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    BeeBAGZ News - Sustainable Food Bags

    How to Properly Preserve Leftover Food

    How to Properly Preserve Leftover Food

    The planet could use a little help in 2021. We’ve been on a single-use plastics binge for over 70 years. Ziploc bags and plastic storage containers are a huge part of the problem when it comes to storing leftover food. But replacing convenience with sustainable eco-based alternatives is a hard habit to kick—especially in the kitchen!

    Leftover food is a waste issue when lesser developed nations struggle with starvation. Leftover food waste is also a major environmental issue, contributing plastics to landfills.

    In 2017 the National Zero Waste Council conducted research on household food waste in Canada, and the results were astonishing.
    63% of the food Canadians throw away could have been eaten.
    For the average Canadian household that amounts to 140 kilograms of wasted food per year – at a cost of more than $1,100 per year! For Canada as a whole, that amounts to almost 2.2 million tonnes of edible food wasted each year, costing Canadians in excess of $17 billion!—Love Food Hate Waste

     

    Thankfully, innovative and earth-friendly products like beeswax wrap bags are becoming increasingly popular and can help you cut back on spoiled food and plastic kitchen waste. And there are other sustainable plastic-free options out there that can help to up your game!

     

    Here are some of our favourite eco-friendly ways to store leftover food:

    Stainless steel

    Non-toxic, durable, and easy to clean, we love Dalcini stainless steel containers. Launched in 2015, Nina Tandon filled a gap in the plastic-free food container industry, replacing toxic BPA plastics with safe stainless steel. We like that Dalcini is a Canadian company—and that the containers hold soups, stews, and salad dressings without the worry of hormone-disrupting chemicals leaching into food.

     

    Credo Bags

    Made in Montreal, we’re big fans of Credo mesh bags for properly storing onions and potatoes so they don’t go soft too soon. We also like Credo’s nut bags for making nut milk that doesn’t come in a plastic-lined carton. Founder Judy Lazar used her textile manufacturing knowledge (20 years experience in the industry) to create the first North American-made reusable mesh produce bag, reducing the carbon footprint of Canadians across the country. Check out her mesh grocery bag tote!

     

    Mason Jars

    Perfect for chia pudding and overnight oats you make the night before and put in the fridge, mason jars are an all-in-one lunch container. Remember the salad-in-a-jar craze? That’s still going strong. And if you don’t eat everything in the jar, put a lid on it and put it back in the fridge.

     

     

    Beeswax Wrap Bags

    We love beeswax wrap bags!  These reusable and sustainable products were created by BeeBAGZ™ owner Kristi MacDonald, who was looking for plastic-free alternatives to keep her children’s lunches healthy. She saw a gap in this industry when she realized that beeswax wraps weren’t always a direct replacement for ziplocs and that a pouch format would be an easier and more convenient option. BeeBAGZ™ beeswax wrap bags are the sustainably-produced storage solution Kristi was looking for. As a busy parent herself, the beeswax wrap bags not only helped her prep food for weekly lunches but also helped to minimize food waste by keeping her produce, cheeses, herbs and other foods fresher, for longer periods while storing in the fridge.

     

     

    Planning can be the easiest way to cut down on food waste. Let’s take a closer look!

     

    Classic Uses

    Beeswax bags are perfect for storing leftovers like cut-up fruits and vegetables. They also work well for finger foods, like sandwiches, wraps, crackers, and cookies.

    A bag format offers more versatility and convenience than a traditional beeswax wrap—which is great for preserving the freshness of larger items, like a cantaloupe or avocado you’ve cut in half. But a beeswax wrap baggie is great for smaller, more delicate items, like grapes or strawberries, that might get squashed by traditional wraps. Simply open the top of the baggie, and drop your leftovers inside. Then, fold the top flap down and apply gentle pressure to close (the warmth of your fingers makes a nice seal). Done. No worries about food falling out!

     

    Because beeswax baggies have a natural wax coating that forms a moisture and air barrier, they are a top pick for items like cheese that are susceptible to drying out if not properly stored.

     

    Deep Greens

    There's nothing more frustrating than stocking your refrigerator with fresh greens, only to discover that they've wilted or developed mushy spots. Our bags preserve the freshness of herbs, kale, chard, fiddleheads, and lettuce greens by keeping air, light, and moisture out. Simply wash and dry your leafy greens and herbs, trim off any soggy or wilted leaves and excess stems, and tuck them in the beeswax baggie. Then, store your bag in your refrigerator crisper drawer.

     

    You can also use your bag to store pre-made leftover salad using this same method. Just be sure to serve the dressing on the side, and skip overly-moist ingredients if you're planning to wait a few days before serving.

     

    Store Non-Food Leftovers

    Don’t overlook beeswax bags when it comes to storing other non-food leftovers. Half-used bars of soap and solid shampoo are easy to slide in and out of this water-resistant pouch, keeping the rest of your luggage safe from unwanted suds and “goo” during travel. Because your beeswax bag won't absorb odor or color, it's ideal for storing toiletries like natural deodorant, toothpaste tablets, and other earth-friendly personal care items.

     

    Healthy Kitchen Habits

    Replacing plastic bags and containers with sustainable, non-toxic alternatives takes initiative and the right products. We are part of that solution along with our favourite sister companies who provide options like stainless steel, mesh, organic hemp and linen, and glass. These products combine to reduce leftover food waste and create an eco-friendly kitchen lifestyle.

     

    We want to inspire you to change how you store and preserve leftover food.

    Start with a family pack of assorted bees wrap lunch pack bags in various sizes and experiment with all the ways you can save the planet in your kitchen, at work or school, and when you travel.

     

    Check out our other blog posts to discover how you can be kind to the earth one small intention at a time and about our environmentally sustainable mission. And please let us know how you use your BeeBAGZ beeswax wrap bags!

    Snack Bags in the Woods. Back Country snack bags

    SNACK GREEN!

    Ditch Plastic Bags

    Switching to a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle does not happen overnight and usually occurs in small steps. First, you may reduce plastic consumption when shopping, then switch to plastic-free cleaning supplies, and so on.

    What about the even smaller decisions like plastic snack bags? It seems like a neglectable amount of plastic to worry about but once you look at the statistics, you'll see that it's not. It is estimated that the average North American household uses over 500 zip-locked bags annually and for the most part, these bags are used only once and end up in landfills for hundreds of years to come.

    Keep reading to find out 7 reasons you should ditch plastic snack bags. 

    1. Single-Use Plastic Uses Significant Resources

    All plastic is made using non-renewable crude oil, gas, and coal. As a result, more than 850 million metric tons of greenhouse emissions were released into the environment last year alone.

    This is due to extracting fossil fuel, transporting, refining, manufacturing, and shipping plastic products.

    Excessive greenhouse emissions (mainly carbon dioxide) cause real problems on earth. They allow radiation from the sun to come into our environment but don't allow infrared radiation to leave. This creates a greenhouse effect, causing the temperatures on our planet to rise, which becomes inhospitable for most forms of life. 

    The biggest contributor to greenhouse emissions is the burning of fossil fuels, which are used for many day-to-day things, including the production of plastic.

    Although plastic snack bags aren't responsible for the entirety of this, they take up a fair share of it because of their popularity.  

    2. Plastic Bags Are Mass Produced

    Small bags are used for convenience. They allow you to store unused food and bring snacks wherever you go.

    This is why at least 1.105 billion plastic sandwich bags in the U.S. alone are consumed each week. That's an unfathomable number and only includes one country's consumption. The majority of these bags come from people who only have a handful every week, too.

    The number is so high because realistically, plastic sandwich bags are single-use products.

    3. Plastic Snack Bags Are Only Useful Once

    After they've held sandwiches, chips, and snacks of all varieties, plastic snack bags often end up in the waste bin. They simply aren't made to be reused.

    You can't put them in the dishwasher. Hand washing them is difficult without ripping the bag. Plus, their design tends to lock in moisture, meaning mold can grow in them.

    4. Plastics Aren't Biodegradable

    Although plastics are made using natural resources, they can't biodegrade due to the chemical processing they've undergone.

    Plastic snack bags are typically made of #2 (high-density polyethylene) or #4 (low-density polyethylene) plastic. They are technically recyclable but many plants don't take them due to the fact that they're so small that they can damage equipment.

    Plus, they can't be accepted if they are torn or ripped. The sealing zipper itself isn't recyclable at all.

    As a result, many plastic bags end up in landfills, or worse -- they float away into nature. They don't disappear, even after hundreds of years. They break into smaller pieces known as microplastics.

    These microplastics pollute the environment, end up in animals' digestive tracts, and can even end up in our bodies.  So, these single-use items end up being forever pollutants in our world.

     

    5. Wildlife is Harmed By Plastic Snack Bags

    Aside from fragmenting into microplastics, plastic snack bags harm wildlife in other ways.

    When they end up in nature, animals can mistake them as food. You've probably seen the unfortunate pictures of sea turtles trying to consume plastic. This happens because plastic bags look similar to jellyfish and other aquatic lifeforms. 

    Even after these sad scenarios occur, the plastic snack bags don't disappear. They continue making rounds across the world until they get stuck on something and remain there until they fragment into microplastics.

    Roughly 4.8 to 12.7 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans, annually. There are literal islands of waste floating around, harming wildlife and releasing toxins into our waterways.

    6. All Plastic Leaches Harmful Toxins

    Plastic snack bags don't just hurt wildlife. They hurt us, too.

    All plastics (even the ones deemed as "safe") degrade in natural light, heat, and moisture-filled environments. As a result, they leach estrogenic chemicals.

    What exactly are estrogenic chemicals? They are compounds that imitate hormones like estrogen. They are proven to cause a wide variety of health problems, including reduced sperm counts, obesity, and increased rates of cancer. 

    In this study, 70% of the plastics used, leached these chemicals before undergoing stress degradation. This shows that even in optimal settings, plastics release harmful chemicals.

    7. You Have Better Options

    With all of these negative facts, it's important to stay positive and remember that you have power as a consumer. 

    Instead of using plastic snack bags, you can purchase reusable beeswax wrap bags to store your food. These products are naturally breathable and are proven to allow food to last longer than their plastic counterparts.

    It seems like a small action but it isn't when you consider the fact that plastic bags never really go anywhere after they're created. They stay on earth and continue harming it.

    You can do your part by making the small switch from plastic snack bags and then working towards reducing other forms of plastic in your life.

    These actions can make a huge impact. Companies make their decisions based on consumer choices. This means that as the trend to go green continues, fewer companies will produce plastic-laden products. 

    Make the Switch

    Now that you are fully convinced about saying goodbye to plastic snack bags forever, you can make the switch to help change the world.

    Keep learning about the harms of plastic so that you can be informed and make informed decisions. Then, you can encourage friends and family to do the same.

    Shop our alternative, reusable beeswax wrap bags to make a difference.

     

    How To Go Plastic-Free In Your Eco-Friendly Kitchen

    How To Go Plastic-Free In Your Eco-Friendly Kitchen

    How to go plastic free in your eco-friendly kitchen;

    Take the plastic free pledge; 

    Go eco-friendly in your kitchen; 

    Is your dinner table plastic-free?

    Choose eco-friendly kitchen cleaners;

    Say no to single-use plastics; You've got this in the BAG! Small everyday swaps can have a big impact when adopted by many.

    Read more

    A gift for you and the Environment + Gift giving ideas.

    A gift for you and the Environment + Gift giving ideas.

    Celebrate with Environmentally Friendly Products The holidays are soon upon us. After a very challenging 2020, to say the least, all of us here at the BeeBAGZ™ hive are looking forward to a little downtime with our loved ones. From Now until December 20th, we are offering Free Product with any purchases! 

    Read more

    How to go plastic free in your eco-friendly kitchen

    How to go plastic free in your eco-friendly kitchen

    Plastic pollution is a serious problem! We have all seen the documentaries that show its devastating effects on the environment, as well as marine life and other wildlife. Single-use plastic from household and commercial trash ends up on shorelines and plastic waste clogs drainage systems in our cities. Some link plastic to extreme weather cycles.

    A study by the World Economic Forum, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and McKinsey, estimates that millions of tons of plastic packaging flow into the ocean at a rate of one garbage truck every minute, if we continue on this same tangent, that alarming statistic could increase to four truckloads per minute by 2050.

    But how do we find a large-scale solution to a problem of this magnitude? The answer lies in bringing about change at an individual level. National Geographic featured the Baltimore Harbor cleanup, which used a contraption named Mr. Trash Wheels, a floating device that sucks up plastic from polluted harbours. John Kellett, its creator aims to “get the trash before it gets to the ocean.”

    Take the plastic free pledge

    Experts believe we can make a significant impact at a global level with small changes to our buying and using habits. Wondering where to start? Swap plastic for eco-friendly alternatives. Consider taking the “plastic or planet” pledge to reduce single-use plastic.

    Go eco-friendly in your kitchen

    Family life revolves around the kitchen, a space that everyone shares. Starting your eco-friendly drive here means everyone in the family does their plastic-free part. An informal audit of your kitchen is likely to reveal a collection of plastic storage containers, plastic bags, wraps, cleaning products in plastic packaging.

    Take notice of your groceries. Clear plastic produce bags are mounted on rollers at the end of each row in grocery stores but rather than relying on these single use products, opt to use your own produce bags instead! Do you also need to purchase small-portioned and pre-cut produce which is unnecessarily wrapped in plastic packaging? Go whole or go home. Bring your own reusable grocery bags and consider shopping at your local farmer’s market to take advantage of produce plucked fresh from the ground without plastic wrap.

    Here’s a compact guide to cut plastic from your kitchen:

    Eco friendly kitchen storage containers

    Swap plastic containers with eco-friendly options like stainless steel containers or glass mason jars and containers. Find ways to upcycle your plastic containers (for arts and crafts or in the garage). Bamboo or wooden storage jars can also be a good storage option. They can be recycled and do not leech dangerous chemicals. They also look great! Organic bamboo, pretty ceramics and earthy clay containers give your kitchen a warm, rustic charm!

    Eco-friendly storage options for your fridge
    Ziplock plastic bags are convenient and habitually used to store food in your fridge but they are one of the worst single-use plastic offenders. Have you tried beeswax bags as an eco-friendly alternative? They’re great for storing fruits and vegetables in the fridge or for sandwiches and snacks when on the go. Beeswax bags keep food fresh longer as the material is breathable and has antibacterial properties. Also, since they are made from all-natural ingredients, you won’t have to worry about plastic chemicals or toxins leaching into food, and you can reuse them for up to a year so they are a sustainable alternative to plastic bags.

    Beeswax wraps are also versatile and can be used as a replacement for Saran wrap to cover bowls of leftovers in the fridge.

    Use plastic-free cookware
    Replace your non-stick cookware and microwave-friendly plastic with eco-friendly options like cast iron pans, high quality metal pots and stoneware that won’t leech toxins into your food. Organic cutting boards made from sustainable bamboo can be used in place of synthetic cutting boards that release plastic micro-fragments as you chop. Opt for wooden spatulas to go plastic-free all the way.

    Is your dinner table plastic-free?
    Get plastics off the dining table! Make sure dinner plates are glass or ceramic. Wooden serving bowls and platters work well for salads and starters. Use reusable cloth napkins instead of paper napkins. For kids, opt for stainless steel straws. If you must use disposable plates and cutlery, consider biodegradable bamboo options.

    Choose eco-friendly kitchen cleaners
    Most commercial cleaning products for the kitchen are laden with chemicals. Residue from these products can remain on surfaces or utensils and find its way into your food. Harsh cleaning agents generate mildly toxic fumes that can cause allergies or aggravate respiratory problems. Look for biodegradable kitchen cleaning liquids or soap bars made from natural ingredients. Sodium bicarbonate and vinegar are very effective for cleaning surfaces and greasy utensils. You can also add your favourite essential oil for a wonderful scent! Home-made or commercially available bio enzymes are also good options to consider. Using bamboo brushes and scrubs made from natural fibres like coconut coir will go a long way in your plastic -free journey!

    Say no to single-use plastics
    Do you regularly buy ready-to-eat-meals, milk or juice cartons, and bottled water? All of these are packed in single-use, non-biodegradable material. Avoid buying these if you can. Buy milk packaged in glass bottles instead of plastic cartons. Avoid kitchen cleaners in one-time use dispensers. Buy our own sturdy, durable dispensers and use eco-friendly refill packs to reduce plastic waste.

    It’s a wrap!
    Every piece of plastic you use and discard chokes the planet. According to an article published by ourworldindata.org, packaging as a sector is the dominant generator of plastic waste, responsible for almost half of the total global plastic waste. Every step you take toward a plastic-free kitchen contributes to a greener planet and a healthier home environment. A little care on your behalf will go a long way for the planet. Once your kitchen is plastic-free, go a step further and see if you can reduce your carbon footprint - go local, go seasonal, and try traditional. A step back, in some cases, creates a positive forward motion. Encourage your friends to create momentum!