Do you use single-use aluminum pans to cook?
If so, how many do you use on a monthly basis?
I know that I may get some backlash from this but… STOP USING SINGLE-USE PANS!
Unless you’re dropping food off somewhere, make your food in reusable pans (glass, oven-to-table ware, enamel)
Worried about doing dishes?
Get your kids to help! If they are on the younger side, have them help scrape the plates into the garbage or put the silverware away.
No matter what age your kids are- get them to help with mealtime and clean up!
This will help teach your kids the importance of putting things away when they are finished with something, and a great way to get your entire family aboard the organizing train!
You may think, I don’t have time for this at all -but here is what reusing teaches your kids:
- How to be responsible for things.
Teaching your kids how to take care of the things you own is important. It gives kids the ability to understand how to choose products that are good, how to spend money wisely, and most importantly that things have value.
- It helps with executive function
Understanding that when you use something you have to be responsible for it is an important piece of knowledge that many kids today are missing. When a kid learns that they need to be responsible and clean up after what they use they are forced to figure out how to manage their time to get it all done. They also learn how to prioritize within the task to figure out how to get the task done.
- That what we buy has value
When you use things and throw them away it shows your kids that things are meant to be used and thrown away. It encourages a disposable lifestyle that spreads to areas of life that are not disposable.
Using an aluminum pan once and then throwing it away seems totally innocuous, but in reality, it encourages the over use of single-use items in all areas of life,
“Why should we reuse when we can just buy new?” they ask.
“Why should I repair something when I can just throw it away?”
It puts them in this mindset that money is a renewable resource that grows on trees – which is a very slippery slope!
If you do continue to use disposables, I get it – but then explain yourself to your kids.
It is an important conversation. Explain why it may be better for you. Show them the cost-benefit analysis, but don’t let it go unsaid, because without the discussion kids lack the understanding.
More than that – sometimes you yourself may not see the value – take a few minutes and calculate the real cost of what you use.
Remember – it isn’t just the end product of the aluminum pan.
Think of all the resources that go into making the pan. The energy needed to make it. The aluminum needs to be used. The fuel that is used to ship it. The packaging that it comes in. The cost of you going to the store to get it. The time it takes you to store it. The bag you use to throw it away in. These are all real. (I haven’t even mentioned all the people who are needed to make it and the poor conditions they must work in!)
Since we vote with our wallets – when we use reusables we say to companies we don’t want your offerings. It forces companies to do better and it makes other resources decrease in price, (metals, petroleum, energy)
So think about the real cost of one aluminum pan. It is bigger than just you!
You can check out more zero waste tips for the kitchen in the blog here.