Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Make over: 2nd uses for product packaging

Loving a site I recently stumbled across: An Exercise in Frugality, and especially felt affirmed by her post on plastic free lunches in which she touches on reusing product packaging, like cereal box liners.
   This is one of those things I do but pretty much thought I was the only one these days to do so. I cut open cereal box liners, brush with oil and use to cover my bread dough as it rises in a bowl. Previously, I'd used cling wrap, but Fake Plastic Fish had me rethinking all plastic purchases. Since then, I especially try to avoid one-time-use plastics like cling wrap... This is the low-hanging fruit of reducing plastic consumption. AND I spend less money on cling wrap and other throwaway products leaving me more $$ to spend on what I really value.
   My freezer is now a mess because I am too lazy to wash all these package liners. Just store them in the freezer after shaking them out or brushing out crumbs, whatever. On the day I use them, I figure they are just as fresh as the day I shook out the cereal, and I don't hesitate to put them to certain reuses, particularly separating foods that are to be refrigerated or frozen.
Examples of packaging that can be reused: 
  • Chocolate baking squares papers=great food dividers, like keeping leftover pancakes or waffles from sticking together when freezing
  • Butter wrappers=food dividers but first the butter left on them can be used to grease a pan
  • Cereal boxes=cut open and use as a table protector for messy art projects, e.g., when gluing or painting. My Mamaw, deeply affected by the Great Depression, saved just about everything. When I was a kid, she handed out cut up cereal boxes for us grandkids to draw on the cardboard insides. 
  • Cereal box liners=once opened, perfect for covering the bread dough as it rises in the bowl. Unopened, perfect for wrapping and then twist-tying off to seal non-compostable kitchen waste, to keep it from stinking up the house until the waste can gets filled.
 That's all I can think of for now, but I'm sure there are more re-uses out there if we put our minds to it.

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