Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Welcome To The Clothesline



I came across a sobering fact the other day. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, between 1960 and 2006 the amount of waste each person creates has almost doubled from 2.7 to 4.4 pounds per day. The most effective way to stop this trend is by preventing waste in the first place, which is why I’m thinking of more ways to reuse materials.
Since I can only recycle certain types of plastics, I throw a lot away, which makes me cringe. Plastic is such a miracle material--it is so lightweight, it has become the packaging material of choice for manufacturers. But we have gotten so used to plastic film covering everything we buy, we are immune to the damage this material does in the long run, since it takes 100-plus years for a plastic bag to decompose in a landfill.
That is why I’m looking at plastic sandwich bags in a whole new way. Instead of throwing them in the trash after I picnic in the park with my sons, I’m going to take the ones that aren't too dirty home with me, wash them with biodegradable soap and hang them on the clothesline to dry.
Since I’ve started this experiment, I’ve reused the same bags at least three times. Even after the bags have been washed and dried a few times, they still act as good as new.
So my Thrifty Green Thursday tip of the day is to reuse plastic sandwich bags. For more tips, click here.

7 comments:

Rebecca said...

I reuse plastic bags for YEARS. I have probably bought just three-four boxes of them in my life. I do try to avoid buying things in plastic, too. My city just started recycling plastic tubs (like yogurt containers), so I avoided buying yogurt. I couldn't stand to throw those tubs out! Now that we can recycle almost anything, I am still trying not to buy too much stuff encased in plastic; it's better not to buy it in the first place, even if you can recycle it!

Thanks for joining us for Thrifty Green Thursday! I am curious to see how long you can make those bags last.

CanCan said...

I do this, too! Once you start saving, it is hard to throw anything away, eh?

jennie said...

i used to do that in college because i was cheap. it is a good idea though.

Joy said...

I like your idea of hanging them on the clothesline. We do reuse zip lock bags but find that they take forever to dry. Friends of mine have a wooden device built just for drying their baggies, but the clothesline would work much better for us as long as the sunshine lasts. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us this Thrifty Green Thursday!

Kathleen said...

i try too, they are great for holding craft materials etc afterwards, so i use them for that a lot of the time. Great tip

EatPlayLove said...

thanks for sharing! when we were in europe, ziplocs were basically no existent but the ones that were around definitely had many uses!

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

I love your "Thrify Green Thursday", what a fabulous idea! I've had thoughts about doing something similar, but never came up with a neat name like that!