Now's the time

Well, here we are, hot on the heels of Earth Day. We've had our annual reminder to reuse and recycle -- and it's kind of like New Ye
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010


Well, here we are, hot on the heels of Earth Day. We've had our annual reminder to reuse and recycle -- and it's kind of like New Year's, isn't it? We all resolve to recycle every can and bottle that passes through our hands and to compost the Kleenex and corn cobs. (Did you know there are over 160 things you can toss in the compost pile -- like Elmer's glue, wool socks and old pasta...Dried jellyfish and bat guano too, but does the average household have those?)

So anyway, I don't know that I'd share this personal information at any other time, but since we're all feeling environmentally conscious, I don't mind fessing up: I wash and reuse plastic storage bags. I'll admit I didn't start doing this to save the environment; It was because I don't like to spend money on something you use once and throw away. Does that make me a tightwad? I don't think so -- I'd just rather spend my hard-earned dollars on something less... disposable. Like cute shoes or a new handbag. And I don't think the bag-makers are going to go bankrupt because I use a Ziploc more than once.

The only problem is, I sometimes wonder if the pennies I'm pinching are worth it. I am using water and dish soap. Then there's the issue of getting the little buggers dry. And in case you're asking -- no, I do not have too much time on my hands. It's the principle of the thing. If I use a sandwich bag to store the last couple cookies, it's still perfectly good for keeping carrots, right? I just need to swish the crumbs out.

Mine is not a tidy system -- there are often bags hanging from the faucet and scattered across the kitchen counters in various states of sogginess. But Eureka! While doing Earth Day research, I came across a nifty gizmo called the "Bag-E-Wash," inspired by a woman who shared my dilemma. Here's what she has to say: "The dishwasher was useless. No matter what I tried, the bags came out filled with rinse water or with food particles stuck in the corners. Or worse, they'd fall down into the heating coil and melt (and stink!). Washing by hand was not only time-consuming, it took up space as well... I'd hang them all over my kitchen to dry--on wooden spoons, on the kitchen window plants, even over the bottle of dish soap... One day I asked my handyman husband to invent something to solve my plastic bag problem. Like a good husband, he said, "Sure, honey," and a short seven years later, designed Bag-E-Washª... no more tedious hand-washing or wet, limp plastic bags decorating my kitchen."

Hurray for that husband -- and what a hoot to find that someone else had drippy bags hanging all over the place.

I'd try to describe the Bag-E-Wash to you but if you're interested, it might be best to visit the Web site, where you can see the gadget for yourself and learn more, like how plastic bags are among the top items found in coastal cleanups. It seems birds and turtles often mistake them for food and well, the result is not pretty. And I thought I was just being frugal. It turns out I might be saving wildlife as well.

I've just placed my order so I can't do a product review, but if you're a thrifty soul who wants to do right by Mother Earth and maybe even save a turtle or two, check out

I'll see you here next week, when we'll talk about some crazy tips for cleaning grout and how to achieve a grub-free lawn. Right now, I have to go -- there's a super-cute pair of shoes on sale...