Sunday, February 28, 2010

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Glass Jars

This is preached to us every single day. Bring your own bags to the store. Recycle your plastic containers, your metal cans, newspapers, magazines and your batteries. Reuse it if it's not beyond all hope of saving. Over the years I have adopted all of these practices, trying to lighten my carbon footprint. Only recently, in the past year, have I begun reusing as much as possible. Recycling is a useful practice, but it also uses a lot of energy. If I am taking steps to reduce my carbon footprint, reusing is the way to go.My favorite reusable item is the glass jar. You can use them for most everything. They come in so many different sizes, shapes and colors. I like to use them for storing things like the herbs I grow, which I use for myself and give as gifts in those jars.My homemade milks look very tasty stored in the pickle jars I saved.
I enjoy making my own salad dressings. Storing a lovely maple-mustard viniagrette in a jar that once contained olives is perfect. And what do you do when you need to grind up a spice and you grind too much? Put it in a jar. Do this when you grind too many flax seeds. I even use a glass bottle for taking my water in my lunches.

Wine bottles are perfect vessels for sauces, flavored oils and vinegars.While I don't save every single glass jar and bottle, I save many of them. What I don't save gets recycled. Giving the gift of a dried, homegrown herb in a jar you saved is a lovely gift when you dress it up with a snazzy label and perhaps a bow. Jars are the perfect vessel for holding just about anything. Make your own vanilla extract in those jars, keep some for yourself and give some away as a gift. No one will care if the lid that goes to that jar says Baby Gherkins on it as long as that jar contains something fabulous.

Take these lovely storage jars my grandma gave me, for instance:Who the heck knows how long she's had them, but they are fantastic. If you find yourself in the possession of something like this and you don't want to keep them, take them the Goodwill so I can find them and take them home with me.


VivaciousVegan said...

I also save all of my glass containers, I use my evoo bottles for dressings. I use gallon jars for grains and rices, I think it is cool what you can come up with when you are using glass containers!! I think this post will help people remember that you can reuse glass!!!! Great post!

Melissa said...

"I think this post will help people remember that you can reuse glass"

-Yes! This is exactly what I am hoping for! Glass jars and bottles are such handy receptacles and so many folks forget that. I wish I had gallon sized jars, but I don't think I have ever purchased anything that came in a jar that size.

Vegan Epicurean said...

I reuse glass jars and bottles too. The large jars from Costco are great for storing bulk grains and beans.

Great reminder to everyone to reuse not just recyle.


Vegan Valerie said...

This is so smart! I do recycle my glass at the collection facilities near me. But I could keep a few bottles for myself and use them for my own purposes. Like sprouting! Yes! That's it! I do need a few more jars for this activity and now I know right where to look for them! They were right under my nose the whole time! :D Thank you for helping me think outside the box today, Melissa!

And thank you for all the kind comments you've left for me on my own blog posts. I loved each one! And I just noticed my blog in your blogroll and I am flattered! Maybe I've said all this before, but I don't think it's a bad thing to express appreciation one more time!

You take care, Melissa! Love ya! :)

Mel said...

Ahh, great post! I love to reuse all my glass jars especially for dried fruits,cereal and herbs/spices, too! I think it looks homely and pretty :) I even drink my tea and coffee out of my largest jars- just tastes better! Have a great day!!

Melissa said...

Alicia, it's so good to see so many folks who reuse their glass. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one - those I am in immediate contact with everyday think I am nuts. I just don't get that.

Valerie, thank you for your kind words!

Mel, I have been known to drink even my wine out half-pint mason jars! Makes me feel *almost* Italian!

Jhames Stewart said...

Reusing is indeed a good practice, Melissa. That's what we all can do without shelling out a dime. Like you said, glass containers are great for reusing since they are washable. But we can also be green with the things we buy. Like me and my wife, when we buy wine glasses and candle holders, we only purchase the ones made of recycled glass. Glassware like that are more enticing to buy, right?