Ziploc  The Other Plastic Bag: Recycle This!

This is one of those tips that will make significant others look at you askew. But it’s all for the greater good, and you’re used to it anyway, right?

Ziploc bags are so handy, yet so wasteful. Use ‘em once and throw ‘em away, right? Wrong! Why not simply wash’ em? You probably don’t want to do this if the storage bag was holding raw meat or fish, but if it was only holding crackers or even cheese, try this:

Let your used storage bags accumulate until you have a few. Then take the bags, turn them inside out, being careful to get the corners pulled all the way out. Fill a dishpan or pot in your sink with hot, sudsy water and dip each bag in turn, wiping it clean with a sponge and rinsing it. Then it’s time to hang them on your clothesline or drying rack. Turn them rightside in again–especially if you’re even thinking about hanging them outside somewhere very dirty –and clip them up by one corner. Did we mention this is also one of those tips that will make your neighbors look at you askew? No matter.

It may seem a lot of trouble to go just to reuse something meant to be used just once–but the material these bags are made of will be around forever, so if you must posess these bags, the least you can do is double or triple their intended usage.

When the Ziploc bags are too beat up to use for food storage anymore, keep one or two set aside as pastry bags and sauce bags: just put whatever sauce or dough you need to distribute into a bag, snip the corner off, et voila! Instant pastry bag. Use other reject bags for travel, keeping your toiletries, wet small clothing items, and electronics all apart from each other.