Posts tagged "oil"

Interesting Reducing, Reusing and Recycling links

reusable-swiffer-coverThis week’s quick link round-up:

How can I reuse or recycle flavoured butter?

butter-01We’ve had a message from Anita on the Suggestions page:

Help! How do you recycle flavored butter that doesn’t taste good? We get heaps of it on prepackaged fish, but we don’t use it, now we have a lot of it. I read that you can’t compost it, which was my first inclination…

Yes, I’d avoid composting it in case the smell attracts undesirable vermin to the heap. (If you’ve got a completely sealed composter, it’s less of a problem.) I did wonder if it could be used to attract more desirable wild creatures to the garden – such as being used in making some sort of bird feeder – but from what I’ve read, wild birds are best fed vegetable oils rather than animal ones, and butter is, of course, going to be too runny to make into fat balls anyway. Someone please correct me if that’s wrong.

One reduce idea would be to avoid buying it in the first place – but depending where/when you shop, I realise that’s not always an option.

Like nearly all oily things, butter can be used as a lubricant but I’d probably avoid using to, say, oil squeaky door hinges around the home, because it’ll go off. The oiliness can apparently be used to ease glue off skin and tree sap off skin & cars though.

Other ideas I’ve see mentioned for butter include using it as a hand/foot rub or as an emergency shaving cream – although I suspect it would depend on what the butter was flavoured with (at a guess, chilli butter and shaving would. not. mix!)

Any other suggestions?

(Photo by superfloss)

How can I reuse or recycle big cooking oil cans?

oil_cansAround our area, it’s unusual to see a take-out place without empty big cooking oil cans outside.

Hopefully they’re recycled as part of a commercial doorstep recycling programme but most of time it seems like they’re going to landfill – here they were next to a skip filled with other random rubbish. Very frustrating.

If we took some of them, what could we do with them? I know after intensive cleaning, crude oil barrels can be made into woodburners/rocket stoves and barbecues – could these essentially big tin cans be used for a similar thing on a smaller scale or is the metal not heavy duty enough?

With the top taken off (and the edge made safe), I imagine they could be turned into planters for the garden – albeit ones that might rust over time.

Any other suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle cooking oil?

Cooking oilColleen Christensen has asked:

Is there anything one can do with rancid cooking oil?

(I don’t know how rancid she means by rancid but let’s assume she just means used and therefore slightly icky – say oil or lard from deep frying – rather than full on bleugh.)

I know that commercial fryers can recycle their old oil (for use as biodiesel) but what about domestic chefs who aren’t using anywhere near as much? And what about other uses?

Best Suggestions

  • Reuse: If it’s still reasonably clean, you can use it to make soap. If it’s too far gone for that or filled with impurities from frying, you might be able to use it to make wild bird feeders – or even to encourage critters to remove an old tree stump for you.
  • Recycle: Most household waste collections site (tips) in the UK collect cooking oil for recycling. Ask your local authority what the arrangements are in your area.
  • See the comments below for more suggestions and ideas

(Photo by float)