My funky plastic container for reducing food waste

Filed in Blog by on March 25, 2009 15 Comments
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plastic food storage box for reduced food wasteOk, if you’re a plastic free person then avert your eyes! I know it would be better if we all lived sans plastic, but plastic reusable containers are cheap and durable and I’ll be sticking with them until they fall apart or I can get my mitts on some reasonably priced stainless steel babies.

I’m feeling a bit of a theme coming on for this week. My posts seem to be revolving around ‘simple and effective’! So let me introduce my new ‘simple ‘n’ effective’ purchase. Spotted in Waitrose for the princely sum of less than a fiver, I found this:

As you know I’m a bit of a minx when it comes to food waste. I can’t stand the stuff and even a tablespoon of mashed potato is rescued in this house for life in another meal. I must have my Grandmother’s genes. But I admit to losing things in the fridge. I put a small bit of this in a large dish, cover it with a plate and I forget it’s there. Then I can’t be bothered and then I have to throw out my mouldy offerings to the compost heap or birds.

With this beauty, you can store half a tin of tuna, a few tablespoons of cooked veg, a few scrapings of grated cheese, a couple of sticks of raw cucumber – all those little bits of ‘stuff’ that don’t really have a home.

zero food waste

They can sit together in their container like happy flatmates discussing the world until I get round to using them. Each small compartment comes out for ease of cleaning and tipping out of contents. As the container is clear I tend to notice it and I think this investment is going to pay for itself several times over.

What about you? What cunning ways do you have to ‘notice’ all the leftovers in your fridge? I would love a fridge with a glass door, but I’ve only seen ones deigned for wine bottles. Maybe I need to go on a liquid diet 😉

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About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth’s fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (15)

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  1. Hi – great idea. I fall foul of the ‘mystery in a plate covered dish’ thing too. Now I’ve started (rather anal I know) checking the leftovers in the fridge each morning when I’m tidying and either finding a use for them or freezing them.

    The daily ‘leftover check’ definitely works here. The dogs aren’t happy though – less forgotten items for them to finish off!

  2. Dormouse says:

    I find a constantly grazing teenage son the best way to use up leftovers if there are any! Anyone want to hire him for the week?

  3. @Dormouse: No thanks I have 1 plus 1 in training myself.!!lol!!

  4. That box would be good for using for a packup or picnic as well.

    I don’t tend to have leftovers unless I deliberately cook excess and then they aren’t leftovers anyway.:D

    If there are any usually either myself or DH hasve them for lunch the next day.

    Last night I cooked a roast chicken dinner, there was one drumstick left so DH has taken that in his packup today.

  5. Deb from Boston says:

    Even as one of the one’s who is slowly converting plastics for stainless or glass containers – this one would make a nice lunch container for the little ones. Sort of like a modern Bento Box.

  6. lately I have been using glass containers as much as possible, and I agree, visibility has helped my leftovers situation. The one I always fall prey to is bread. I put the bread (purchased without a bag) into a plastic bag for keeping, and then forget about it. I need a bread-sized transparent container.

    Incidentally, I have exactly the same containers as you (all the way over here in Canada) except that mine don’t have those nice inner compartments. I use mine in the pantry because they stack so nicely.

  7. MrsJ says:

    I have 4 males currently in my house including a preteen so it’s more a case of checking the fridge to see if there’s any food leftover in there lol. I have millions of reusable containers though that are clear and actually need a bigger kitchen for them.

  8. Now that is a clever contraption! I am relieved to hear about people saving a tablespoon full of potatoes or a scrap of this or that. Soups and stews never know what’s in them anyway and they are perfect spots to squirrel away bits of this or that.
    This is my first visit! I found you through Katy Wolk-Stanley!

  9. JW says:

    Wonder if can find an Indian Masala Dabba (Spice box) with large enough inner containers to be still useful.

  10. Lisa says:

    That’s a good idea. I need to clean out my frig so I know what I have and waste less!

  11. Mrs Green says:

    @mrsdirtyboots: That is such a good idea mrsdirtyboots. I really should do the same, but alas I don’t. You have inspired me though – it will be my ‘get off your arse Thursday’ job for this week – thank you!

    @Dormouse: Doormouse, you could be onto something. Send him ’round when we have our first glut in the garden and I’m procrastinating about preserving it all!

    @maisie dalziel: Hi Maisie, it would be a great picnic box too. The laptop lunchboxes are great, but very expensive and this is a similar idea. You are the Queen of ‘no leftovers’ – an inspiration to us all. I think my new mantra should be ‘How much would Maisie cook?’ 😀

    @Deb from Boston: Hi Deb, how is the transition to stainless steel going – are there any fab companies we should know about?

    @Jen from CleanBin: Hi Jen, glass containers sound lovely. There are a few people with the bread issue – I know Mrs A has a similar plight. We’ve been able to get a big plastic container, which will take a loaf of bread, but then Mr G doesn’t put the lid on properly and it ends up drying out. Grrrrr.

    @MrsJ: LOL Mrs J. I can see a time when that will occur in our house too 😀

    @Tammy Brackett: Great to see you Tammy and it’s always lovely to hear how people find us. I’m with you on this – add a bit of this, a bit of that and before you know it you’ve created something unique and tasty. I hope you visit us again. I’ve been browsing your frugal musician blog too – some great ideas you have over there.

    @JW: Hi JW; that sounds interesting. Let us know if you find anything as I’m sure many of us would like to hear about it.

    @Lisa: Hi Lisa, fridge sorting is a win-win – it saves us money and prevents food waste. I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts about Earth Hour on your blog 🙂

  12. Deb from Boston says:

    Here’s the site where I bought some stainless: http://www.yourguidetogreen.com/store/stainless-steel/cat_24.html We bought the 1 qt square – which works great for lunches (until children put lid in dishwasher, now they leak if I try soup) and the 10oz bowls which are good for dry snacks – homemade yogarts leak.

    We also have pyrex glass containers with lids which work great for the fridge where seeing content is key; but they are a bit heavy for packing lunches for work and school.

    I’ve also read somewhere that glass is better storage for the fridge since it holds the cold temp. better, resulting in the fridge not having to work as hard then if filled with plastics.

  13. Mrs Green says:

    Thanks for the link, Deb and thanks for letting us know about not dishwashing the lids. Eeeek!
    Interesting about the glass helping the temperature side of things. Mind you, stainless steel gets pretty cold too!

  14. Jane says:

    I’ve just discovered that Pringles plastic tops neatly fit the little ceramic dishes from some pudding or other.
    That’ll make it easier to put them in the fridge and help assuage my guilt at the horrible unrecyclable Pringles packaging.

  15. Mrs Green says:

    @Jane: Oh fab! I love finding these reuse ideas 🙂

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