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Thursday, 30 April 2015

Which Kitchen Papers are Biodegradable and an Alternative to Baking Paper.

If you have followed my blog a little you will know that I am working towards a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. It is a slow process, there are so many areas to tackle. 
The best environmental choice in kitchen papers is, of course, not to use any of them, but if, like me, you are still working on the process, some are better than others. I definitely try to go the no paper way, and to be honest, I give in to household demand by having these in the house...hey, I'm working on them though.
Kitchen papers and foil - which to use?

Waxed Paper - this can't be used in a conventional oven, but can be used for covering bowls in the microwave. It can be used as lunchwrap, or for wrapping cheese, or pastry as you leave it in the fridge to chill. It can then be thrown into the compost as it is biodegradable.

Greaseproof Paper - this too is biodegradable and can be used as for waxed paper as above. It isn't any use in baking unless you grease it as it will stick to your food, so really, not much point.

Baking Paper - this is siliconized paper, sometimes known as freezer paper I think, and it is not biodegradable. I have been using this until recently with baking bread as I was having trouble with the loaves sticking in my ageing non-stick pans. But now, thanks to the internet, I have found a solution! See my recipe for Miracle Pan Release below. 

Tin Foil - this can be recycled in many places if it is clean. Or it can be reused in lots of ways, for example to scrunch up and clean your barbecue grill, or to clean your silver by lining the sink with it, adding a dessertspoon of baking soda and some boiling water and immersing the silver in it.
If you are using it to cover a roast, better to use a roasting pan with a lid.

So some alternatives...Fabric sandwich wrappers and bags, using containers with lids, reusable metal lunch boxes, putting a plate over bowls in the microwave and fridge.
And then there is....


I found this recipe on but I have changed it up a little - here is my version.

1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of coconut oil (original uses vegetable shortening, ie Chrisco)
1/4 cup of vegetable oil (I used canola. The original recipe uses 1/2 cup, but I have reduced this as the coconut oil has a lower melt point)

Combine all in a bowl and mix with a hand mixer until the mixture slightly increases in volume and looks smooth and creamy. Place in a covered container and store it in the pantry. Use it within 3-4 months or store it in the fridge for a longer life.
Use the Miracle Pan Release by painting on your bakeware prior to baking, using a pastry brush.

I was so excited to see how well this worked!

my poor worn bread pan

Painting on the Miracle Pan Release

The bread just slipped out of the pan - no sticking!
AN UPDATE on Dishwasher Powder
You may have read my post for home made dishwasher powder some time ago. After using this for over a year I went back to store bought powder a little while ago. I have discovered that I can buy dishwasher powder by filling my own container, and I'm afraid it really does a much better job. There it's said. Maybe I will return to homemade one day, using them turn about to keep the dishes all looking good. 


  1. I had been wondering if waxed paper could be used to cover things in the microwave. I have a friend who uses plastic wrap and I think I can convince him to change to waxed paper. Good to know! I mostly use fabric bags for lunches, but if it's something too messy I used waxed paper bags, which are available here, and bring them home to put in the compost.

  2. Using saucers and plates on dishes in the fridge is something I've always done, as did my mother. Her mother did it with food in the meat safe. For school lunches I always used waxed paper - my daughter simpl puts her children's sandwiches in specially-sized plastic boxes from Moore Wilsons or supermarkets. Easily washable and no paper needed. Fabric sandwich bags are expensive and need washing - more laundry detergent in the drains.

  3. Thanks for visiting and for your comments! Going greener is easier when we go back to what earlier generations did. I just wash the fabric sandwich bags first when I am hand washing dishes,rinsing them as the water is still running, so no extra resources used there, but they are an expensive initial purchase. Our ones are still as good as new after two years of constant use though.

  4. I use either foil or baking paper to wrap salmon when baking it but wonder if there's a biodegradable alternative. I could fry the salmon but preserve it baked. I've pretty much eliminated 99% of non-biodegradable products in my kitchen and this would almost complete my mission!

  5. Hi Vicki, One alternative, but possibly not very available is using banana leaves. Another is maybe just using greaseproof paper, which you grease with butter - not that I've tried that.Or a pyrex dish with a lid? Failing that, I understand there is now a biodegradable silicone baking paper, but I think it's quite expensive.

  6. Thanks so much for this very useful tip.

  7. Great articles and great layout. Your blog post deserves all of the positive feedback it’s been getting. Sustainability

  8. Thank You for such information.

  9. I have a real pet peeve about Canola oil as it's so processed and unhealthy, not a fan of white flour either... had anyone tried this with healthy ingredients? Wholemeal flour and olive oil maybe? I suspect that would stick, huh?

    1. Thanks for your comment Sandriky, I understand your wish for a healthier alternative. Maybe give it a try yourself using a smaller amount to start with and put your results here - I'm sure others would be interested in tweaking it in this way too. Maybe something finer than wholemeal flour would work, that fits the "healthier" wish. Even though that small amount of white flour won't likely cause any problems, if you don't have it in your kitchen, you don't want to buy it especially.


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