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Casa Verde: Wash and Reuse Your Plastic Bags

I used to give my dad a hard time about being a cheapskate because he washed and reused his Ziploc bags. But as I've become more eco-minded, I realize how wasteful it is to toss a baggie after just one use. Here are some tips on how to get more mileage out of your plastic sandwich and freezer bags.

  1. Taking a sandwich or a snack to work every day? As long as the food is something relatively dry, such as bread, carrots, or pretzels, you should save the bag when you're done and just repack it the next day.
  2. For wet or sticky foods, wash your plastic bag with hot water and soap at the end of the day, then allow it to dry before using it again.
  3. The same goes for plastic freezer bags. Unless you’re storing raw chicken or something similar, storage bags rarely get so tainted that you need to toss them after one use. A little hot water, dish soap, and rinsing, and they’re ready to store something else.
  4. To dry the bags, try stringing a mini clothesline over the kitchen sink and drying the bags upside-down with clothespins. Or, buy a rack like this Plastic Bag and Bottle Dryer ($15.95) and set it up next to your dish rack.
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