Using up plastic as well as food

Filed in Blog by on September 10, 2010 5 Comments
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Mrs Green's curry kitchen

Mrs Green's curry kitchen

Welcome to day 5 of National Zero Waste Week. How are you getting on?

This is the week when we all have the opportunity to put in a bit of extra effort, to go that extra mile (or inch) and pay a teeny weeny bit more attention to our actions and attitudes towards food in a bid to reduce our food waste.

Today I’ve not only prevented food waste, but reused some of those pesky black plastic containers too. You all know by now that Mr Green is partial to a curry or seven. Some of you have been following us since the start where he found it nigh on impossible to give up his tastetastic sensation in a plastic tray with film lid.

I’m pleased to say he has kicked the plastic habit on that one now, since discovering that the film lids were made from code number 7 which is non recyclable, but we are still left with the odd few trays. As we know, reusing comes before recycling, so I’ve decided to do just that. I also wanted to show Mr G how much money he was saving by ditching his convenience food!

The meal didn’t even use much in terms of electricity because the chicken and onions were cooked along with Sunday dinner, leaving just the rice to cook fresh. All in all I managed to make 3 curries with rice and I reckon they cost me about £4.50. I could make this a lot cheaper if we bought supermarket meat but we choose to support our local butcher. To buy three ready prepared meals would have set Mr G back £5.97 so he’s quids in already and gets better quality meat from a reputable source he can trust.

I cover them with foil and pierce the foil with a knife when we’re ready to cook the meal. I’ve found the rice is nicer if I add a couple of desertspoons of water to the compartment before cooking. Although it’s easy to reuse and recycle the foil I wonder if you have any ideas on what I could use instead that might be less energy intensive? I don’t have a microwave, so a microwavable lid is no good. If we don’t have a lid at all then the meal dries out.

I know I pledged at the beginning of the week to go back to the good old days and make a curry from scratch. For some reason I keep finding other things to do; like, ya know, doing radio interviews, hosting Q&A sessions at cinema screenings – so I’m sure you’ll let me off 😉

Let me know your news; how are you getting on?

National zero waste week is sponsored by Tetra Pak. Find out where to recycle your cartons with their handy recycling locator.

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 (5)

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  1. Karin says:

    I haven’t made chicken curry for ages, hubby would probably enjoy that better than many ways of using up left-over chicken.

  2. Layla says:

    Excellent reuse of containers!

    A bit confused – what do you need the foil for, and why pierce it (instead of unfolding away)?

    We just put stuff into regular dishes after defreezing to heat up, I wouldn’t dare cook anything in a plastic container!

    Ohh, just read it again – these come without own lids (could any other sturdy lids fit? Or could they all fit into a bigger box? Could any of them stack up? Depends on freezer space too) Maybe if you put ’em in a (recyclable) plastic bag that can be closed with a rubber band and that can maybe be rewashed and reused? (Otherwise not sure if it’s any better..)

    (suffering a bit too much info overload from previous research on Grandma’s meds, sorry!! :))

    Hope you manage to find something interesting!

  3. Mrs Green says:

    @Karin: Mr Green would probably divorce me if he didn’t get his curry fixx several times a week – he’s pretty low maintenance really!

    @Layla: Hello layla – long time no see! I don’t have any lids that fit, hence the foil use. No biggie, I buy recycled foil and then recycle it again, but it would be nice to cut it out altogether without the texture of the meal suffering.

  4. Ben says:

    Could you place a small baking tray over the dish instead of foil when you cook it? I’ve also been considering buying some of those flexible silicone food covers that stretch to fit the container and can go in the oven, fridge and microwave – but have yet to try them.

  5. Mrs Green says:

    @Ben: That’s a good idea Ben – about the small baking tray; thank you for the suggestion. I have silicone muffin moulds and they are fantastic…

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