Mrs Green fondles a six pack and gets some silicone implants (in her kitchen)

Filed in Blog by on November 18, 2008 44 Comments
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Here’s a little quiz for you.

It’s a spot the difference competition. You know how you loved doing them in puzzle books as a child.

The first picture:
muffin in disposable paper case


The second picture:
muffin in reusable silicone zero waste case

Now I don’t need any smutty comments from you about size or better risings. I’m looking at the cases.

Yep, the white cases are disposable paper muffin wrappers which usually end up in the landfill for most folk and the red ones are reusable silicone. They may well feel like thick condoms, but they are decidedly effective to use. So much so that the first muffin I took out of the oven went sliding down onto the floor because it slipped out of the case.

As they were chocolate muffins, Little Miss Green assured me she would manage to eat it, so there was no food waste πŸ˜‰

We had started to put the paper cases into the compost, but I had not found any which did not come in an annoying thin plastic container; so they were not strictly zero waste.

These gorgeous silicone fellas have revolutionised my baking experience. They are so easy to use, easy to clean (well, they don’t really need cleaning to be honest) and don’t create any landfill waste.

I’ve wanted some for years, but in all honesty, I’ve been way too tight to part with the ridiculous amount of money some companies ask for them.

So imagine my delight when Mr Lidl had them on sale last week at three pounds for a pack of six. Now that’s the kinda six pack I’m interested in.

So there we have it; reusable silicone muffin cases. They even came in a cardboard box so there was no waste with the packaging. What more can a girl ask for?
Silicone implants and six packs all in one day. Phew – I’d better go and lie down!

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (44)

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  1. Hi Mrs Green,

    Good to see you had success at Lidl/Lidls. I have been looking for an alternative to paper cases (with plastic packet). This seems a better option for baking.

    Did you find any Fin Carre chocolate? It might just have a local supplier, which would be disappointing.

    Rejoining the trend in December, when matters are finally settled, is my target. My website is now HomeZeroWaste.com which is a more relevant title. The previous ones (ILoveLandfillNot and HomeCompostingRecyclingForum) were decided at the start but ZeroWaste is the trend. The more people use this as a title the better.

    John.

  2. Kris says:

    They look scrummy Mrs G! My sister also finds the silicone cases very practical to use.

  3. Sam says:

    I tend to make mini muffins, so I’d need a lot of these! Instead I tend to do without paper cases, and just lightly oil the tin. They usually come out fine, and they’re perfect for shoving straight into small (or large) mouths.

  4. Louise says:

    We have these from Asda – 12 for Β£2!! Absolute bargain. I’ve also got some other silicone bakeware & can’t praise it enough – no more lining cake tins! And I have a silicone baking sheet – great for biscuits.
    Haven’t been following recently (family stuff!) but have still been practising minimal waste. Am signed up for Glos zero waste week too (eek!)

  5. They come packaged in cardboard too! No plastic if I remember rightly? I’ve had my 12 silicone muffin cases for about a year or so now and I love them.

    Must go make some cakes…..

  6. esther says:

    I bought some of the silicone thingies too, but found out, that the thing sticks…so do I have to grease them before???

  7. Naomi says:

    I bought a cast iron 6 muffin thingy a few months ago. I felt very lucky to find it at a discount store! Plus, it’s nice not having the usual 12 slots that others have (in the US anyway) as we would automatically make 12 at a time.

  8. I did grease the individual ones initially I think but the wrinkles in them still do catch the mixture a bit but it cleans out nicely. I also have a silicon muffin tray with flat sides and that one only needs a wipe each time.

  9. I just grease my muffin pans, usually. I had a silicone bread pan a few years back, and it made my bread taste really weird…sort of plasticky, so I’ve been loathe to buy any more silicone stuff.

    I’m glad they’re working for you, though!

  10. I bought some of these from one of our local shops in the spring. They’ve been fantastic. The only problem I had was trying to stop my then 3 year old bin saboteur from throwing them away when he’d finished eating the cakes. At the time it was not a pleasant job fishing them out from the depths πŸ˜€ x

  11. Mrs Green says:

    Hi John,
    I hope you manage to find some of these – but as you know, things come and go in Lidls. I admit I forgot to look for the chocolate; will let you know on that. Well done on changing your website address; I thing your choice of name is good and we look forward to seeing more of you in December again!

    Hi Kris, glad your sister likes them too. It seems people have different experiences and opinions of them.

    Sam, I think your idea is great for small muffins. I’ve never successfully got them from the tin, but perhaps I have crap bakeware. I think you really get what you pay for, don’t you?

    Good to see you again, Louise and well done for signing up for the Glos zero waste week. I’m sure you’ll do great; you are already doing well. Good to hear more praise for silicone bakeware πŸ™‚

    Yes Sarah; they come in little cardboard boxes – yay! Hope the baking went well!

    Esther; that’s really weird. I never greased mine and the muffins just fell (literally!) out of them. Maybe they get worse with age??

    Cast iron; Naomi; how fab – that’s a bit of a star find. I love cast iron cookware, but in my last house everything got damp and went rusty πŸ™

    What a shame about the plasticky taste, Kristen. I was concerned about that too, but evidently it wasn’t a problem with my two.

    Ahhh, Mrs A, I was a bit worried about that too. So far so good though; all we need to do is get used to us all putting them in the same place. DH favours the ‘junk drawer’, LMG is putting them in the cupboard and I’ve been putting them in the baking cupboard LOL!

  12. Hi Mrs Green,

    Thanks for the support for the new name. It is a true representation of my mindset whereas the other 2 titles were less exact. The Zero Waste Week phenomenon is growing and next year’s proposed National Waste Week in September could be massive.

    The silicone baking trays were available locally as well. The largest one was out of stock so a later purchase will be required. The plastic wrap is a minus point but that is not such an issue with the new alternatives for disposal.

    I got a reply from Lidls about the 200g size chocolate saying “Environmental Best Practice” was important. Hopefully, this will provide a solution for Zero Waste enthusiasts.

    They are contactable by phone (Customer Help line), 0870-4441234; no email as yet. The replies have all been well considered and are therefore a good means for consumer feedback.

    John.

  13. Mrs Green says:

    hi John!
    Unfortunately I can’t get your site to open – is there a problem with it at the moment? I’m glad to hear you are getting favourable responses from Lidls customer service; that makes such a difference when you feel your voice has been heard and validated πŸ™‚

  14. maisie says:

    I tried a couple of days ago and couldn’t get the a site to even appear

  15. Hi Mrs Green and Maisie,

    I type “ho” due to frequent use. The link is http://www.homecompostingrecyclingforum.com/homezerowaste. That is the way the site generator creates new versions. Hope that helps.

    John.

  16. Hi again Mrs Green,

    Engaging with the food retailers is a way to encourage them to adopt Zero Waste attitudes, against the usual intransigent packaging stance.

    Where positives do occur, like Fin Carre, it is important to tell others and praise the retailer. The best way to promote a good product is for likeminds to buy it. When the product is a success other examples will surely follow.

    Rather than unproductive tirades against retailers which have little impact, promoting good Zero Waste products will undermine the wasteful retailer’s financial strength and force change there as well.

    John.

  17. Mrs Green says:

    Ah, I see – thanks for the link, John. I thought you had changed your domain name completely; now I see you’ve added a bit πŸ™‚
    I agree that sharing our ‘zero waste’ finds so that we can support such companies should help things along.
    What do you think of the recent reports about pay as you throw in the UK? Not sure if it applies to Scotland; but I’m sure you have some thoughts on it anyway πŸ™‚

  18. Hi Mrs Green,

    This will affect the whole UK, if introduced. It smacks of the blame game, in this case blame the householder. This will give Zero Waste a bad name.

    The best way to reduce household waste is to collect all recyclables, garden waste and food waste. The remaining bin waste would be vastly reduced, as we both know from our Zero Waste experience. After these collections are introduced, weighing bin waste could be used to encourage 100% household cooperation, with a charge-free transition period.

    Your radio broadcast described what can be achieved for a family and should encourage other families, although some will have more difficult circumstances to deal with.

    You stood up well to the pressure of the interview. It seems that media events will be more frequent. Sustainable Dave was on CNN and did well also but was restricted in his presentation which was a pity.

  19. Hi again,

    At Lidl today, I came across the Schogetten range of continental chocolate. It consists of a broad range including milk, dark, milk/white, capuccino, praline, for children and hazelnut.

    Packaging has an inner flanged card to hold 18 pieces as well as the usual tinfoil/card wrap. This is a fine addition to the Zero Waste trend. There are bound to be more brands appearing with the prospect of a Christmas range as well.

  20. Mrs Green says:

    Some interesting points you bring up about PAYT, John. I had not thought of it as giving zero waste a bad name, but I guess I can see your point. Good to hear sustainable Dave was on CNN – that’s fabulous. Tracey has been busy too, spreading the message about her book of rubbish ideas and downshifting. I guess the credit crunch is good for promoting this kind of lifestyle πŸ˜‰
    Good to hear about more zero waste chocolate in Lidls – I find their stuff to be very good quality. They even have fair trade bars in foil and card.

  21. Hi again,

    The Fairtrade chocolate in Johnstone’s store has aluminium combination paper and not tinfoil which is a shame. I had bought it previously but ZeroWastePackaging removed that choice.

    The idea behind highlighting Zero Waste chocolate is to push the other chocolate companies enough so that they follow suit. It is a good position to be in where we can enjoy chocolate without compromising our stand.

  22. Lara says:

    Hello

    I was searching on the internet for organic paper bun cases (for a cafΓ©, we can burn them in the open fire after :)) when I came across your blog, very inspiring and good to read.

    However I think it’s also important to consider whether cheap food/items are coming at some human cost too; do some googling on the supermarket mentioned in comments above and you’ll see what I mean (just one example was their poisoning discarded of food in Sweden = not very good for people or environment, there’s been quite a bit written about them having not so great employment policies either).

    Making a choice between the environment and other people’s lives is hard to do, both practically and morally, but I do think it should be something taken into consideration even when trying for a zero waste home.

  23. Mrs Green says:

    Lara, welcome to the site and thank you for taking time to leave a very important and thought provoking comment. I agree wholehearedly with what you say.

    Here, we personally try to take a holistic view on life. The challenge with running a website that captures people’s interest is staying focused on a particular topic. We once had a large website that covered all aspects of holistic lifestyle – from herbal remedies to spirituality, including organic and biodynamic gardening, self sufficiency, natural childbirth, cleaning the home without chemicals – you name it, it was on there!

    It was a great site (even though I say so myself LOL!) but it was SO diverse that we didn’t get many people commenting on the articles. We had thousands of hits, but people used it as an information resource and became confused as to our identity. That’s fine up to a point, but when we created myzerowaste we wanted to build a community. To do that, you really need to be focused on your topic and not try to be all things to all people.

    There are many eco conscious visitors to our site who have bought up similar concerns to yourself, but we all find that there is no one truth and that making the most ethical decision is a challenge. There is no one answer that satisfies all the criteria. We might find something fair trade that is not organic. Or something organic that is not local. Or something recycled made in a sweat shop. Or something made from FSC certified wood wrapped in plastic.

    There are very few companies offering all solutions to all issues. There is also a lot of Greenwashing going on and it’s hard to know who to trust at the best of times. And unfortunately, unless finances are unlimited, we all have to make compromises and do the best we can. We use a local organic farm shop and a Suma food co-op and support our local butcher and orchard, but for some items financial cost has to be the priority and I’ll buy ‘unethical’ things rather than go without.

    In terms of silicone bakeware sold through Lidls; I may well have made a ‘bad’ purchase on the grounds of overall ethics, but I have to weigh that up against buying disposable cases that come in a plastic containers for the next 50+ years (and who knows where THEY were made and by whom)??

    Thanks for bringing this up again though; we always love hearing what people have to say and if you have any other suggestions or comment I’m all ears πŸ™‚

  24. Lara says:

    Thnaks for your reply/comment – point absolutely taken – and very well put. It’s fab that your blog exists to focus on zero waste!

    On the subject of baking containers, a nice bread baking one is terracotta flower pots – very well oiled (over and over again until the oil stops sinking in); last year at the cafe we made loaves in bigger pots, and rolls in mini ones that were cute…when we broke them, they ended up as crock in garden pots. Sorry if you’ve already covered this one!

  25. Poppy says:

    Silicone bakeware in what is left of Woolworths. I saw it today when trying to find something to buy there! Poor old Woollies πŸ™

  26. Poppy,

    I echo the sentiment. The last thing purchased by me was a pair of large Aldis home containers. They were a great find, allowing unpackaged stuff to be bought, for the Zero Waste campaign.

    There is talk of a new owner/new business. People were drawn away to more convenient or competitive stores.

  27. Hi Mrs Green,

    2 further additions to Lidls Sustainable Zero Waste Schogetten chocolate are Tiramisu, mocha based, and for fruit yoghurt lovers, Yoghurt and Strawberry flavour.

    Particular favourites include Tiramisu and Capuccino. Mocha is a funny flavour, coffee/chocolate. What is the best proportion for optimal taste?

    Christmas chocolates options are zero so far. Contacting the Schogetten makers may be the best choice.

  28. Mrs Green says:

    Lara, your idea for the flower pots is wonderful; mini pots for rolls sound gorgeous. I think I know what my next mission will be. Mr Green will wonder what on earth I am up to! Thanks for sharing your idea with us.

    Poppy; you have caught me out with the Woolies thing (no TV or national papers in this house). I’ve just read some stuff on the internet and can’t believe it. So sad πŸ™

    John, I didn’t think many stores could beat Woolies on price! Now you’re become quite the temptress; what with yogurt and fruit (hello me) and tiramisu (my two’s FAVOURITE pudding of all time).
    I’ve never had experience with making anything mocha, so I can’t answer your question I’m afraid, but I’ll look at some recipe books for you.
    Shame about Christmas chocolate options, I’ve seen some things in Waitrose, like chocolates in tins and foil wrapped goodies in little cardboard boxes or small wooden crates; there was quite a lot in there last time I was in, especially for children. Not quite on a par with Lidls though; is it?! πŸ˜‰

  29. Hi again,

    Glad the chocolate flavours are personal favourites. As you rightly say Zero Waste options are minimal.

    I emailed Trumpf with the full explanation. Hopefully there will be a positive result. If not, Beth may be worth a post. She is the anti-plastickest blogger, bar none.

  30. Hi Mrs Green,

    After reading Mrs A’s post on Thornton’s today, I visited there to investigate possibilities. Zero Waste chocolate is available using the ever-useful container. A dry run was successfully completed and a visit, nearer Christmas Day using a larger container, will be necessary.

    That is a contribution to our Zero Waste Christmas attempt. A UK solution is an excellent outcome with family and friends visiting at Christmas and New Year.

    There was the usual “plastic is essential” mantra. This is patent nonsense to a Zero Waste enthusiasts, like myself, who manages well with miniscule amounts of plastic packaging waste.

  31. Mrs Green,

    At Lidls today, Milk Cream Caramel is the latest flavour of Schogetten on sale, a very smooth combination. I spoke to a member of staff, explaining the good Zero Waste aspect of this brand.

    He mentioned recycling facilities for 2 type of plastic and for food waste. I will investigate further with a possible viewing. This might be available locally for you as well.

  32. Kris says:

    I’ve raved about the Schogetten chocolate at Lidl’s as well, though it’s much too more-ish!

    Milk Cream Caramel is my favourite flavour – the reason you probably haven’t seen it before is from me searching through the box for it…

  33. Hi Kris,

    Good to see another chocolate enthusiast enjoying Zero Waste chocolate. If people buy the brand they are helping to overcome the intransigence in all other chocolate brands, with their aluminium combination paper waste.

    I am waiting for a Coconut Cream version or a savoury Tomato and Basil.

  34. Mrs Green says:

    Tomato and basil chocolate. Mmmm, I’m evidently not as much a connoisseur as you, John, I think we’ll stick to the more traditional cream caramel.
    It seems new options are turning up all the time – just in time for Christmas it would appear πŸ™‚
    It seems we have found your weakness too, Kris!

  35. Hi Mrs Green,

    I visited Thornton’s, Braehead, for the first Christmas container of chocolates for family and friends coming before the 25th.
    The staff were most understanding and explained that fridge and freezer placement of the chocolates was not advised. Instead storage at room temperature for up to 3 months is fine, though they will disappear long before that.

    Early shopping may be the best course to prevent holding up a queue. A plastic packet was used to weigh the chocolates before container filling.

    My thanks go to the excellent staff.

  36. Mrs Green says:

    Hi John, that sounds like a very successful shopping trip. And I’m sure the entire family will enjoy your purchases πŸ™‚

  37. Hi Mrs Green,

    Having been an Aldis shopper for many years, I was amazed to see Schogetten chocolate on sale there for the first time, the checkout lass said it was a special. Maybe the good word has spread from their German rival.

    Other superstores will be checked in due course. It would be a great success for our trend if Schogetten was on widespread sale. After the months of no alternative to aluminium combination paper, we now have a choice.

  38. Mrs Green says:

    Hi John, we don’t have an Aldi near us, so I’ve never set foot inside one. I’ll keep my eyes open for the Schogetten brand in other stores.

  39. Hi Mrs Green,

    White Chocolate is the latest from Schogetten, another excellent flavour. As you say, let us see if other stores have caught the bug. The full recyclability of the packaging is a breath of fresh air.

  40. Mrs Green,

    Thornton’s staff were again most helpful in providing loose chocolates for the container. The busier festive period, a large queue at 10.00am, is best avoided due to extra time involved in filling the box.

    Next year a small material bag for direct weighing might be an idea, or earlier shopping, at the start of December, would be more convenient for staff.

  41. Mrs Green says:

    Hi John; it seems you are getting on well with Thorntons. Like you, we find more acceptance of our curious lifestyle if we help the staff by being as convenient as possible! The Onya Weigh might offer you a solution……..
    http://www.onyabags.co.uk/shop.php?crn=208

  42. Kris says:

    I bought a couple of beads this morning, and they were given to me in a small fabric bag with ribbon tie. I’m now looking at it and thinking how handy it would be for a few loose Thorntons chocolates in future πŸ™‚

  43. Mrs Green says:

    Hi kris, I love those little fabric bags and it’s lovely to think of re-use ideas for the future.
    Just make sure you don’t end up with a house full of ‘useful packaging’ like I did πŸ˜€

  44. Mrs Jackson says:

    Hi Mrs Green

    Thanks for yet another wonderful article – I shall keep an eye open for these in Asda next time I go then as we are always making cakes here.

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