These days, it’s hard to go a single day without purchasing something that isn’t pre-packaged. With news of every ocean housing a large patch of plastic, you may feel called to try to do your personal best to cut back on waste. We all know of reusable water bottles and reusable grocery bags, but how can we take it a step further? One wonderful way to reduce your waste and spend less money is to buy products that come in glass containers and reuse the glass.
While it may be tempting to throw that pickle jar into the recycle bin once it’s empty, rethink its value. The cost that you paid for your food products also includes the container it’s in, so get your money’s worth and reuse.
The obvious way to reuse food containers is in the kitchen. Storing rice and other grain products in glass rather than cardboard boxes or plastic bags may actually extend their shelf life and prevent worms and moths from taking up residence in your quinoa supply (yuck!). Having these containers to store your food items may also encourage you to buy in bulk, which not only greatly reduces your packaging footprint but also can save you money.
Because you won’t have the package that explains the contents you purchased, labeling is an important part of reusing glass. To remove the old label, simply place the container in a larger pot or container so that it can be completely submerged with soapy water. Let it sit overnight and you should be able to easily scrape away the label come morning. Some companies use a strong adhesive that might require a little more elbow grease.
Be sure to thoroughly clean the glass container with hot water and soap. You may even choose to sterilize the jars by running them through a cycle in the dishwasher or placing them in a pot with water and letting the temperature slowly rise. If you go the method of the pot with water, be sure that you remove the containers with tongs and place them on a clean towel to dry.
Labeling glass jars with their new contents can be as simple as taking a good marker and writing what’s inside. You could also make it a fun project for the kids and invite them all to make labels that can be glued onto the jars. Feel free to let them get creative and use different colored paper, markers, even glitter! If you’re really in the mood to get crafty, you can use a glass cutter to make cups, vases or toothbrush holders out of wine or beer bottles or even create your own etched jars!
Once you begin to reuse glass jars, you’ll realize just how many uses they have. Not only can you use them in the kitchen, but you can also reuse some as beautiful vases for flowers! Again, get creative and perhaps wrap some burlap or ribbon around them to give them a beautiful look. You can even decorate the lids to give them a beautiful & unique look.
Nutiva spends a lot of time and energy listening to our customers, and we heard what you had to say about glass. We are proud to have recently launched our Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil in the 15 & 23 oz. sizes in glass jars. Our Coconut Manna and 8 & 16oz Organic Cold-Pressed Hemp Oil also come in glass containers that are just waiting to be used and reused.
How do you like to reuse glass jars? Do you enjoy decorating them or keeping them as is? Let us know in the comments section.