Monday, August 16, 2010

Green Kitchen Thingie

Today's post was inspired by Meghan over at Making Love in the Kitchen.  She asked her readers what they do to green their kitchen.  Here's my list. 

* Cloth napkins – Some I’ve had for 15 years or more.  They're getting a bit ratty, but they still work.
* Compost.
* Reusable microfibre cleaning cloths. I like the ones from e-cloth. I use them in the bathroom as well, but not the same ones as I use for the kitchen. That would be gross.
* Grow yer own herbs.
* Buy local and organic as much as possible.
* Weekly veggie/fruit bin (local, organic, no bags).
* Recycle or re-use packaging. Or both. Grocery lists go on the back of the receipt from the week before, then get recycled.
* Cloth bags for shopping (Some are almost 20 years old, so they're also ratty. The looks I get from the cashiers, especially the ones that aren’t as old as my canvas shopping bags!) 

Then there's this:

Hubby and I made it about 8 years ago.  I was inspired by one I saw in a magazine. Theirs was a deluxe version; it folded down when not in use.  A few bits from the hardware store, some glue and a few minutes with the power drill (That was the tricky part. The drill kept sliding off the round bit, so Hubby came to my rescue.  As a result, the job was finished in good time and we both had all our fingers at the end) and voila!

Okaaay, but what the heck is it?

It's my homemade plastic-bag drying thingie.  I still use zip-top bags from time to time, particularly the fresh produce bags by Ziploc.  So far they're the best thing I've found for keeping veggies fresh.  There are times when hubby and I are hard pressed to finish a generous bunch of greens before they go off.  These bags extend the fridge life of our lettuce, chard and spinach so less lands in the compost bin.  I hate wasting food, I like saving money and I feel better about using plastic bags if I reuse them.  Unfortunately, the bags aren't cheap (my opinion - remember, you're dealing with the under-employed here), hence my initial incentive to reuse the bags.

Most of the time this strange device sits on top of my fridge making it look like it's sprouted weird antennae.  Bags get washed, spend some time on the drying rack so they're not too drippy, then get transferred to the thingie to finish drying. 

Plastic bags aren't particularly environmentally friendly, I know, so if you have another solution for vegetable storage I'd love to know.   If you have a cheap, green solution even better.  In fact, like Meghan, I'd love to hear any tips you have for greening your kitchen.  If you choose to share here make sure you share there too; Meghan's offering a prizes.

Note: the friendly people at Ziploc do not recommend that you reuse these bags.  I'm not sure what their reasoning is, but I've been doing it for about 8 years and haven't suffered any (obvious) ill effects. 


  1. Oh, man, I could TOTALLY use one of those bag-drying doohickies. I wash and reuse my bags, but I hate drying them and they take up too much space on the drying rack.

    Your list is very thorough! I try to do a lot of those things too. I'd add two things: cook things in batches to make efficient use of the energy or, alternatively, eat more raw food. I'm reading and cooking from Ani Phyo's latest book, so I'm eating some unusual and delicious raw food. Raw pizza crust, anyone? Topped with, um, onions I caramelized for close to an hour...[tries to hide smile and look disappointed in self]

  2. I keep looking at the raw food cookbooks then putting them back. I hadn't considered the green benefits, only the health benefits. Obviously they deserve a second look.

  3. Caramelized onions are unusual raw food aren't they. Tee hee hee.

  4. Uh-oh, Laurie! It sounds like we were doing the same thing in the bookstore, hemming and hawing over the raw foods cookbook. I'm going to write a review on my blog about the book I'm reading now--maybe that will help you decide? :-)

  5. I look forward to reading it. Happy not-cooking!


Thanks for commenting. Your words of wisdom will appear once they have been previewed by the spam monkeys.

Your patience is appreciated.

Laurie the Monkey Queen