After coming to terms with the fact that they were actually serious when they said that they never cook, I stopped mid-meal prep to run to the store to find something that would work. On my way to the nearest market, I was griping about how I was sure we were going to have to buy some icky non-stick metal baking sheet, since that is typically what grocery stores have in stock. I calmed myself with a reminder that I would only be using it during our stay, and then I could give it away to one of our neighbors who uses non-stick metal pans or donate it or something.
It ended up that the store didn't have regular baking sheets at all -- just those flimsy, disposable ones that are meant to be used once, and then thrown away or recycled (in the areas that will recycle them).
With a deep breath and a cringe, I rationalized the purchase by promising Mama Earth that I would find a way to reuse the pan as many times as I could, and then would go to whatever lengths necessary to find a place that would recycle it. Before I even had it in the oven upon our return, I was already working on coming up with ways to repurpose the foil baking sheet under a planter or on my crafting table or in some other way.
When we left, the baking sheet came home with us so that I could figure out how to atone for my eco sin as best I could. I stashed it in the cupboard with the rest of my pots and pans, since I figured I might as well use it as many times as possible for its original purpose before determining what its next life would be.
Turns out -- four years later -- that flimsy, single-use baking sheet is a little worse for the wear but still works perfectly. In fact, I even prefer it to my other baking sheets in some cases. For example, when the oven is already pretty full, I can bend up the sides on this foil cookie sheet and make it fit just fine.
Have a look for yourself; it might not be pretty, but it gets the job done!
Kitchen equipment is one of the things that this cheap vegan chick would recommend never cheaping out on, but this definitely shows that you can still get quite a bit out of some cheap, single-use items. That doesn't mean that you should run out and buy one, but it does work as an example of how even some "disposable" products can have a lot of life in them -- if we are determined to keep them out of the landfill.
I use this baking sheet at least once each week, which means that it has been used a minimum of 200 times in the last four years. It has a small tear and always needs to be flattened and bent back into shape before every use, but the point is that it still works.
Single use, my ass!