Reusing throwaways

Call me a hoarder, but it is all for a purpose. I never throw away used aluminium foil: I save it to scrub pots and pans.

They are great for shining up copper-bottomed pans as well as glass baking dishes. I also use them to clean brass and stainless steel fittings around the house.

It is just one of the throwaways I now recycle for new uses.

Like that used serviette. Don't toss it. Instead, use it to wipe off all the grease on dirty plates and pans before washing them.

You'll find them much easier to wash later and this makes it kinder on your pipes as there will be less build-up of gunk.

I also reuse the pickling liquid left after I have eaten pickled gherkins. It comes in useful when a marinade calls for vinegar or when I make a vinaigrette salad dressing.

Neither do I throw away the ends of carrots, onion peels and celery stalks. They find their way into my stock pot while cut-off coriander roots are kept for the next time I make a Thai dressing.

All my plastic bread bags are used to hold food in the freezer, instead of Ziploc bags.

As for all my old towels, I snip them into squares for dirty throwaway jobs, reducing the need for paper towels in my kitchen.

I have even found a use for empty tissue boxes. They hold plastic grocery bags neatly, for reuse.

Sylvia Tan

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2015, with the headline Reusing throwaways. Subscribe