Go green

Ditch disposable and go the reusable route in the kitchen

 

DoYourPart.com

When I hear the word “disposable,” I usually cringe. That’s because the items in our home that we consider “disposable” — aren’t. Think about the things we use one time and simply toss in the trash. You know, everything from plastic wrap to straws to coffee filters. Replace those trashy items with ones that you can reuse. Not only will you waste less, you’ll save money.

Plastic

One of my favorite finds is reusable silicone covers that I can use in place of plastic wrap when reheating and storing foods. They come in a variety of sizes and they seal tightly on glass, ceramic, metal, and even plastic containers. Since silicone is BPA-free, these are a safe choice for microwaving foods. Then there are those plastic baggies we use in school lunches and the like. There are many reusable options including colorful and washable baggies or sandwich wraps in every size, hard-to-break glass containers in snack and lunch sizes, and a wide variety of stainless steel food storage options. There are also solutions to your small plastic problems. For instance, people who love to drink with straws now have stainless steel and glass versions they can reuse endlessly.

Cooking

There are lots of trashy items we use as we cook. Aluminum foil is one. Instead of tearing off a strip and using it just once, opt for a thermal cover. These are excellent options to keep your foods warm and they are washable. Lots of people use aluminum foil to get foods crispy. Your reusable option does the trick, too. It’s called a mesh crisper. This mesh sheet sits right on the rack in your oven and works quickly. Then, you can throw it in the dishwasher instead of the trash. Bakers also swear by parchment paper. It’s another extremely difficult, if not impossible, item to recycle. There are now reusable baking sheet liners that are stick-free and dishwasher-safe.

Paper

There’s plenty of paper waste to contend with in the kitchen. Paper towels and paper napkins cannot be recycled after they are used. They also end up costing you quite a bit over the course of a year. I have a drawer of kitchen towels and rags that replace my paper towels. Coffee filters are another small paper item but can add up to a whole lot of waste over the years. Investing in a reusable coffee filter for your coffee maker will save you money in just a matter of weeks. It also means fewer of those used coffee filters ending up in our landfills. And there are ingenious options for the smallest of paper problems. I like the new silicone cupcake liners that come in all kinds of colors and make it super simple to bake.

Read more Home & Garden stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
The Sahara fire table from Oriflamme.

    Outdoor living

    Fire tables are the newest in outdoor furniture

    Fire bowls were a great idea; they were just a little low to the ground and not especially attractive. Well, that has changed.

  •  
This convex mirror could be 200 years old or it could have been made much later.

    Treasures

    Convex mirror antique or just a family heirloom?

    Q: We have a convex mirror that has been in our family well over 50 years. There is some damage to the frame but the mirror itself is in good condition. The mirror is heavy and the frame is made of wood. What can you tell us about our mirror?

  • Condo Line

    How can condo owners find a competent management firm?

    Q: We are a small condominium and have been having a problem in finding a competent management company. We have been asking other condominiums for references but no one wants to recommend theirs either. We have changed management companies three times in the last three years.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category