Sustainable Saturday: Reusing Mesh Produce Bags

I’m not entirely sure that this is a feat of sustainability so much as MacGyvering, but I thought I’d share it anyway.  After all, I’ve got to keep up with my 2009 Sustainability Goals!

 

Earlier this week (Tuesday?  Wednesday? who knows), I toasted some bread in my toaster (which is actually a combination toaster and toaster oven) without realizing that I hadn’t cleaned the toaster oven tray the last time I used it.  It became apparent that this was the case, however, when I smelled smoke coming from the appliance and saw a large black spot on the tray.  The last thing I cooked in there had probably been oily, which explained the shape and texture of the black spot.  I put the tray in queue next to the sink, awaiting some future time for cleaning.  I knew it would have to be scrubbed, and there’s nothing I hate more than scrubbing.  Husband, thankfully, usually does all the scrubbing tasks around here.

 

Well, I’m thinking Husband didn’t attack this one because he couldn’t find a scrubber anywhere in the kitchen.  I hate wasting my precious grocery money on disposable items like scrubbing sponges when food keeps getting more expensive, plus I rarely ever need anything abrasive for kitchen cleaning – most stuff gets cleaned up pretty quickly.  The same bathroom scrubbers have been in use for quite awhile, and whenever my mom visits, she usually buys new ones because she hates using old ones.  Not that we’d use a used bathroom scrubber in the kitchen anyway.

 

So tonight, while cleaning up from our meal of burgers and roasted Brussels sprouts, I noticed this bag that the sprouts came in…

 

mesh-bag

 

…which looks kind of like some of the scrubbers out there.  So I tried it on this

 

tray-before1

 

with some Biokleen Kitchen & Bath Soy Cream Cleaner that I bought for 75% off on Manager’s Special at Kroger (Ralph’s for the Cali people).  I scrubbed until I realized that I didn’t want to spend my children’s sleeping time doing mundane cleaning tasks (which, needless to say, was not for long), and made the tray look like this:

 

tray-after

 

Not bad, considering that the tray never looks perfectly silvery – the reddish-colored gunk is the residual build-up that I can never fully remove, so the black is what’s left from earlier this week.  I think I’ll let it soak in more Biokleen and let Husband finish up tomorrow.

 

And as for the plastic mesh bag: it will be my kitchen scrubber until it becomes smelly or otherwise dies!

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2 responses to “Sustainable Saturday: Reusing Mesh Produce Bags

  1. Hi Stacey! Great post. We use those bags to trellis our melons in the garden (like a little hammock).

  2. That’s a great idea! I’m going to try and save all these bags from now on, since they seem to have a lot of good uses.

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