A common complaint within the green community is that sustainable living is expensive and when you scroll through Instagram, it’s easy to see why this belief continues to persist. Well-meaning sustainable lifestyle influencers and zero wasters – in their quest to earn money to pay their rent/mortgage, expenses and bills – will push eco consumer products.
What isn’t as commonly marketed (because it’s less profitable), is that you don’t necessarily need to go out and spend big to live a zero waste and plastic-free life– unless the kind of ‘zero waste lifestyle’ you are looking to promote on social media is the aspirational zero waste life. By challenging yourself not to consume more and by being resourceful, you’re bound to come up with creative alternatives to disposable and single-use items that don’t cost you a cent and doesn’t require you to buy anything.
Here are five budget-friendly (read: cheap) alternatives to cling wrap that I use:
1. Plate over bowl
This is a simple yet effective sustainable lifestyle hack that many of our parents and grandparents would have used in times of austerity and frugality. A common sense habit that should be commonly practiced.
2. Bowl over plate
If you couldn’t finish your meal, just place a bowl over your dinner plate, pop in the fridge and eat it tomorrow. Most ceramic dinner plates and bowls are microwavable too so if you need to reheat, just pop in the microwave as is to reheat.
3. Reuse an old takeaway food container
Make full use of old takeaway food containers by popping in any leftover meals or half-eaten or partially used fruits and vegetables. Plastic takeaway food containers are reusable, washable and a no-cost option to Tupperware and cling wrap.
4. Tea towel secured with rubber band
If you’ve been requested to ‘bring a plate’ to a party, barbeque or get together, a plastic-free affordable option to cling wrap is to cover the plate with a tea towel and secure it with some rubber bands. This method works especially well for food platters and baking dishes.
5. Pot with lid
An easy way to store food in the fridge after cooking up a storm is to just pop the lids back on the pots and place in the fridge as is. Not only do you save plastic cling wrap, but you also save time and the need to wash extra food containers.
None of these common sense, cheap alternatives to cling wrap is rocket science. It worked for my parents and it has worked for me for the last 15 years. There are fancy iterations of course, but they all essentially perform the same function as a simple plate over a bowl or bowl over a plate.
Have any other great alternatives to cling wrap that doesn’t require an individual to part with their hard-earned cash? Feel free to share in the comments below!
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Cover image by Pavel Danilyuk.