Food52 reusable cotton produce bags
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Having a green kitchen means many things: composting, using food scraps to fight food waste, and eating less meat among them. How you store your food also factors in, and there are plastic-free storage options for everything imaginable in your kitchen, from pantry staples to dinner leftovers.

The scoop is out: Plastic isn’t the best option for the planet or our health. If you are in the market for some new storage containers for your kitchen, there are many plastic-free alternatives to your stained old takeout containers. Plus, you get the added benefit of investing in these products once and using them for years as opposed to single-use plastic alternatives.

Related Reading: The Best Eco-Friendly Reusable Straws

Read on for seven storage options for your home and on the go that are gentler to your health and the health of the planet.

Glass Storage Containers

Best for: Leftovers, pantry storage, meal prep

Sur La Table glass food storage containers

Sur La Table

Tried and true, Pyrex and other glass containers are a comparable alternative to your average plastic box or canister. They also have an added bonus: With many glass containers, you can cook directly in them, and then pop a lid on for the leftovers. While they are a little heavy to take on the go, glass containers stack easily in your fridge.

8-Piece Glass Storage Container Set with Pen, $29.95 from Sur La Table

A must-have for meal prep and leftovers.
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BergHOFF Glass Storage Set, $35-$60 from Food52

Perfect for your pantry staples.
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Pyrex Easy Grab Baking Dishes, 2 for $24.99 from Kohl's

Bake and store in the same dish.
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Silicone Bags

Best for: Leftovers, lunches, snacks, sous vide

Stasher silicone bags

Stasher

Stasher makes our favorite version of the silicone-based bags that are a great eco-conscious alternative to your plastic-baggie addiction, with benefits. They can go from the microwave to the freezer to the oven to the dishwasher, and you can even use them to sous vide! They are perfect for tossing half an avocado in or cut up veggies, freezing fruit for smoothies, taking snacks on the go, and so much more. And, though I’ve had mine for years, if your bag breaks, you can send it back to them for recycling into playground pebbles.

Stasher Reusable Silicone Bag Starter Kit, $86.99 from Stasher

Save 5 percent when you buy this 7-piece starter bundle.
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Stasher Silicone Storage Bags, $9.99-$19.99 from The Container Store

Or purchase a la carte.
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Ceramic Bowls

Best for: Leftovers, lunch on the go

W&P Porter ceramic bowl

W&P

If you are looking for a plastic-free container to bring your lunch in, W&P’s ceramic Porter Bowl may be the option for you! It comes in a variety of fun colors, is microwave and dishwasher friendly, and you’ll be the most stylish person in the office (when you’re finally able to go back).

Ceramic Porter Bowl, $40 from W&P

The snap-tight silicone strap keeps things secure.
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Glass Jars

Best for: Leftovers, pantry storage, lunches, homemade sauces and condiments, and drinks

glass jars for meal prep

Ella Olsson / Unsplash

There are so many uses for jars—and food storage is certainly one of them! Whether you pick up a case of Weck jars, use mason jars you have on hand, or reuse jars you already have from tomato sauce or peanut butter, they’re great for lots of things. Think: storing leftovers in the fridge, bringing a salad along with you, portioning out ingredients for meal prep, or drinking your coffee, green juice, or smoothie (at home or on the go, if your jar has a tight lid).

Weck Glass Jars (9.8 ounces), 6 for $29.95 from Williams Sonoma

The ideal size for little odds and ends.
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Ball Glass Mason Jars (16 ounces), $6.99 from Amazon

For larger portions, including leftovers, lunches, and drinks.
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Related Reading: 12 Clever Ways to Use Mason Jars Beyond Canning


Cotton Drawstring Bags

Best for: Shopping for produce and bulk items, storing veggies

Food52 reusable cotton produce bags

Food52

Forgo the plastic bags you use in the bulk bin or produce section of your grocery store for reusable organic cotton produce bags, like the ones from Ecobags. They are an easy way to load up your loose spinach at the farmer’s market or to take snacks wherever you’re headed, and they are endlessly machine washable. Plus they weigh next to nothing, so you can keep a couple in your bag at all times for your unanticipated zero-waste needs (like walking by a bakery and needing to grab a cookie).

Aplat Reusable Cotton Food Storage Bags, $25-$48 from Food52

These pouches serve a variety of purposes.
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Recycled Bamboo & Cork Canisters

Best for: Pantry storage

recycled bamboo and cork storage containers

Food52

If you are looking for storage options for things you keep on your kitchen counter like salt or coffee, these recycled bamboo and cork canisters are as eco-friendly as they are eye candy. With a variety of colors for every aesthetic, they will make your kitchen pop while you feel good about taking care of the planet.

Ekobo Recycled Bamboo & Cork Canisters, $24-$28 from Food52

Store your beans, grains, and baking ingredients in these.
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Stretchy Silicone Lids

Best for: Covering leftovers

Food Huggers reusable lids

Food Huggers

Sometimes you make a bowl of guacamole you can’t finish, or are soaking beans overnight and don’t have a lid for your pot or bowl. Instead of turning to plastic wrap, grab reusable bowl covers such as these Five Two silicone lids, or these Food Huggers lids that are made of glass and silicone, so you can see inside the bowl!

Food Huggers Lids, 4 for $29.99 from Food Huggers

These tempered glass and silicone lids let you see what's inside your bowls.
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Faberware Food Huggers, 8 for $28 from Food52

These silicone covers fit tight around small containers or food itself, like cut lemons and limes.
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Need more inspiration? Check out your local zero waste store or shop online at stores like The Zero Market.

Next Step: Paper

Reduce Paper Waste in the Kitchen with These Eco-Friendly Products

Header image courtesy of Food52

Sara Weinreb is a writer, sustainability and design thinking strategist, herbalist-in-training, and host of the Medium Well podcast. Sara’s writing on sustainability, wellness, mindful living, and mission-driven business has been featured in Forbes, mindbodygreen, USA Today, Byrdie, and Cherry Bombe, amongst others. When she’s not writing and shopping in the bulk section of health food stores, you can find Sara on the yoga mat, making herbal elixirs, having solo dance parties, and hanging out with her growing collection of plants. She shares her adventures and misadventures at @saraweinreb.
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