Monday, January 8, 2007

Zero garbage

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Andrea said...

A caution on the glass baking pans--they heat differently from metal and you will need to lengthen your baking times by quite a bit if you go that route. If you don't already use them and aren't aware.

I actually find the plastic scouring pads do a pretty good job of keeping the pots and pans clean, and they last a long time. Probably not the best for non-stick coatings if you use those.

If you're looking for something to do with old baking sheets that can't be used anymore, magnets stick to them--you can either leave them clear or cover them with a fabric scrap and you can turn it into a toy or a noteboard. (Of course it's not likely you'll be able to use many of them.)

Anonymous said...

Some of these things I was already doing to cut back, but some were new to me. Thanks for sharing this great concept of zero trash with all of us.

Kids Storybook Crazy

Miche said...

Andrea, thanks for the great tip on the glass bakingware. I had no idea!

I'll have to try more elbow grease on the clean-up front. It's the roasting pans that give me the most trouble. All that lovely fused-on animal fat!

Good tip on the baking sheets. Not that I bake much ... so ours should last a good long time!

KLee said...

I need to reduce the amount of waste that I create. I have the feeling that we create a lot.

And I WISH my city would get recycling! These shmoes are STILL in the dark ages! There's no recycling here, if you can believe it. "It's too expensive to implement." So, there's no real good place here to take most recyclables. Only newspaper.

As for the pans, there's an item on the market here called "the Grease Bullet." I've never used it, but supposedly only one tablet dropped in a sinkful of water will clean a whole passel of pots and pans. I don't know if it works, but it may be worth a shot if you're just going to chuck your pans otherwise...

Miche said...

Thanks for the tip about the Grease Bullet. Last year we purchased some of those chemical erasers for the purpose of trying them on our pans. If that doesn't work, I'll look into other product.

I can't believe you don't have recycling there! I can't remember a time when we didn't at least have a drop-off for tin and glass, if not the full blown system we have now.


andrea from the fishbowl said...

Ah, I have a similar baking pan debate. Ours are pretty old, and have a teflon coating. I've become wary of using them for fear of flaking teflon off and mixing with our chicken fingers. So I use a sheet of foil each time I bake. It's not the best, but at least I'm not buying new baking sheets every year. They're made to be disposable. I really hate that.

Here's a question, what did they bake cookies on 100 years ago?

andrea from the fishbowl said...

p.s. I will check out that article. I think choosing to make zero household waste is an amazing goal. I also read somewhere about someone whose goal it is not to buy anything made of or packaged with plastic. I imagine that will be pretty tough to do. Toilet paper, anti-perspirant, toothbrushes... they're all packaged with plastic.

It's scary when you think about it.

Miche said...

Plastic is EVERYWHERE. It drives me batty. Things that were perfectly fine packaged in paper are now being packaged in plastic. Don't get me started on the bottled water industry.

At least Canadians were involved in inventing "UV Degradable Plastics." Not that there's much UV exposure at the bottom of a landfill.

CL said...

My dilemma is that I need bags to pick up dog poop.

But we shop at a NO FRILLS and bring our own reusable shopping bags.

Yet when I'm walking the dog I need to pick up his waste.

So to counter my feeling bad for using a plastic bag for this reason I carry it home and place it in the green composte bin the city picks up. (Toronto is composting household garbage including dog poop and baby diapers among the regular kitchen waste!)

It's not the perfect answer to the endless garbage question, but it's one step toward it.

I would also encourage everyone to compost kitchen waste at home. It's so easy and reduces garbage to such an extent!

Happy recycling!

Miche said...

Hi CL. Thanks for dropping by!

I think it's unrealistic to go from "where we are now" directly to to "the perfect solution." There are going to have to be a lot of "less than pefect" baby steps on that journey.

It's the fact that you're on the journey. That is a thing to celebrate!

Kate said...

You don't need a Grease Bullet, all you need is very hot water, dish liquid and some patience. Buy a large plastic dishpan, big enough to hold your bakeware. Drizzle some dish liquid over your dirty pans, add enough very hot or boiling water to cover and let soak for 1 to 2 hours. This even works on my barbecue grille. A wire brush will help if it's nonstick surface or glass, otherwise use a stiff plastic bristle brush.

Miche said...

Thanks for the tips Kate!