There are some things that it helps to initially invest in when beginning a zero waste lifestyle, yet there are other things that you can reuse that work perfectly in the meantime. Glass jars have become a simple reusuable solution that I use in at least five different ways as I continue my zero waste journey. I pretty much use glass jars for everything!
1. Bulk Foods/Pantry Storage
I would love to have one of those pantries where everything coordinates. Yet as of now I have not invested in more glass containers specifically used for the pantry. Instead I have been reusing the glass jars (as pictured above) that I already have, or that previously contained something purchased from the store. Using random glass jars for bulk goods may not create the ideal looking pantry, but they do the job divinely, and since reused cost nothing.
2. Water Bottle/Smoothie Jar
I used to feel a tiny bit self conscious carrying my water in a glass jar, but now I don’t even think twice about it. I do the same when I make a smoothie and plan to take it with me versus drinking it at home. There are times when glass may not be the best option, and a stainless steel water bottle would be best. Still once again reusing a basic glass jar as a water bottle or for a smoothie simply works.
I plan on purchasing stainless steel food containers specifically for packing lunches, storing leftovers, or for putting any remaining food in when eating out versus using a to-go container. Well until I finally decide on which stainless steel food containers to buy, using my trusty glass jars will continue to work for all of the above.
4. Herbal Infusions & Other DIY Recipes
Whether steeping herbs in oil, vinegar, floral hydrosol, or water, using a glass jar works the best. You can read about creating herbal oils, infusing apple cider vinegar, and even find a simple DIY beauty mist recipe here on Minimalist Beauty. I also reuse glass jars to store any other DIY beauty recipes I create.
5. Carry Snacks
Because I tend to keep and reuse glass jars of all sizes, I sometimes use the smaller jars to place snacks in which easily fit into my bag when I’m on the go. Dried fruits, fresh chopped fruit, veggies, trail mixes, etc. can all be placed in small glass jars to transport snacks. I do use my small organic cotton produce bags for this purpose as well.
The five R’s of living a zero waste lifestyle are to Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot. Refusing wasteful packaging with products especially plastic is necessary to have a positive environmental impact. When I can’t refuse packaging all together, I look for an alternative packaged in glass. Glass can be sterilized and reused with great ease. Glass is also extremely easy to recycle.
Read more on my zero waste journey. How do you reuse glass jars?
(Image by Dawn Michelle)