Thursday, 10 February 2011

Making life easier: paper bags

Yep, that's just what it looks like. A bulldog clip's worth of paper lunch bags hanging from a hook. How could something so simple - and admittedly something that looks like it belongs in a 1930s grocers - be making my kitchen and bathroom much, much cleaner with so little effort?

I've never been quite sure what to do with kitchen scraps. I grew up on a farm, where they went in a bucket on the sink that was hurled into the chook pen every evening. These days I have a compost bin, which I tend without any real enthusiasm.

Scraps. Chuck them in the bin, they'll smell. (And also, it's not good environmental sense.) Leave them lying around the kitchen, that's even worse. Eurgh. Compost them straight away, as if I've got the time and organisation to do that. So they've always been a bit of a problem.

Enter the paper bag. Thanks to the bulldog clip and a massive bulk box under the sink, I've always got one to hand. I even found a clip that matches my kitchen decor. Anything compostable goes in the bag, and thence into the freezer. When I get around to it - which is usually when the freezer's full - bag and all can go straight from freezer to compost bin, because the paper is biodegradable.

I have two cats, one of which lives inside, and I use a similar system for FryKitten's litter tray. Another clip full of bags (this one purple to match my bathroom) is on hand so I can put the cleanings straight from the rake into the bag. I clean it every morning before work, and then dump the lot into the big outside wheelie bin on my way to the garage so the cleanings aren't stinking up the house.

So, partially it's about the bags. But mainly it's about the system. Having a system that works for you is invaluable. My precise system may not work for anyone else in the world. But it might give you some ideas for improving systems of your own.