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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Disposal vs. reusable

We are a pretty environmentally-conscious household.  We compost, recycle, use cloth diapers, have a rain barrel and a clothesline.  We have a large vegetable garden, drive a hybrid car, and support local and organic farming.  We keep our thermostat set low in winter and high in summer.  I am absurdly proud of how little trash we put out every week. 

But my dirty little secret is that I use a lot of disposal zip-top bags and vacu-seal bags in the course of freeze-ahead cooking.  I mean a LOT.  I should own stock in Ziploc, or at least have a bench named for me in their corporate Zen garden. 

When I'm just prepping ahead to cook later the same day or the next day, I use reusable containers to hold my prepped and measured ingredients.  But in the freezer, a hard-sided container consumes so much space compared to a bag...surely the energy saved by chilling less space offsets the use of the disposal item? 

And when freezing many, many meals in advance (in preparation for a new baby, for example), I certainly don't have enough reusable containers to manage it all and buying more just to avoid using disposal bags when I likely won't need them in such large quantities again is rather wasteful in itself. 

It's not the end of the world, but how often I turn to a zip-top or vacu-seal bag is something that I'm mindful of and not entirely comfortable with.  And I just needed to get it off my chest. 

What's your disposable-to-reusable container use like?  How do you feel about it? Pin It

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