AUTHOR: Marsha Brofka-Berends DATE: 4/12/2007 03:02:00 PM ----- BODY:Many many years ago, I started reusing my Ziploc bags. It's easy--just turn 'em inside out, wash them, then let them dry on the dish rack. The freezer bags are particularly durable; some of mine are three years old. The problem is that Ziploc bags aren't renowned for their ability to stand up on their own, so they usually fall over and take a long, long time to dry properly. When I first heard about a thingy (yes, that is the technical term for it) that holds your bags open while they dry, I thought, "That's stupid. No way am I spending twenty bucks on that thing." Well, I finally succumbed and threw down the bucks for it a couple of weeks ago. And let me just say this: wow, I should have bought one of these things sooner. Same goes for this compost bucket. I am a big believer in composting when you can. All through grad school, I lived in apartments with no yards or gardens. I yearned to have a compost pile of my own--and did, briefly, when I lived in Eugene, Oregon, for a summer while doing some predoctoral research. (I'll write more about that experience another time.) I remember one time my housemate and I had a potluck dinner that was attended by about a dozen people. As people were helping with the post-meal cleanup, they asked, "Where is your compost pile?" (It was in the middle of the huge garden, in the side yard.) Not "Do you have a compost pile?" but "I'm assuming you have one--'cause, you know, this is the Whiteaker neighborhood of Eugene-so just let me know where it is." I loved that. When I moved to the Mid-Atlantic, I was delighted to have a garden--and a small compost pile. And when Jan and I bought our house three and a half years ago, one of the first home-improvement things we did was built a compost bin (a "3-bin yard waste composter"--the free plans are available here). During my entire composting life, though, I've been putting my kitchen scraps into an old yogurt container on the kitchen counter, then taking it outside when it filled up. (This is a practice I developed in Eugene. After all, grad students don't have extra money to throw around on fancy-schmancy compost buckets! Well, maybe the engineers and computer scientists, but not the impoverished cultural anthropologists!) This system has the great benefit of not costing anything. It has the great disadvantage of stinkiness--particularly in the winter months, when trips to the compost bin are less frequent (brrrrr!). So when I decided to get the plastic-bag-holding doodad, I figured, "Why not? I'm already going to hell anyway for buying this incredibly yuppified and overpriced thing--might as well add on a fifteen-dollar compost bucket." After using this green bin (which fits nicely under the sink) for a few weeks now, I have to admit that I really love this thing.
Labels: environment, house-------- COMMENT-AUTHOR:Imperatrix COMMENT-DATE:Thursday, April 12, 2007 7:31:00 PM COMMENT-BODY:We dry our plastic bags on the spoons and things in the pot that hold hte kitchen cooking utensils. It ends up being like that doo-hickey you bought.