought it might be good to have a dedicated thread to reducing household waste. So here it is!


One thing I’ve been noticing in the past few weeks is how much packaging has changed in my lifetime, and always in ways that create more waste.

I can’t think of a single thing still sold in waxed paper any longer, for example, and many, many things were when I was a child and young adult. At worst, in waxed paper inside a cardboard box (breakfast cereal), but often just waxed paper ( butter by the pound). Waxed paper is either compost or firestarter instead of a marine life death trap.

And don’t get me started on the things that were always in glass or metal but are now in plastic.

Any day now, I expect to have to buy my sugar or flour packed in plastic rather than paper.


My barley is now in woven PET. IT bothers me


I’d love to hear from anyone with success at changing the mindset of very wasteful people. Especially the kind who say they hate waste! I want to do some serious conversion work with mr. Elle’s family. He’s open to gradual change and has switched to reusable water bottles recently.

Everything else is whoa


I swear every time I look up how to store veggies and greens in the fridge, the answer is always a damp paper towel in a ziploc bag. I don’t have any ziploc bags, I don’t want to buy any ziploc bags, and I’m going to keep typing ziploc until my phone learns that it doesn’t deserve a capital Z.

So, my waste reducing friends, how do you store your greens in the fridge using less waste?


I mean, I just store them in the reusable mesh produce bag that I use to get them from the store, but it’s definitely not optimal for things like cilantro. I wonder if I can tweak something using a damp rag…?

At any rate, I’m also curious what others do!


My mom stores it in either the plastic tub the lettuce mixes come in (she reuses them for storing things and then for starting seeds) or she washes and dries the greens/lettuce in a salad spinner and then just stores it in the salad spinner. It keeps it the little bit moist it needs without being too wet. Then she makes salad and stores the whole thing for a day or two in glass bowls with fitted plastic lids (Pyrex i think). It gets a little soggy on the second day but I like the wilted salad it turns into.

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Cilantro lasts the longest if you put it upright in a glass of water and cover it with a plastic bag (or something rigid would also probably work). I never ever do this even though it is not that much work.


Right there with you :joy: I should’ve added it to my 2020 goals to actually try that out lol

Although then I would knock it over in the fridge, so


I line my veggie drawer with a dish towel. When I’m on top of my shit, I wrap greens in a dish towel. It seems to regulate moisture.


We have gotten these straws. So far I’m impressed with how they’re soft but don’t flop and are easy to clean by hand.

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I like those straws, but they don’t fit in the mouth of a keepcup. We use these instead, which are home-compostable:

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Oooh excellent. I might get some for outings.

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We cut them in half for a good height for the smallest keepcup, so it’s really 100 straws :wink:

Storing veges: I use these Tupperware containers, which are expensive and made of plastic. I probably wouldn’t buy them now, but I already own them:

I have heard great things about swag bags, but haven’t tried them. I think they are also expensive, but made of natural materials.

Following but not changing behaviour yet.

This? This I can do! Thank you so much!

With all the cooking and prepping I’ve been doing, I’ve pretty much run out of “airtight containers” too.


I’m becoming less and less enamoured of plastic food containers, since they seem to have a much shorter lifespan than stainless steel.

Does anyone currently use stainless steel lunchboxes? I’d love recommendations or any tips on what to choose. Likely to purchase something this year for kiddo to use for school starting next year.

I’ve heard good things about Planet Box. They’re also super freaking expensive.

I don’t have any but when I mentioned how expensive they were to a friend they told me to look in asian supermarkets as they tend to be cheaper there? I’ve not looked myself though so I don’t know which ones might have them.