Xueci

Xueci

Editor at Kitchen Stories

During our morning coffee or lunch breaks, sometimes you might hear, “Oh I like your coffee mug, where did you get it?” We share our love for food, and of course, our shopping list. As we often bring lunch to the office, how to transport food or drink safely from one spot to another has been an issue, as well as how to make it more environmentally friendly. Especially when it’s summertime when we are spoiled with good picnic weather.

Now we want to reveal our editors‘ picks to you! In this article, I asked some members of our team about their favorite tools for eating or drinking on-the-go, and how they reduce unnecessary waste in their daily life.

Devan, Editor

Kitchen Stories

Favorite tool: KaffeeForm to-go Weducer coffee cups
Use it for: I bring it with me when I am planning on grabbing a cup of coffee to-go in the morning or on the weekends.
Still looking for: I use quite a bit of aluminum foil at home and would love to kick this habit by subbing it out with something more sustainable but just as easy to use.

I just love the company and the story behind it. It makes use of recycled coffee grounds in a really interesting way and it's a cool and functional product. I have the Weducer for coffee to-go and I also have a few cappuccino and espresso cups for home. I've given them away as gifts, as well as to my friends and family in the United States because, to me, it really represents sustainable innovation—plus, it's a Berlin-based brand!

The Weducer is a great example of how I reduce single waste plastic like to-go coffee cups with lids and/or straws. I also always try to buy fresh produce at a market that doesn't have everything wrapped in plastic. I think this is an easy thing to do and even though it's a small contribution, it still is one.

Kitchen Stories

Lenja, Content Operation Manager

Kitchen Stories

Favorite tool: Bees Wax Paper
Use it for: I use the bees wax paper to cover plates and bowls when storing leftovers and for transportation, so I don’t need cling wrap or aluminium foil.
Still looking for: Hygiene and cleaning products to reduce single-use plastic, eg. shampoo bars

I love the product because it’s so easy to use and it actually works better than their single-use counterparts. With the warmth of your hands you can wrap it over the top of a bowl or around a sandwich and it will hold its shape once cool. You can clean them with water and gentle soap and reuse. Since they are quite expensive, I tried making my own ones since you only need old cotton fabric, bees wax, baking paper, and an iron. The results were amazing! If you´re interested, there are lots of tutorials on YouTube for it.

I try to go to markets or organic supermarkets to buy fruits and veggies without the plastic packaging. Also, I always carry a linen bag and my beautiful "Pottery for the Planet“ mug with me, since I promised myself to not use single-use cups or plastic bags anymore.

Xueci, Editor

Kitchen Stories

Favorite tool: Brita fill and go water bottle
Use it for: To filter tap water to reach my daily hydration goal
Still looking for: A light coffee tumbler that doesn’t spill on a zooming bus

It's not the most instagrammable water bottle, but it’s practical. I discovered it during my time at university, as the library only allows transparent water bottles. What's special about it is that it contains a filter disk, which filters the water directly while drinking. It has become a part of my travel packing list. The best scenario is at the airport or in a city where you're not sure about the tap water quality. Although it's not entirely plastic-free and you have to change the filter from time to time, it’s still a step forward from store-bought water, right?

A small habit I started this year is tucking a hand-sized foldable shopping bag in my commuter bag on weekdays, as I always do my shopping spontaneously after work. This kind of fabric is so much more reliable than a paper bag, which is what’s typically provided in supermarkets. If you have experience of picking up fruits on the street, you will relate on this point.

Kitchen Stories

Kristin, Editor

Kitchen Stories

Favorite tool: Reusable fruits and vegetable bags
Use it for: Shopping for food or going on a picnic
Still looking for: A nice stainless steel lunchbox with dividers

Not only do they look really nice with your freshly bought produce, they're also super handy and don't take too much space in your bag. I personally feel that plastic bags are one of the most unnecessary wastes and should be banished from supermarkets.

Besides buying produce and food that don’t have plastic packaging, I also bring my own food containers when grabbing dinner to-go from restaurants nearby.

I also went to a workshop to learn how to make my own all-natural detergents, like dish soap and washing agents. They were all made with Savon de Marseille and some simple ingredients like baking soda and essential oils.

Ruby, Editor

Kitchen Stories

Favorite tools: Glass-based 'tupperware' containers and Weck glasses
Use them for: Storing items in the fridge, transporting lunch, quick pickling—you name it!
Still looking for: Glass containers, of all shapes and sizes, that don't have plastic lids!

It might seem obvious, but the less plastic we use in any form, the better, which is why it's worth re-thinking seemingly less innocuous, reusable plastics like tupperware. I far prefer using glass containers. Here are four good reasons: 1) Not only do they last longer, they're easier to clean as they don't stain. 2) It's an easy way to store fresh herbs and keeps them far crisper than in a plastic bag 3) If you transport your lunch in one, you save on washing up—so add water conservation to your good deeds!

Like my fellow editors, I'm beyond frustrated with unnecessarily pre-packaged produce, so will always try to buy loose items and make use of reusable fruit and vegetable bags. When I'm out, I don't drink coffee in single-use cups, because I feel we can all pause for 3 minutes to enjoy the brew—plus, I just prefer drinking out of a sturdy glass to a plastic-coated paper cup.

Kitchen Stories

Julie, Editor-in-chief

Kitchen Stories

Favorite tool: Swell hot or cold water bottle
Use it for: I take the Swell bottle with me when traveling, or even if I just know I'll be out of the house all day and want to stay hydrated.
Still looking for: I'm with Ruby—glass containers of all shapes and sizes!

I love that it maintains temperature super well, whether hot or cold. In the winter, I'll make a big batch of tea and store it in the Swell bottle at home, so that I don't need to brew cup after cup. They come in a wide-mouth version that's easy to clean, as well as an XL size that's fantastic for long road trips.

Something I've been doing lately is to be more conscious of the materials used in various textiles I buy. From clothes to towels to shopping bags, there are so many plastics woven into everyday items. The easiest way to avoid them is to limit what you buy to natural materials like cotton, wool, silk, and linen. I also buy cleaning liquids and powders in bulk to refill smaller containers when needed, instead of repeatedly buying small plastic bottles whenever I run out. It's a small change, but it adds up over time!

Kitchen Stories

Ivette, Designer

Kitchen Stories

Favorite tool: Stasher bags
Use them for: To store snacks like raw veggies, fruits, or popcorn. I also use it for freezing berries and bananas for smoothies.
Looking for: A plastic-free alternative to my contact lens case!

I typically use glass containers to store food, but there have been times when I needed something lighter and compact. I wanted to avoid resealable plastic bags but kept resorting back to them—they just don't last. That's when I discovered Stasher bags and have been using them for food and non-food items since.

First, they are incredibly sturdy and can withstand high temperatures. They're microwave-safe and you can cook with them! Second, silicone is a much better alternative than plastic as it is non-toxic. Third, I stand by their company values: they donate a small percentage of their sales to environmental non-profits. Lastly, they are much more aesthetically pleasing than a plastic bag!

I try to live by the words: "Buy less, choose well, make it last". If there is a non-plastic alternative to something I might need or want, I try to go for it. A 100% plastic-free lifestyle is challenging as it requires more time, effort, and in some cases, money!

Everyone's life and financial situation differs, but it is important to stay conscious about how our choices impact the environment and to at least start with small changes here and there. Others will take notice and may even take part.

Kitchen Stories

What is your favorite tool for food on-the-go? Do you have some recommendations for what we are still looking for? Tell us in the comments!

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