Sometimes my parents join me in my zero waste lifestyle. And when that happens, I love this lifestyle even more. Zero waste does not have to cost a lot of effort of money all the time, sometimes switches are quite easy! That’s why I present an easy zero waste switch to you today: a baking mat.
The Problem: Baking Paper
When dad took his very first zero waste step with me (way to go dad!), we ran out of baking paper. It’s something that annoys me greatly, since it is a single-use item. You use it for one hour tops and then, hop, off it goes, straight to landfill. Baking paper can’t be recycled, since it’s fat-free paper. It can’t go with the paper trash. This makes it the worst kind of trash, non-recyclable.
The Solution: A Baking Mat
Instead of running to the nearby grocery-store to buy new baking paper, I told my dad about a baking mat. A baking mat is a mat made out of silicons. I know, silicons are not recyclable either, but you can reuse the baking mat forever and the material is perfect for baking. It can handle heat and can be cleaned easily. You can put it the oven as a substitute for baking paper. You clean the baking mat with a wet wipe after et voila, it’s like new. It can also go into the dishwasher (and microwave) if you prefer that. I would recommend getting a black one if I were you. We have a light blue one and it looks quite dirty even though it’s not. It just gets ugly after a while (as you can see on the picture) even if it’s clean. If you buy a black one, you don’t have this problem. Anyway, you change a single-use item to reusable one and then, no more waste!
Where to Find it
So instead of running to the grocery store, we ran to the HEMA (A Dutch store) nearby. There they had one, in red. A quick option since we needed it. It cost 5 euros, I hope for a lifetime. That also saves you money, since you never have to buy baking paper again. Anyway, it was a quick option. If you ask me now, I’d say: don’t use anything. Just bake anything you want right on the baking tray. Clean that tray afterwards and you have the same effect. Baking paper is actually a thing invented to make people lazy. You throw the paper out instead of cleaning the tray. If it really doesn’t work for you, then buy a baking mat (preferably secondhand, since new stuff is not sustainable). Good luck!