I have to admit that I’ve really come to rely on resealable (i.e. Ziploc) bags. For someone like me who cooks a lot, they’ve become invaluable. I don’t keep “tupperware” type containers but choose instead to have a slew of Pyrex glass dishes with plastic tops so that I can heat my food without worrying about the effects of the plastic leaching, but I find that there are times where a glass container just won’t do. That’s where these “Ziploc” bags come in. However, the environmental gene in my body feels guilty using so much of them only to toss, causing pollution for the manufacture of and adding more plastic to the landfill because of these handy bags.
However, there is an alternative: cleaning and reusing them. Now hear me out…I know it’s not the easy way, but being green requires a bit more effort at times. And not only are you acting green, but saving green too!
In the past, I’ve saved bags when they’ve contained something dry, like bread, cookies, etc. However anything wet, just went into the trash because frankly washing them required work and also was difficult to keep open in order to dry out. I once remember seeing a Ziploc drying contraption in a health food store for at least $20 or $30 dollars. It kinda looked like a retrofitted toothbrush holder. I remember thinking “I could make that and for free” and that’s exactly what I did.
What you need:
- Soup can, rinsed out and label removed
- Decorative cover (I used the kraft paper grocery bag from Whole Foods left from a recent visit from a friend – it looked the part) but you can easily use wrapping paper, pictures from magazines, stickers, etc. (you get points for re-using materials or “upcycling” thereby giving a 2nd life to an item that’s already been used for its original purpose)
- chopsticks, sticks or any other long rod-like items to hang bags from
- cover for top of can to hold sticks in place (I used foil, but you can apply tape in a criss-cross pattern and place the sticks in the holes; if you have a berry container hanging around (the green criss-crossed ones), you can also cut to size and affix to top)
Here’s what mine looks like to give you a better idea:
So while this won’t necessarily simplify your life and this may not be worthwhile for people with incredibly hectic lives, it’s an option for those that are struggling with throwing out so many bags.
Please share with me your environmental tips!