One of the many benefits to downsizing and removing clutter from our home has been the removal of plastic items too. Those food containers, cooking utensils, closet hangers and more, are slowly coming off of our shelves, out of our closets and out of our space. As time and money allow, we will begin replacing other plastic items too: our shower curtain liner, shampoo bottles, and refrigerator condiments to name a few.

Plastic is not only unaesthetic, it’s bad for our environment and toxic to our bodies. Until our Journey to Simplicity began, I, unfortunately, never put too much thought in to the nondestructive material or recognized our degree of consumption. I consider ourselves to be mindful consumers and respectful stewards of our garbage; however, in doing a bit of research, we can definitely do more. Just because a product claims to be this or that, or BPA-free, it doesn’t necessarily mean said product is safe — for us or for our environment. Unfortunately, plastic is everywhere; these toxins are everywhere, and though it may be impossible to completely remove this popular material from our home and from the products we use, there are many ways we plan to eliminate it and minimize our consumption of it.

Go Glass
In a recent post, we announced goals of making our own laundry detergent and other cleaning supplies. This included re-purposing glass growlers to store our homemade detergent in. This is a great example of reusing a material to replace plastic goods in our home and encourage a plastic-free environment.

re-purposed glass growlers.

Storing bulk foods like nuts, dried fruits and beans, and rice in glass containers is another way to minimize the use of plastics, promote healthier eating and keep an organized pantry.

our pantry.


Baskets are a great alternative to plastic and a wonderful option for storage in the pantry, linen closet, or refrigerator. We also use baskets for storing rags and dog toys. Our thrift stores in Hailey have an ample supply of baskets, which, with a little negotiating, I can get them for a bargain.

Other helpful plastic-free options for the pantry or refrigerator are ceramic egg crates, glass butter dishes and hanging wire baskets for fruits and vegetables.

Getting Groceries
Bring your own bag! This is one of the simplest ways to reduce the amount of plastic we bring home. It’s easy to forget, but by leaving your bags on a hook at the front door or already in the car is a helpful reminder.

What about vegetables and produce? Amazon has a great selection of fabric vegetable bags that cinch tight, keeping your produce from rolling around all over your cart or basket. These bags can also store beans and rice.

Choose items that have glass or cardboard packaging. From condiments to sodas, cereals and breakfast bars, other alternative packing materials exist. This is another great way to keep a plastic-free home. In addition, empty glass jars from condiments, salsas and mayonnaise can be utilized elsewhere in your home.

freshly baked bread.

Bake your own bread. I love this idea and I wish we baked bread more often. It has less preservatives and it isn’t stored in plastic. Maybe it’s time to invest in a bread machine and a bread box?