Aluminum foil is one of those disposal items that I haven’t figured out how to make do without in my kitchen. I try to use as little as possible, but sometimes a lasagna needs to be covered while baking, right?

Here are some tips for reusing, recycling and making your aluminum foil usage a little greener all around.

  • Don’t use aluminum foil when something durable can be used. Instead of using it to cover a container in the refrigerator, use a container with a lid or put a plate over the container. Save aluminum foil for when only aluminum foil will do.
  • If you use aluminum foil and it’s completely clean when you’re done, fold it up and put it away to be used again. I wrap bread in aluminum foil before heating it in the oven. When I take the foil off, it’s completely clean. I reuse it again and again.
  • Aluminum foil can also be washed gently to come clean. If you’ve got a little food on it, wipe it off or clean gently with soap and water so it can be used again.
  • According to Planet Green, aluminum foil can be recycled along with soda cans. It needs to be wiped free of food before being put in the recycle bin.
  • Buy recycled aluminum foil. Aluminum can be recycled over and over, and one of the things it can be recycled into is aluminum foil. It takes only 5 percent of the energy to make recycled aluminum foil that it would take to make foil from virgin aluminum.
By reducing, reusing and recycling, you can still use aluminum foil when needed while lessening your environmental impact.

Image: tom.arthur

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Kitchen recycling tip: Aluminum foil
You may not be able to eliminate the use of aluminum foil completely in the kitchen, but you can reduce your environmental impact while using it.