Ten Ways to Help You Cut Down on Plastic Bags

I love it when our readers help me solve some of my most pressing eco-dilemmas. Remember that Friday Question I posed not long ago? What do you use instead of plastic bags to store produce in the refrigerator? You’ll be happy to know that—thanks to you all!—I no longer find myself hunkered over the sink washing out a three-year-old Ziploc bag for the sake of thrift and the environment.  Here are my top three tips for cutting down on the baggies:

  • Use a container instead of a bag whenever possible. I used to store cheese in bags—now I put it in a dishwasher-safe container. (And even if I didn’t have a dishwasher, I’d prefer to wash out a container instead of a bag.)
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What Do You Use Instead of Plastic Bags for Storing Produce in the Refrigerator?

Every other week, a huge box of organic vegetables lands on my doorstep. I take everything out, put it in large Ziploc bags, and store most of it in the fridge. Then, like the good little tightwad environmentalist that I am, I wash the bags out and use them over and over again.
head of broccoli

The thing is, I hate washing out Ziploc bags! Now that I have a dishwasher, my hatred has grown stronger, because obviously I cannot run the bags through the dishwasher.  This has prompted me to wonder: Is there a better way to store vegetables? Could I use clear glass containers or BPA-free Tupperware? What about awkwardly-sized veggies, like huge heads of broccoli or two-foot long leeks? How do you store produce?