Tag Archives: recycling aluminum foil

Practical Sustainability: Efforts Around the Home

What You Can Do at Home Without ‘Green Washing’

Bird Island: Zero Energy Home in Kuala Lumpur

Bird Island: Zero Energy Home in Kuala Lumpur

With the efforts around “going green” taking up so much of our consciousness these days, from magazine articles to news reports to websites and more, it’s easy to label people and products as part of the American tendency to turn everything into a fad. Green washing, or reducing the effort to go green to nothing more than a simple marketing aphorism, is a problem to be sure, but doesn’t every little bit help?

Homes like the one pictured above are the absolute when it comes to sustainability and eco-consciousness, reportedly turning in a zero energy rating. But none of us really live in Bird Island, Kuala Lumpur, so what can be done to make the house a more green, sustainable thing in the world?

Let’s start with the kitchen. We’ve all heard about switching over the light bulbs, trying to cut down on energy usage by eliminating efforts like pre-heating the oven before meals, etc., but what about the things we use every day, and what we tend to use a lot of? Aluminum foil. Plastic baggies. Paper towels. Things of this nature that we might have worked into such a regular routine in our lives, we don’t even think about them anymore. But rest assured, lots of cutbacks can make a real difference here, when taken in total among thousands of households. Think about it. Continue reading

Recycling Tin Foil Food Wrappers

Preparing Aluminum Foil for Recycling

recycling tin foilLet’s say you eat out at restaurants, and you do it a lot. If you live in Portland, or other eco-conscious cities, then chances are that the restaurant in question has gone to great lengths to ensure that all of their to-go food containers are either recyclable, or else compost-able. Restaurants like Portland’s Laughing Planet Cafe also use tin foil for the wrapping material around their signature burrito creations. Often, you find that when eating the foil-wrapped burrito, food and grease gets on the surface of the aluminum. While clean, theoretically-unused tin foil is quite obviously recyclable, what do you do about the tin foil that gets dirty with food?

For regular sheets of aluminum foil, here’s the process for recycling: ball up the foil and put in recycling bins with the glass,metal and plastic, unless your local recycling rules dictate otherwise. Note that other types of aluminum food storage materials such as pie pans and lids are also recyclable the majority of the time. And food-covered tin foil? All you have to do is take an extra second’s worth of time and effort, and make sure to rinse off any food from the aluminum foil before adding it to the recycling bin. Continue reading