The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish
May 18, 2010

How To Store Produce Without Plastic


We don’t use plastic to store any of our vegetables or fruits. For example, we store carrots, whole or cut, immersed in containers of water. They will stay crisp in the refrigerator for weeks.  (Make sure to change the water frequently.) Celery works the same way.

how to store carrots without plastic

The Berkeley Farmers Market has put together a huge list of ways to store produce without plastic.   The market went plastic-free last year and is doing everything it can to encourage customers to not only bring their own bags and containers but to skip the plastic when they get home as well.  The information is listed below.  And here is a printable PDF version of the flyer, HowTo Store Fruits and Vegetables: Tips and tricks to extend the life of your produce without plastic (PDF).

How to Store Vegetables Without Plastic

Always remove any tight bands from your vegetables or at least loosen them to allow them to breath.

Artichokes‐ place in an airtight container sealed, with light moisture.
Asparagus‐ place them loosely in a glass or bowl upright with water at room temperature. (Will keep for a week outside the fridge)
Avocados‐ place in a paper bag at room temp. To speed up their ripening‐ place an apple in the bag with them.
Arugula‐ arugula, like lettuce, should not stay wet! Dunk in cold water and spin or lay flat to dry. Place dry arugula in an open container, wrapped with a dry towel to absorb any extra moisture.
Basil‐ is difficult to store well. Basil does not like the cold, or to be wet for that matter. The best method here is an airtight container/jar loosely packed with a small damp piece of paper inside‐left out on a cool counter.
Beans, shelling‐ open container in the fridge, eat ASAP. Some recommend freezing them if not going to eat right away
Beets‐ cut the tops off to keep beets firm, (be sure to keep the greens!)by leaving any top on root vegetables draws moisture from the root, making them loose flavor and firmness. Beets should be washed and kept in and open container with a wet towel on top.
Beet greens‐ place in an airtight container with a little moisture.
Broccoli‐ place in an open container in the fridge or wrap in a damp towel before placing in the fridge.
Broccoli Rabe‐ left in an open container in the crisper, but best used as soon as possible.
Brussels Sprouts‐ If bought on the stalk leave them on that stalk. Put the stalk in the fridge or leave it on a cold place. If they’re bought loose store them in an open container with a damp towel on top.
Cabbage‐ left out on a cool counter is fine up to a week, in the crisper otherwise. Peel off outer leaves if they start to wilt. Cabbage might begin to loose its moisture after a week , so, best used as soon as possible.
Carrots‐ cut the tops off to keep them fresh longer. Place them in closed container with plenty of moisture, either wrapped in a damp towel or dunk them in cold water every couple of days if they’re stored that long.
Cauliflower‐ will last a while in a closed container in the fridge, but they say cauliflower has the best flavor the day it’s bought.
Celery‐ does best when simply places in a cup or bowl of shallow water on the counter.
Celery root/Celeriac‐ wrap the root in a damp towel and place in the crisper.
Corn‐ leave unhusked in an open container if you must, but corn really is best the day it’s picked.
Cucumber‐ wrapped in a moist towel in the fridge. If you’re planning on eating them within a day or two after buying them they should be fine left out in a cool room.
Eggplant‐ does fine left out in a cool room. Don’t wash it, eggplant doesn’t like any extra moisture around its leaves. For longer storage‐ place loose, in the crisper.
Fava beans‐ place in an air tight container.
Fennel‐ if used within a couple days after it’s bought fennel can be left out on the counter, upright in a cup or bowl of water (like celery). If wanting to keep longer than a few days place in the fridge in a closed container with a little water.
Garlic‐ store in a cool, dark, place.
Green garlic‐an airtight container in the fridge or left out for a day or two is fine, best before dried out.
Greens‐ remove any bands, twist ties, etc. most greens must be kept in an air‐tight container with a damp cloth‐ to keep them from drying out. Kale, collards, and chard even do well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge.
Green beans‐ they like humidity, but not wetness. A damp cloth draped over an open or loosely closed container.
Green Tomatoes‐ store in a cool room away from the sun to keep them green and use quickly or they will begin to color.
Herbs– a closed container in the fridge to kept up to a week. Any longer might encourage mold.
Lettuce‐ keep damp in an airtight container in the fridge.
Leeks‐leave in an open container in the crisper wrapped in a damp cloth or in a shallow cup of water on the counter (just so the very bottom of the stem has water).
Okra‐ doesn’t like humidity. So a dry towel in an airtight container. Doesn’t store that well, best eaten quickly after purchase
Onion‐ store in a cool, dark and dry, place‐ good air circulation is best, so don’t stack them.
Parsnips‐an open container in the crisper, or, like a carrot, wrapped in a damp cloth in the fridge.
Potatoes‐ (like garlic and onions) store in cool, dark and dry place, such as, a box in a dark corner of the pantry; a paper bag also works well.
Radicchio‐ place in the fridge in an open container with a damp cloth on top.
Radishes‐ remove the greens (store separately) so they don’t draw out excess moisture from the roots and place them in a open container in the fridge with a wet towel placed on top.
Rhubarb‐wrap in a damp towel and place in an open container in the refrigerator.
Rutabagas‐ in an ideal situation a cool, dark, humid root cellar or a closed container in the crisper to keep their moisture in.
Snap peas‐ refrigerate in an open container
Spinach‐ store loose in an open container in the crisper, cool as soon as possible. Spinach loves to stay cold.
Spring onions‐ Remove any band or tie and place in the crisper.
Summer Squash‐ does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut.
Sweet peppers‐ Only wash them right before you plan on eating them as wetness decreases storage time. Store in a cool room to use in a couple a days, place in the crisper if longer storage needed.
Sweet Potatoes‐ Store in a cool, dark, well‐ventilated place. Never refrigerate‐‐sweet potatoes don’t like the cold.
Tomatoes‐ Never refrigerate. Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter. To hasten ripeness place in a paper bag with an apple.
Turnips‐ remove the greens (store separately) same as radishes and beets, store them in an open container with a moist cloth.
Winter squash‐store in a cool, dark, well ventilated place. Many growers say winter squashes get sweeter if they’re stored for a week or so before eaten.
Zucchini‐ does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut. Wrap in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage.

How to Store Fruit Without Plastic

Apples‐ store on a cool counter or shelf for up to two weeks. For longer storage in a cardboard box in the fridge.
Citrus‐ store in a cool place, with good airflow, never in an air‐tight container.
Apricots‐ on a cool counter to room temperature or fridge if fully ripe
Cherries‐store in an airtight container. Don’t wash cherries until ready to eat, any added moisture encourages mold.
Berries-Don’t forget, they’re fragile. When storing be careful not to stack too many high, a single layer if possible. A paper bag works well, only wash before you plan on eating them.
Dates‐dryer dates (like Deglet Noor) are fine stored out on the counter in a bowl or the paper bag they were bought in.  Moist dates (like Medjool) need a bit of refrigeration if they’re going to be stored over a week, either in cloth or a paper bag‐ as long as it’s porous to keeping the moisture away from the skin of the dates.
Figs‐ Don’t like humidity, so, no closed containers. A paper bag works to absorb excess moisture, but a plate works best in the fridge up to a week un‐stacked.
Melons‐ uncut in a cool dry place, out of the sun up to a couple weeks. Cut melons should be in the fridge, an open container is fine.
Nectarines‐ (similar to apricots) store in the fridge is okay if ripe, but best taken out a day or two before you plan on eating them so they soften to room temperature.
Peaches(and most stone fruit)‐ refrigerate only when fully ripe. More firm fruit will ripen on the counter.
Pears‐ will keep for a few weeks on a cool counter, but fine in a paper bag. To hasten the ripening put an apple in with them.
–Fuyu‐(shorter/pumpkin shaped): store at room temperature.
–Hachiya‐ (longer/pointed end): room temperature until completely mushy. The astringentness of them only subsides when they are completely ripe. To hasten the ripening process place in a paper bag with a few apples for a week, check now and  then, but don’t stack‐they get very fragile when really ripe.
Pomegranates‐ keep up to a month stored on a cool counter.
Strawberries‐ Don’t like to be wet. Do best in a paper bag in the fridge for up to a week. Check the bag for moisture every other day.

One question I’m often asked is how to store loose salad greens without plastic. That’s a tough one. I don’t have a great answer. We actually don’t buy loose salad greens very often, opting for heads of lettuce, which are sturdier. Our strategy, if we did buy loose greens, would be to eat them right away and save hardier veggies for later in the week. (You can store chard in a glass of water too, like a bouquet.)

We also don’t freeze veggies and fruits  or buy them frozen. We eat what we can get from the farmers market when it’s available, and we don’t expect to have strawberries in December.

I’d love to hear about your produce storage ideas/challenges.


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167 Comments on "How To Store Produce Without Plastic"

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How do you store lettuce in a non-plastic airtight container in the fridge? What is an example of a type of container that you might use?

Kind Regards,


Thank you this is awesome

What about storing fresh ginger?  I’ve been wrapping it in a paper towel and then storing it in a plastic bag, but it tends to mold.  If I leave it just out, it tends to shrivel.  What’s the best way to store fresh ginger and turmeric?

Put it unpeeled in a glass jar and cover with white wine. Lasts for weeks and the wine can be used to flavor sauces, etc. Use just as much as you need and put the rest back.

Just keep it loose in the fridge. It will keep for many weeks

freez it!

It is better to twist the top of beetroot rather than cut it off. If you cut it off it will bleed when you cook it.

Interesting article, but I would think this would use a good deal of water. Which as we all should know, is not a resource to be squandered.

Not if you use the water on your plants

Thank You!!!! I’ve been looking for ways to get rid of plastic when it comes to produce!

Much appreciated. For leafy greens I wash and shake off excess water and wrap in thirsty towel

I keep lettuce and loose salad greens in a thick cotton kitchen rag, well thigh, in the fridge.

Whoops forgot to mention I also find if I wash the berries (blueberries, strawberries, etc) immediately after I get home from the store in vinegar diluted by water. Then air dry and store in a bag or jar. They don’t seem to last much longer and less likely to get moldy.

I’ve found keeping lettuce and kale in mason jars in the fridge work very well as well. They seem to keep so much longer this way and not wilt.

The best way to keep basil is in a vase.  If you don’t have a way to grow your own, buy at the store with long stems attached.  Keep it out on the counter or on your kitchen table just like freshly cut flowers.  It lasts more than a week and makes the room smell so good!

Reducing Waste | From Around the Web » Valhalla Movement

[…] Think about how many plastic bags you see in the grocery store. Most people don’t think about how many plastic they are consuming on a regular basis just because of these bags. But you don’t have to waste so much plastic just to keep your produce fresh or to carry it around. Here are some excellent ways to store fruits and vegetables without plastic bags, found on My Plastic Free Life. […]

mushrooms should be stored in brown bag..if not used,will dry and then can be reconstituted with hot water..

Plastic-Free Grocery Shopping Part Two - Macheesmo

[…] When you get home, storing vegetables without plastic bags in the refrigerator is possible, but you’ll have to learn a few tricks. Here are some suggestions. […]

Best place I found on internet. I’m trying to move plastic bag free here in Brasil!! Love the site!

I have great success storing loose salad leaves, herbs and most veggies in cotton/muslin bags, damp (wet and wring out well) in the veggie crisper of my fridge. The humidity helps darn near everything (not mushrooms or eggplant) tho, and they keep a really long time.

Storing veggies | Locavores Gone Global

[…] /2010/05/how-to-store-produce-without-plastic/ […]

In answer to storing loose salad greens, try glass mason jars.  I wash my greens and dry them thoroughly, then pack them in the storage jars where they stay fresh about a week.  I’ve even used my FoodSaver jar attachment to keep them fresh a little longer.

This is a fantastic resource!  
But no mention of how to store grapes- sealed container or no?  Moisture added?  

Do you buy romaine head lettuce or regular head lettuce?

Romaine is hearty and healthy. Store with humidity but with air circulation for all lettuces. We eat several heads of lettuce a week. It’s a mainstay in our household.

I buy a head of butter lettuce… when I buy lettuce.  Honestly, I don’t really like lettuce, but that’s just a personal thing.

Summer Produce Guide - The Sprouting Seed

[…] Store Produce without Plastic […]

Where am I? | Naj Haus

[…] with just a cooler. RowdyKittens has several posts on living without a fridge, including a link to this My Plastic Free Life post on how to make produce last longer, which also talks about what foods can be stored without […]

Nice list Beth, thank you!!
So nice to see an inquiry from Hari about plastic-free shipping!!

Hi Beth ,
I work for a Online store , you can check out the store at
I wanted to know from you on whether there is a solution to ship Fruits & Vegetables without using Plastic trays or covers . We currently Shrink wrap all the fresh produce with cling file or pack them in Plastic covers or pack them in punnets .please advice whether we can avoid doing this .

 Request you to revert to me on the following mail id


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[…] Plastic Free Life has a great list of how to store produce without plastic, including a free PDF flyer you can print out.  This list […]

Hi Beth,   I was wondering, does your Farmer’s Market run all year long? I recently moved from Phoenix AZ (where Farmer’s markets have pretty much anything you could want all year around), to Salem MA. And, I’ve found that my Farmer’s market not only stops selling fruit in November and December (doh) but actually closes altogether from Jan-Jun. I don’t have a car, so I usually shop at the small grocer down the street rather than bus it to a Whole Foods. The problem is, all of their greens and much of their produce is in plastic. Does anyone have… Read more »
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[…] Then Beth Terry, our local crusader for plastic-free living, picked the guide up and put it on her blog and later in her book, Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too. Finally, […]

How to Store Produce without Plastic

[…] other day while perusing the internet I came across an article that blew me away. It was called How To Store Produce Without Plastic. Check it out now, don’t worry, I’ll still be here when you get […]

From market or garden, all my fruits, herbs & vegs go into a clean sink along with filtered cold water & 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar.  They soak for up to 20 minutes, rinse & are placed in produce bags – our family’s discarded cotton shirts sewn up.  Works great & I make them for family & friends, extending the knowledge!

 @Kathy H I like this idea. What is the cider vinegar for? Just cleaning? Or does it somehow extend the shelf life?

ACV acts as an anti-microbial to rid produce of parasites & pests. 

I just checked out the ‘Salad in a Jar’ site . . . fabulous!! I really don’t like the idea of purchasing a plastic gadget but this may be the exception for me! I realize this is an old post but would love to know if anyone has tried storing uncut greens in a Glass Lock container in the fridge. The recommendation above is to put greens in an airtight container which surprises me. I’ve always thought they needed a bit of air (unless vacuum sealed) and moisture to be in an optimum environment.   Thanks for this post and… Read more »

What ‘Salad in a Jar ‘site?

21 Tips to Avoid Plastic for Real Food Kitchen Storage | Eat Nourishing

[…] Store fresh fruits and veggies in paper bags, cardboard boxes, baskets or in mason jars with some water. Read this post from My Plastic Free-Life for a more complete list of how to store specific fruits and veggies without plastic. […]

it’s great to be plastic-free and all, but it seems a little impractical.  I mean, covering the veggies with water and having to replace the water often?  That’s wasting natural resources even further…especially if you say they can keep for weeks–and if there are multiple fruits and veggies that’s even more water per that would be replenished over and over during the weeks.

aloha, i love the idea of plastic free life, i”m just wondering about some of the things yous ay to store on a cool counter…i live in Hawaii where it is never cool and the humidity is high….also if you dont put stuff in the icebox your house will be infested with all kine bugs within a few hours….everything in my house goes straight to the icebox…any suggestions?  mahalo

I’ve read that storing lettuce, celery and broccoli in tin foil keeps it crisp – might work for loose salad greens!

I love this! What a mine of information. I’m going to print this off to keep! 
I would feel honoured if your were to share your posts with us at Seasonal Celebration Sunday @ Natural Mothers Network! Rebecca x

Hi. Great ideas!!! on the other hand, perhaps it´s wise to buy consciously what´s needed for the week or day (whenever it´s possible) so we won´t waste energy with storage (fridges, water, containers etc…) and whatever we buy won´t go bad…it´s something I´ve been thinking on doing. @Decio Alexandre

One other thing – one way to prepare hachiya persimmons is to hang them.   Found this:

I do what my mom discovered – just wrap the food in newspaper.  The paper gets moist in the crisper and helps to regulate the humidity.

 @johnkawakami problem is … some newspapers have bpa in the ink… then what?

some newspaper printing places give away free end rolls of newsprint. One of those rolls can last a long time.

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[…] Terry of My Plastic-Free Life skips the damp towel for carrots and stores them in containers of water that she frequently […]

This advice is generous and appreciated. I have a large kitchen but still lack the cool counter that is often mentioned. And even the space needed for the onions and garlic out of my garden will tax my storage capability. My guests would be walking around the food on the tile floors if I carried out all your advice, I abhor plastic but many folks don’t have the luxury of space you recommend.

Fantastic information in this post! Pinning immediately! Thanks for putting this out there. I am stopping by from Frugally Sustainable. Have a great week!

Storing fruits and vegetables properly | Two Tiger Acupuncture Blog

[…] has advice on many other vegetables and fruits on her blog, check it out here. This entry was posted in Uncategorized by admin. Bookmark the […]

If you can find greenhouse basil with the roots still attached, take it home and put it in a tall glass and enjoy fresh basil for weeks or longer.  I can find it at our local grocery store or the farmer’s market (which we take home and plant outside)

Is it okay if the airtight containers are reusable plastic?

Awesome list!  I will be sharing this – thank you, thankyou, thankyou!

and mushrooms while I’m here ;)

what about Ginger

@chuck_ I follow a Japanese trick: peel and slice the ginger, pour sake over it, and store it in a glass container in the fridge. Lasts forever and adds a slight umami flavoring which is nice in almost everything.

 @chuck_ I keep ginger in a paper bag in the fridge, seems to last quite a long time

useful. but you are thinking of cold places like higher latitudes. Here in Chennai in India most of the time it is hot and cannot follow many of these storage instructions. 

Salad: go for the whole plant, including roots, and put on water, like flowers. Keeps surprisingly long, even not refrigerated!! if this is not possible, keep in moist teatowel, fluffy and airy, in fridge. Do not press or compress, though!

Lettuce keeps very well when stored washed and dried in a bag made from a terry towel in the crisper.

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We grow our own leaf lettuces for most of the year and made an interesting observation.  Last week we picked a large amount of lettuce for a farmer’s market, but didn’t sell much of it.  We had put one large bag of ice in the bottom of a cooler and laid the lettuce on top.  When we got home we decided to just eat off it until it was past the “eatable” point and then give it to our farm animals.  We didn’t replace the ice and left the cooler outside the back door.  One week later we finally gave… Read more »

I’m not sure that keeping veggies stored in water, that you even through away every few days, will keep their nourishing qualities. As far as I know they loose all their vital contents like vitamins etc. 

I would love to see shelf life for each item displayed~Great site. Thank you for the info :)

Great information! Thanks for the great article.  dianabrimer 

Be sure to call all the companies whose products you purchase and ask them why they don’t use recyclable packaging — and if they do use recyclable packaging be sure to call them and say thanks.

I have learned that nutrients stay in the food when dehydrated, so this is what my choice is for off-season fruit and vegetables.

Loose salad greens: Put the salad greens (washed and spun dry) in a salad bowl cover with a plate and refrigerate. No reason for extra dishes.

vacuum seal mason jars esp for leafy vegs works for longer storage.

My Suburban Homestead

I just use mason jars for everything. Freezer-safe mason jars are widely available, and a good use for all those leftover lids that you cannot reuse. 

I take lingerie bags to the grocery store and farmers market. At home I store everything in glass whether with water or without. Usually canning jars. Trying to get away from the plastic but I havent found anything to put my hubbys sandwich’s in that stay fresh in a ice cooler. Any idea’s????

 @SteveNNancyThiles I use cloths (dish towels, etc…) to wrap my hubby’s sandwiches — he takes his lunch in an old fashioned metal miner lunch box . That way he also has a cloth napkin too. I also wrap his fruit in that too. Works great – no plastic, no paper.

For root veggies, wouldn’t a small wooden box root cellar with clean sand work better? I’ve tried the water method and have wilting issues, but I haven’t done the root cellar, yet, as it is an upcoming project. I would love to know the comparison beforehand. Thanks!

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Your commitment in having a plastic free life is admirable and these storage tips for the food that we love is great! Reading through, there were some produce storage tips that were interesting to learn! We can surely live a life without plastic and you are leading by example.

Gather a collection of recycled wide-mouthed glass jars- peanut butter and gallon pickle jars work well. Rearrange your refrigerator shelves to accommodate the new storage method. Think frontier ice box. Follow Berkeley food market guidelines for specific vegetables- some need water and/or lids, other don’t. Use cheesecloth and rubber bands to make a breathing environment. Gather baskets and tiered bowls to store room temperature produce. Onions and garlic like it dry- put them up high where rising warmth gathers. Root vegetables do better close to the floor. Visit a good restaurant and take a look at their methods. Use what’s… Read more »

I love your site! I am working on transitioning to a completely trash free lifestyle. And i am very anti-plastic. Great work!

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Once again, you save the day! We are slowly running out of the last box of Debbie Meyer produce saver bags, which are reusable but plastic nonetheless and do eventually wear out. I was sure I would find an answer to storing fruits and vegetables without plastic here, and you came through as always. Thank you so much!

I bought lingerie bags for my produce. They are much cheaper than the bags that are specifically made for that purpose ($.50 each vs. $5.00 each).

I would wash grapes and store in a bowl in the refrigerator.

this has been so helpful for me when i come home with stuff from the farmer’s market — just scroll to the veg/fruit i’m trying to make last.

one question — how do you store grapes?

thanks so much for this! i printed it out and stuck it on my fridge so there are no more excuses for rotted food in there.

i make reusable cloth produce bags and we store our salad greens in those. just get the bags a little damp and toss in the fridge.

I place my salad greens in a plastic bowl with a tight fitting lid. Before I put the lid on I place a dry paper towel on top, then close, invert and refridgerate. I have kept greens for about two weeks this way, as long as you change out the paper towel when things start to look like they might get soggy. I know I’m using plastic – but it was given to me and it doesn’t make much sense to throw it away… As far as the paper towels go, I let my 4 year old daughter “clean” with… Read more »

Paper towels work great for absorbing liquid but they are made using chemicals. Use clean cloth instead. Old clean, folded, white dish towels should work.

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[…] documentation of her quest to live as plastic-free as possible: a comprehensive list on how to store produce without using plastic. Turns out that moist towels and containers filled with water do wonders. (Something tells us that […]

Great post.
We store loose salad in ceramic bowls covered with plates. Works well for us.

Thanks for the article. I’m learning to grow salad stuff in the greenhouse so I can have greens when I want them… which is always in late winter. Living in Appalachia there is no such thing as “fresh vegetables” at that time without a greenhouse. I grow a lot of our food so the canner and dehydrator run non-stop from July through to October and the freezer is definitely a canner’s best friend because you can store lots of foods (especially fruit) without loss of quality until you can deal with it in a day or a week. For this… Read more »
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[…] How To Store Produce Without Plastic- a go green tip that can prove useful for your good eats. (@fakeplasticfish) […]

Home compostable cello bags are a great storage alternative to plastic containers. You can find these all natural plastic-free bags here

*Tip* Be sure to purchase bags by size (not weight).

Store greens / salad in a cloth bag. Any breathable fabric will do.

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Beth, This is wonderful! I was looking for something EXACTLY like this just a few days ago and didn’t find anything (I should have checked your blog!). Anyways, I hope you don’t mind, but I’d love to post this over on LLP. I’ll give you and the Berkeley Market a shout out. And in regards to storing without plastic–I use a lot of parsley and cilantro in my cooking. Both of these herbs will keep for quite a long time if you put their stems in a glass of water (like a bouquet in a vase) and put them in… Read more »

Store greens / salad in a cloth bag. Any breathable fabric will do.

Yikes, Allison!  I had no idea.  Thanks for letting us know.  I’ll move those carrots to another container right away!

What kills me about that photo is the carrots are clearly being stored in a piece of pottery that was Raku fired. To those who don’t know about toxicity in ceramics: Raku is a decorative glaze and should never be used on a functional item. You can see the dark cracks in the surface of the glaze. This means the glaze contracted when the pot cooled after the firing. Sure it looks neat, but you really shouldn’t eat out of it, let alone SOAK carrots in it. Raku glazes are loaded with toxic ingredients that can leach out into food.… Read more »
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Simple Living News Update

[…] How To Store Produce Without Plastic […]

I stopped using Plastic bags for produce years ago. I do alot of different things with my veggies to prolong their freshness and keep them in the fridge. As of late my favorite choice is Organic mesh Produce Bags. There is one company that makes them in North America, even the fabric ! Check out I have used mine for 2 years and they work really well, I’ve turned alot of my friends on to them.

Hi Sakeenah.  That is an Anchor Hocking glass refrigerator container.  I wrote about them here:

I got mine at The Container Store.

I love them.  They’re not airtlight, so you can’t store things in it for long periods of time, but for the purpose of cut carrots in water, it’s perfect.  They come in bigger sizes too.

I like the glass storage container in your photo, where do you get these?

Loose greens do fine in a glass container or a damp cloth bag, like a bunch of people said. Condoblues, chopped, blanched cooking greens (kale, chard, mustard greens, etc) freeze find. Any green you normally eat raw is not going to store very well. It’s all very well to only eat fresh when you live in California. Here, we just got the very first fresh greens a few weeks ago despite a very warm early spring – and that was pea tips, not salad greens. I’m pretty tired of cabbage at this point in the spring – been out of… Read more »

I do the same as Hethir — I take the lightweight cotton drawstring bags with me to the market, then dampen them at home and store them in the refrig drawer. The loose greens stay amazingly fresh and crispy.

trying to buy stuf without plastic packaging, try to recycle or reuse the plastic an support green economi as green store this is my favourite:

I think growing your own salad greens is one of the best options ever. You don’t need much light or space if you intend to eat the smaller sprouts or leaves. And you can always supplement your stock with regular and easier to store lettuce.

We’re lucky to have a good number of shops very close to us so our solution is to buy little and often that way we don’t need to think about the bulky storage methods.

Moist tea towels, or even moist cloth produce bags, will keep salad greens for a day or two. When I buy them, I generally only buy enough to last me that long. My current strategy, actually, is to grow my own salad greens, which is entirely plastic-free, and very tasty. I just need to work out an arrangement with whatever keeps eating my lettuce shoots.

My Mason Jars come to mind. I store radishes and carrots in them (with water) and I use them like vases for storing Chard, Leaf Lettuce, etc. Just like you mention, change the water frequently

I have gotten very “Marka Stewart” and sewed my own cloth bags to use at the market and in the crisper. I got the idea from watching a video on your site. tea towels sewn into bags- yes- just fold in half and sew the two sides- to hold lettuce, carrots, broccoli and other veggies in the crisper. they stay fresh for much longer than in plastic. I don’t wash them before storing- so the bags don’t get damp and mildewy. I also took old boxers and was able to make bags with drawstrings made from old shoe laces. These… Read more »

I buy tons of strawberries and other produce when they are in season and then I freeze them in quart-sized glass Mason jars to enjoy throughout the year. I try to go to one of the pick-your-own farms (and I bring my own box to put them in) or I shop for them at the farmers’ market (once again bringing my own bags).
You can find new Mason jars just about everywhere or you can try local thrift stores if you want to reuse.

*blissful sigh* it’s such a joy to come to this page and see all the people like me. I don’t have a lot of people in my circle that are as “in” to all of this as me. And hearing that the Berkeley Farmer’s Market went plastic free is awesome. I actually just learned this past Saturday that it’s at a time I can actually go…so I can’t wait! We do a lot like others have said with greens, we line the “crisper” with a towel & then change it as necessary. I’ve heard of people using paper towels, but… Read more »
I put some veggies in water, like you mention. Especially radishes. I’ve got a ton of radishes coming out of the garden right now, but if I slice them and put them in water they last a really long time. Leafy greens I’ve always just set in the fridge without doing anything else to them. Other cut things, like half a tomato, I put in one of my glass storage containers, which do have plastic lids. I’ve been trying to figure how to get away from plastic or foil in the freezer. It’s great to freeze, say, fresh loaves of… Read more »

Sudha, I guess maybe in some places loose greens only come in plastic bags.  Out here, we can get them loose and unbagged from the grocery store and farmers markets.  The mainstream grocery stores provide plastic bags to put them in and don’t allow you to use a cloth bag, but stores like Whole Foods will allow you to bring your own bags, and of course the farmers markets do too.

If I lived in an area where loose greens only came in plastic bags, I would just not buy them.  There are so many other veggies to choose from.

loose green?…dont they come in plastic bags?

I’ve heard of people drying greens (Ms. Astyk’s book Independence Days, for example) but freezing them…. freezing a plant with such a high concentration of water will get you thawed wilted nasty slimy-ness. Ever been to a restaurant where some of your salad was a weird texture and looked more translucent than the rest? They stored the salad somewhere where it got frozen. I guess if you eat it before it thaws or like the texture produced, awesome. I’d do it to ONE leaf first to see. Spinach holds up ok, but I think they cook it first. Maybe arugula… Read more »
Shop and store your fruits and veggies in Blue Lotus Goods Produce and Bulk Food Bags!! All bags are made with with organic cotton and come in many different sizes and styles. The bags also have really cute prints like carrots and and greens. We moisten the bags slightly and store our leafy greens and veggies right in the bag in the fridge keeping your produce crisp and fresh. You can use the bags for bulk foods and all bags conveniently have the tare weight on them so you won’t get charged for the weight of the bag. They are… Read more »

Oh. forgot to say that the towels are soaking wet!

Thank you for the wonderful web site.

I line the crisper with a thick hand towel and put another towel on top of the veggies. I also take my own jars to get bulk food, so they have the tare weight already on them. This works well for shitake mushrooms, which last for weeks in a jar in the fridge. With a big enough jar, you could get loose greens or anything else bulk this way.

I keep my loose lettuce and green leaves in a kitchen towel. I usually rinse them, and let them dry on a towel for a bit and after I’ve used all I need for that night’s salad, I transfer the rest to another towel, tie the ends criss-crossed, and drop them in the drawer in the fridge. They keep great this way!

We use plastic without guilt. Large containers filled with water and produce take up too much space. Totally impractical. Then again we use paper towels and bathroom cups too. But we grow a lot of our own produce in the growing season. So it’s about balance.

I’m curious about your statement that you don’t freeze fruits or veggies. I’m not sure whether this is coming from a locavore or anti-plastic stance, but why couldn’t you still satisfy both ideologies by freezing locally grown strawberries (for example) in glass or metal containers? Then you CAN has strawberries in December!

Can you freeze lettuce and other greens for later? My husband and I signed up for 1/2 a CSA share this year. He’s convinced that it’s going to be too many vegetables for us to eat, and we love our fresh veggies! One of the benefits that I stuck by is that it would encourage us to freeze or possibly can the extra for winter. The thing I’m not so sure about will be the lettuce and other greens. Any help for long term storage?

I pretty much keep everything in the crisper and try not to let things wilt. I eat a lot of veggies so usually things don’t stick around long enough to get wilted. Salad greens – these are really simple to grow yourself. Just get some mixed lettuce seeds and you can even grow them indoors in a container. Thin the leaves by eating them! Yum! No worries about the greens going bad. And you can grow them pretty much any time of year. This is the easiest veggie I’ve ever grown. When I get too much of one thing in… Read more »
I wrap a damp cloth around my greens if it is a small bunch and like Danielle I have a salad spinner that keeps greens fresh for quite a long time. I have seen stainless steel salad spinners that I’m sure work just as well. I think it is the whole “layer of air” that keeps the greens “fresh”. I’ve never had any issues with carrots just hanging out in the fridge. I put my mushrooms cleaned into a bowl and put a damp cloth over them. I do freeze things that can be frozen because I am horrible at… Read more »

I always freeze strawberries from any half-flat or flat  I buy – I put them on a cookie sheet and freeze them individually; yes, I am guilty of using lots of ziploc bags, but I reuse them (sometimes for years) as long as they don’t have holes.  Hard to store chanterelles without using them – they freeze flat and stack well in the freezer.

While I know it’s plastic… I’ve had a salad spinner for years.  It works wonderful in storing greens :)

Hi Beth,
We store our baby greens in a moist cotton produce bag. We take the bag to the farmers market, get our produce, then once we get home we moisten the outside of the bags and refrigerate it. We store most of our produce this way.

Hi Beth,
We store our baby greens in a moist cotton produce bag. We take the bag to the farmers market, get our produce, then once we get home we moisten the outside of the bags and refrigerate it. We store most of our produce this way.

5 Fabulous Earth-Friendly Blogs | I'm not an activist, but …

[…] living without plastics, a topic that’s becoming quite dear to me. Exciting front page piece: How to Store Produce Without Plastic (no […]

I store greens in non-lidded bowls covered with a slightly damp paper towel. That works for several days.

I am able to store salad greens in a Pyrex lidded container that I line with a tea towel. I my have to change out the towel once during the storage. I found that they last a few more days this way. More recently I’ve been buying spinach in bunches, washing it all + storing it this way. One thing that is alluding me is I recall that sprouts could be bought by weight, not in the plastic containers, but I cannot find anyone who sells them this way. Guess it’s time to buy a sprouting bag. Thanks for the… Read more »