So if you’re swapping as much of your supermarket shopping from plastic to glass, you may have realised that you suddenly now have a growing number of glass jars, they seem to breed when you’re not looking! So what can you do with them? Well the quick answer is..lots of things! Here is a quick list of 10 uses just to get started:-
- Food storage in cupboard, fridge & freezer
- Water/liquid holders
- Candle holder/illuminating lights
- drinking glasses
- Cleaning products
- Storage of household items
- Gardening – growing and storage
- Home made gifts
From storage of pretty much anything that fits into it. Glass is ideal for food storage , whether that be cupboard, fridge or freezer. Keeping things around the house, ideal space savers. They can be decorated, used in the garden, there are endless possibilities! Also if you can’t reuse it, you still have a greener option of recycling, glass is 100% recyclable every time, even recycled glass.
Glass jars make superb food storage vessels:-
- You can see what’s in the jar without having to open it
- Its air tight and keeps food fresher
- As they tend to be taller than other containers, they save space, and you don’t have to stack.
- They work in the fridge and standing veg like carrots and spring onions in them with water at the bottom, keeps them fresher for longer.
- Using jars in the fridge avoids the need of cling film and foil
- Food like half used lemons and limes are less likely to get buried at the back of the fridge or salad draw.
- Freezing works – Just make sure you keep about and inch of space between the top of the food and lid. Or if your jar has a longer neck, stop the food at the shoulders. Stand upright if possible.
Water, liquids & drinking
Ok so very student like! But its worth thinking about, especially when you’re having a party and running low on glasses! We don’t have a cold water dispenser with our fridge. I keep a bottle of water in the fridge and refill it. It goes direct to the table at dinner. I give it a wash after refill and it returns to the fridge. Easy cold water for everyone that wants it and less water waste.
Toiletries, Cleaning Vessels and Other Household Uses
I like to keep soaps in a jar, I think they look pretty particularly hand made soap. I also collect the last tiny bits of soap in another jar, as that can be mixed together and made into liquid hand soap.
As the images show, there really are endless possibilities, one could argue that they just replace another container. Which is true to some extent. However all these images show another use for some of the items you may buy, once you start throwing in some gift making, jam and preserves, gardening, and decorating them as well as if you start to use bulk stores /zero waste stores to refill food or household items, your usage goes up and your waste and goes down!
If you are not reusing your glass jar in some way, it is 100 % recyclable, and unlike recyclable plastics that can normally only be recycled once. Glass is endlessly recyclable meaning that glass that has already been melted down and recycled into another glass item once, can be recycled again and again and doesn’t lose its quality each time. According to Lynn Bragg president of Glass Packaging Institute, once in the recycling bin, your glass bottle/jar can be recycled and back on the shelves as another bottle within 30 days!
The down side of glass
There is one main down side to glass of course and that is its ability to break. I can honestly say, considering the huge increase in usage of glass I have had over the last few years, I am surprised that as a family we haven’t manage to have more breakages. I do have hard flooring, although I don’t have tile, and the reality is you drop it…. it’s going to smash! The other problem can be with large glass jars is the weight, so you may want to consider what you are using them for, access to them and perhaps limiting the need for the movement of bulky ones.
The weight and breakage problems are an issue from an environmental point of view, I found an excellent article written by Lauren Murphy on the Earth 911 website called Beverage Container Showdown: Plastic vs. Glass vs. Aluminum it compares beverage containers and all aspects of the environmental impact they have from creation to recycling. It’s an interesting read.
I haven’t started painting or decorating jars yet but there are some beautiful DIY glass ideas around below are some lovely creations from the website The Artisan Life, you can be inspired and learn the how to’s by clicking here.
Other articles you may be interested in on this site:-
5 easy ways to reduce plastic in your food shopping click here
What is Art Journaling and how do I start click here