When I hear the word “disposable,” I usually cringe. That’s because items in our homes that we consider disposable should often be in a different category. You know, everything from plastic wrap to straws and coffee filters, all of which can hang around for years in a landfill. Replace items that aren’t biodegradable with items you can reuse.
Plastics: Reusable silicone covers can be used in place of plastic wrap when storing foods or reheating it in a microwave. Silicone is free of Bisphenol A (or BPA), a substance that some suspect can migrate into foods. There are also many reusable alternatives for plastic sandwich baggies, including washable baggies or sandwich wraps in every size, hard-to-break glass containers in snack and lunch sizes, and stainless steel food storage options. People who love to drink with straws now can find reusable stainless steel and glass versions.
Cooking replacements: Instead of using aluminum foil just once, opt for a thermal cover. These keep food warm and they are washable.
Choose a mesh crisper to get the right texture during cooking. The mesh sheet sits on the rack in your oven and works quickly.
Bakers 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: Paper towels and paper napkins end up costing you quite a bit. I have a drawer of kitchen towels and rags that replace paper towels. Investing in a reusable coffee filter for your coffee maker will save you money, too; it also means fewer used filters end up in landfills.