I just noticed that the acronym for Little Old Lady is LOL. Coincidence? I think not. (For those who aren’t up on text abbreviations, “LOL” means “Laughing Out Loud”.)
I’m not sure whether it’s my inner LOL or whether I’m on the cutting edge of the Reduce/Reuse/Recycle movement, but I have a confession to make: I wash plastic bags and reuse them. I want to qualify that statement, though – I only wash bread bags. I save and reuse plastic grocery bags, but I don’t wash them. All other bags go to the recycling depot.
My aunt doesn’t wash bread bags. When I mentioned it to her, she gave me a quizzical look and said, “I used to save bread bags, back when they were hard to get. I don’t do that now, though. You can get them anywhere.”
So I just out-LOL’d my 85-year-old aunt.
In my defense, I’d like to point out that I bake my own bread, and it seems wasteful to buy fresh new bags, use them once, and then throw them away. Maybe I could be more cavalier about the process if I’d gotten the bag free when I purchased something else. But probably not. It’s still a perfectly good bag.
Which leads me to yogurt containers. And sour cream containers. I keep those, too. They’re a handy size: they hold the exact amount that fits in my soup bowls, and they’re wonderful for freezing single portions. But lately I’ve been struggling with the news that we’re not supposed to reuse those containers for anything. Something about harmful chemicals leaching into our food when they get reused. Say what?
They’re selling me a food product in a container they consider too toxic for me to continue using?
I like those plastic containers, dammit. I like being able to drop them into my freezer without worrying about suffering a laceration on a shard of broken glass. They’re cheap, convenient, and space-efficient.
So I went looking for some new, non-toxic plastic containers. Turns out there’s really no such thing. Each manufacturer touts their own “non-toxic” product while pointing accusatory fingers at the other manufacturers. By the time you work your way around the circle, it’s obvious that either they’re all toxic, or they’re all lying. Probably both.
I thought stainless steel was the answer, until Hubby helpfully pointed out that steel can be alloyed with a huge range of other metals, including toxic heavy metals. “Food-grade” stainless, here I come. But how do I know what those manufacturers put in their so-called food-grade stainless? They’re probably lying, too.
Sigh. Back to glass. No, wait, some glass contains lead. Or, hey, better still, radioactive thorium. Woohoo!
I’ve probably washed my sour cream containers enough times by now that the toxic parts are all gone. And I’ve got a couple of bread bags to salvage. ‘Scuse me while I go channel my inner LOL.
Get off my lawn, you damn kids!