It’s the end of the first month of 2011 and it’s time to get some of resolutions out of the way. On the top of the list — getting rid of all the excess plastic puffs littering the kitchen drawers by finding more uses for them than just as a nondescript carryall.
Use them as packaging
I first got this idea when I realized most of my online purchases were coming in these glorified zip-lock packs. Store bags that are typically made out of a thicker plastic and have sturdier seams (or have been kept purely for their looks) make an attractive alternative for your typical run of boxes, puffy packs, envelopes, and brown paper. As long as you keep a bit of tape around the house, you’ll always have the right materials to send something off at a moment’s notice.
Try a paper bag instead of a paper towel
This tip comes from my friend, Nadege, who swears up and down that brown paper bags soak up more oil than paper towels, making them the perfect fry-up companion. Having used them now several times for this purpose, I have to agree with her, adding that food doesn’t seem to stick as much to the paper than a paper towel. Bonus!
Donate the bags you don’t like
Here in the Netherlands plastic bags aren’t every consumer’s right. People are expected to bring their own grocery bags or pay 20¢ for the emotionally-damaging task of carrying around a promotionally-printed, store-branded sack of shit. These odd-shaped bags have no real use except as the means of suffocation for anyone who brings one into the house.
I have yet to find a way to recycle them except to give them away every chance I get. At a store called the Natuurwinkel, there is a bin that welcomes the communal reuse of grocery bags. I’m surprised more stores don’t have a similar scheme, especially when all it seems to take is a bucket and a sign.