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Stainless steel utensils used to be (and still are) my go-to to store food in. If you step into any Indian kitchen, you would see neatly stacked steel containers, plates, cups and more. My first encounter with plastic containers is so clear in my head, like it happened yesterday.

One of my classmates got this fancy lunch box with different colored tiny boxes inside. Back then, steel boxes were way more common so having a good-looking plastic lunchbox was seen as a big deal. And I wanted to own one badly, so I noted down the brand name and proceeded to hand that over to my mother who agreed to get me one. From then on, I have seen a barrage of plastic utensils making their way into our kitchen. They were so easy to use, clean and maintain. 

It’s truly mind-boggling how plastic containers made their way into our routine and completely took over traditional cooking methods and utensils. These days, businesses are way more aware and conscious but initially consumers easily fell for these fancy looking things. Now that I am responsible for my own kitchen and cooking and we all are seriously considering reducing our carbon footprint, I also decided to go back to simpler times and use as many environmentally-friendly utensils as I can.

My kitchen is now made up of clay pots, glass jars, ceramic containers and stainless steel pans. I remember asking my grandmother once what did they use when they were younger. She recalled how organically sustainable their practices were and I thought let me list them down for you all: 

  1. Eating food in banana leaves. As I mentioned in one of my previous blog posts, it contains polyphenol which kills germs in your food and aids in better digestion. These used to be disposed of in a pit in the backyard. Now we all call it the compost pit! 
  2. Using earthenware and ceramic containers to store grocery items. This ensured the longevity of the products and no toxins seeped into them over time, unlike the modern kitchenware. 
  3. Washing cookware with coconut fiber and its ashes — it’s sustainable and environmentally-friendly. Foams are a big contributor to increased pollution and carbon footprint, washing utensils with ashes used to be a hygienic way to clean them. 

P.S: Did you know Plant Life Meals packs all their freshly prepared food in compostable packaging!? How thoughtful and eco-friendly is that? 

What are your sustainable practices that you have adopted? I’d love to know & apply them!

Madhu Narayan
Mondays with Madhu
Guest blogger, Plant Life Meals