10 Green Tips and Tricks: part 1


Simple and Do-able….. 🙂


1. Wash out your empty glass jars (the ones you bought your pickles or olives in) and reuse: 

  • Kitchen: dry goods such as nuts and lentils, grated cheese, yoghurt etc
  • Bathroom: Salts, Scrubs and Oils (see my individual recipes…coming up in future posts)
  • Garden Shed/Garage: small nails and bolts, granular fertilisers, seed for garden birds etc



2. Can’t get the sticky label off the empty jar? Here’s what works for me:

  • Soak the empty jar in hot water, or run it through your automatic dishwasher.
  • Peel off as much of the label as possible.
  • Make a paste of baking soda (bicarb) and dish washing liquid (dish soap). Smear this over the sticky area and leave for a half hour or longer. Wipe off with a cloth.
  • If that doesn’t do the trick, smear a thick layer of peanut butter over the remaining sticky bits (it’s messy so I use the back of a spoon to do this). Leave the peanut butter to do its work for half an hour or longer.
  • Wipe off with a damp cloth or else paper towels or newspaper, and throw the paper straight into your compost bin.
  • Essential oils also well at removing adhesives. Just dab a few drops onto the corner of a dry cloth and rub the sticky spots. Try a light citrus oil such as orange or lemon. Peppermint and eucalyptus oils are other favourites to use in cleaning recipes.

3. Freeze food in glass jars instead of plastic: See my previous post….



4. Buy in large quantities in order to reduce plastic and other packaging: I previously used to buy toilet rolls in stacks of 4’s or 9’s but now I’ve started buying in stacks of 18. This makes sense to me for two reasons: firstly, its cheaper and secondly it saves on plastic. Simply put, 1 x 18 rolls of looroll takes less plastic wrapping than 2 x 9 rolls of looroll.


5. Reduce plastic bin liners: Restrict your kitchen bin to dry waste and use newspaper to roll up wet waste and ‘smellies’. If possible deposit straight into your outside garbage bin.


6. Buy unbleached coffee filters (we buy ours at Pick n Pay Norwood, Johannesburg) …


7. …and then put them into your compost after use.


8. Swop teabags for loose tea: If you are a fan of black ceylon this may be a bit of a challenge! I finally found Joko tea (loose tea leaves) at Norwood Spar in Johannesburg. Packaged in cardboard with a plastic inner 😦 …pity. The tea ball is a nifty little thing, available at tea and coffee specialist shops. I have used it on occasion for holding ground and whole spices when making Chai, or for curries and similar dishes.




9. Peel less, use a scourer more: carrots, potatoes and other veggies are usually fine with a bit of a scrub rather than peeling (unless they are looking considerably old and tired, in which case you be the judge). Keep a small metal scourer (Goldilocks) or a nail brush in your fridge’s veggie drawer, or alongside your potatoes in their basket.


10. Use up leftovers, such as that stale bread: Dry breadcrumbs give a nice crunch and texture to foods. Sprinkle them over pasta, vegetable bakes, or use to thicken soups. You can also coat foods such as fish or patties with breadcrumbs before you saute them, for extra crispiness. For ‘how to make breadcrumbs’, read this fascinating article  🙂 from Wiki-How



So there you go…10 easy starters! And feel free to make suggestions to add to this list. Let me know…..

5 thoughts on “10 Green Tips and Tricks: part 1

  1. Dani 2017-09-18 / 4:50 pm

    Another use for those empty jars is to use them to store your own homemade preserves / pickles / jam / cordials.

    I also line my kitchen bin with the (big) black rubbish bag. Scrunching up the excess and “tying” it up keeps the excess bag tidy.

    Use a Bodum coffee jug and do away with paper coffee filters 😉


  2. amandavanniekerk 2017-09-19 / 9:41 am

    Hi Dani, thanks for those tips. The filter coffee is kind of a ‘husband thing’, but I agree with you there! Ps…I like your blog: full of information and based in ZA!


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