(one of our kitchen cupboards with glass storage containers)
In our house, its always exciting to come up with creative ways to reuse items which would normally be expected to be recycled. We love to recycle or reuse items, and for me, mamie (French for “mom”) the homemaker, I enjoy reusing glass containers. All it takes is some creativity. Recycling has been, I guess you could say, part of my nature as it’s been nurtured in me and my siblings. Growing up during difficult financial times, we learned to live within our means and to learned to make-do with what we had. I can honestly say I feel truly blessed for having lived in those circumstances, however difficult it was at the time as it is helping us now. My father, an upholsterer by trade, wouldn't think twice to pick up an old couch on the side of the road and reupholster it for our household.
About five or six years ago, we decided to do away with plastic containers and replace them with glass. After reading on the possible dangers of plastic leaching, we decided to move toward storing our food goods in glass containers. At the time I had many mason jars and without wanting to spend extra money, the mason jars were put to good use. About a few years ago, I started purchasing artichokes which are stored in a 32 ounce jar, and being bigger than the quart size mason jars, I opted to use those instead. Opening the lids is always a challenge but I don't mind living with a few dented lids. Taking the label off the jar does take some time, but it’s for a good cause. Good stewardship sometimes takes some sacrifice but its well worth it.
If you've got some extra jars that need to be used or you are considering switching over from plastic storage to glass storage containers, here are a few ideas which we use in our home. Using jars for canning is a given.
1. Glass salad dressing containers with appropriate spout: Reuse for homemade salad dressing
2. Quart size or one gallon glass containers: soaking/prouting grains, beans, etc. or making sour dough starter
3. One gallon glass juice bottles: used to hold oils which are purchased in plastic containers. We use it for olive oil as well as grape seed oil
4. Small glass spice containers: Reuse when purchasing spices in bulk
5. Mason jars or bigger jars: storing grains, rice, beans, spices, raw honey, maple syrup, herbal loose tea
6. Glass milk quart jars: we used these very often as water bottles and also cold herbal teas. This may be more appropriate for older children and adults.
7. Pint Size containers: Storing sewing supplies such as buttons
8. Baby Food Jars: I’ve used those to store vegetable and fruit seeds, also storing homemade toothpaste
9. Tall containers: flower vase
10. Pint size jars: Storing homemade raw almond nut butter, homemade jams. (check out our recipe for both here)
11. Glass vitamin bottles: we capsule many of our herbal supplements which we store in the bottles
(recycled glass vitamin bottles with our capsuled herbal supplements)
I know there are many more ways to reuse glass containers. If you have different ways which you and your family benefit from, please share. I would love to hear your ideas whether it’s for storage or otherwise. For example who has used glass containers as indoor gardens?