11 responses to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Why I Wash Ziploc Bags”

  1. Honeysmoke

    I’m too germ phobic to do this, but I applaud you for it. We have curbside recycling, and I ask the girls to put things in the bin for us. Other than that, I’m terribly lacking in teaching recycling. Thank you for setting such a good example.

  2. Bridget

    I don’t buy juice boxes. Instead my daughter brings water in a plastic thermos and milk in another plastic thermos. She also uses a sandwich holder that is plastic and we just wash it every night. This year I plan to put her chips/goldfish in a tupperware container instead of zip lock baggies.

  3. Chris Le Beau

    Recycling is an art in our house. Literally. Whatever we can’t recycle curbside or through other means (battery and printer cartridge collections in stores, sending No. 5 yogurt containers back to Stonyfield Farm, sending Bear Naked granola bags back to the company, etc.), my daughter uses to make sculptures and other crafty things. She was born into our already recycle-crazy household, so it’s just second nature for her. For preschool snacks and camp lunches, we used reusable containers as much as possible. She has a stainless-steel thermos for water, and I also have her do what your sons do: bring home any applesauce/yogurt containers and plastic utensils so I can reuse/recycle. She’s starting full-day kindergarten next month, so I’ve been researching lunchboxes and plan to buy a bento-style or similar set where the reusable containers all fit together neatly. I’m also getting her a set of stainless utensils with their own container and some cloth napkins.

  4. Christine

    Denise,
    Our kids’ school in Japan is pretty fanatical about recycling every last bit. Would your school be responsive if you asked them to put recycling bins in the cafeteria? It just seems so wrong not to have them there!

    The main way I try to emphasize recycling at home is just to model it. We also save every bit that we can to put in a craft box so the children can use it for their crafts before they look to buying anything new to make things with. When our children were in Japanese kindergarten they all brought bento boxes to school, with their own cups and utensils and utensils.

  5. class factotum

    I thought I was the only crazy person who washed my ziplocs! I lived in Chile for two years and when my friend Lenore came to visit, ziplocs were at the top of the list of items I wanted her to bring (along with peanut butter and chocolate chips).

    I hear you about the single-sized servings. I hear people complain about how expensive groceries are and then I see them buying individual servings of applesauce or pudding or chips or whatever and I think, “Well, that’s your problem.” But I don’t say it out loud because it’s their money. Whatever. It just seems so wasteful, though — money and packaging.

  6. Meagan Francis

    I always wash out Ziploc baggies (unless they were used to store raw meat!)–I also come by it genetically, as my mother washed ours out as well (she was too cheap to buy Ziplocs, though, it was the fold-over sandwich bag types).

    I remember getting into an argument about this with my husband when we were first married. “They aren’t that expensive! We can just buy more!” he’d say. “But that’s so WASTEFUL!” I’d retort, with Baggies propped up on forks and knives to drip-dry.

  7. Louisa

    I’m not the only nut that does this! It’s pretty funny when I store something in a ziplock that says “Applesauce 06″ on it!! I don’t turn them inside out…..I wash and drain them, then put them in the sun opening side up to evaporate the rest of the moisture out….lazy way….now lets talk about saran wrap (one of the worst things in a land fill)…..and tin foil…..and and and…..Love your blog, you write about everything I think about, how can I do that????

  8. Lisa

    I am so glad I’m not the only one! Sounds like we are soul mates in the 3Rs dept! Never a single serving prepackaged snack has gone into my childs lunch box but plastic bags galore! And I play the game of how long can the box last! I will say I get annoyed when I pull out a salad from 2 weeks ago that is wilted and covered the plastic with green goo, I give in and toss it. Luckily I’m pretty good about not doing this too often! Keep up the washing!

  9. Ellen

    I can’t imagine not washing out ziplock bags – however, I do spend on thicker “mil” bags which I find hold up better to reusing. They’re usually ones meant for freezing.

    We also reuse plastic containers – usually from a deli item – and smaller glass containers. I’m a bit worried about Youngest Boy, however, He’s a lot harder on his lunchbox than his older sisters. Breakage may become a concern.

    As for the “My Mom” stories, my mother used paper towels as place mats for us at home for snacks, etc. Then she shook the crumbs off and put them back in the placemat drawer. If they got a little too crumbly, they went into her lunch as napkins. I do use place mats at home but I was always a little grossed out about the paper towels so I didn’t pick up that frugal habit! I do save all the bread bag ties, however . . .

  10. Julia

    We recycle as much as we can, although many food containers are claimed for “important projects” in our house. I can not bring myself to buy single servings of anything as I always I hear my mom declaring “well, it looks like the packaging costs more than the actual food.”. Nevertheless, I can’t bring myself to wash out ziplocks but hate their expense and wastefulness so arrived at wax paper bags, which are so much less exensive and can be sealed with staples.

  11. Confessions of a Mean Mommy » Blog Archive » On the Lighter Side of Parenting: Sharing the (Blog) Love

    [...] “green” thing suits me down to the ground, because to be green means to save, right? I wash Ziploc bags, for heaven’s sake. I use gift bags for presents, but I’ve only actually bought two or [...]

Leave a Reply