If you’re anything like us, you’ve got a dedicated cabinet or drawer in your kitchen that’s proudly holding on to all the glass jars you’ve collected in your quest for zero-waste living - woohoo!
While many of us are already putting our jars to use in the kitchen, it’s easy to forget about these handy helpers when we need a reusable hack. Before long, you may begin to feel like you’re collecting jars just for the sake of collecting.
If this sounds familiar, we’ve got you covered! From whether or not a glass jar is really a more sustainable choice to our 5 favourite glass jar uses, follow along to discover how to put your beloved collection to work!
The Carbon Footprint of a Jar
When it comes to zero-waste, the foundation of the practice is ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’. Of course, with this mantra, it’s easy to wonder if reducing, reusing, and recycling your materials makes them all equal.
While it’s definitely preferable to recycle your plastic over sending it to landfill, there’s a big difference between your glass containers and plastic ones in the recycling facilities.
Let’s take a look at how your glass jars measure up!
The initial impact of making a jar is, in fact,greater than making plastic (more materials and weight involved). While this has been the viewpoint of many manufacturers, the largest difference between glass and plastic is the amount of recyclable material involved.
Plastic bottles and containers can’t be made into more plastic bottles and containers. Wait, what?! What about all those ‘made from recycled plastic’ claims!
Well, believe it or not, only a small portion of plastics can actually be recycled - and from that, the quality of that recycled plastic takes a massive hit.
Each time plastic is processed, it must be downcycled to be reused (that is if it can be recycled at all). Fortunately, glass (along with aluminium) can be recycled an infinite amount of times without losing its integrity. In addition to this, the reduced amount of raw materials needed to reproduce a glass object actually reduces the carbon emissions of recycled glass by 5% or 670kg of CO2 per tonne of glass!
Glass can also be reused far more safely than plastic (and for much longer). This is because the material is much stronger, longer-lasting, and free from dangerous chemicals that may leach into beverages and food.
As you can imagine, each and every reuse of your glass jars then furthers the amount of CO2 savings by eliminating the need for new materials to be processed!
5 Awesome Glass Jar Uses
So now that we know the true positive impact of reusing glass, saving up all those jars is beginning to make a lot of sense! Of course, if you’re scratching your head wondering how you’ll ever reuse your collection, here are a few fun ideas to get you started.
1. Transform Your Decor
When it comes to that esthetic, zero-waste home, glass jars are perhaps one of the most beautiful and sustainable decorations to up the ante of your space.
With just a few little tweaks, your pasta sauce, salsa, or jam jars can be transformed into beautiful outdoor lighting pieces,candles, or vases for your favourite flowers. If you are looking for a more intentional finish, upcycle some twine, reuse a beautiful ribbon, or pick up a glass jar sleeve to fancy up the mouth of your (re)new jar masterpiece!
2. Organise Your Belongings
From your earrings on the dresser to the kid’s crayons, pencils, and crafting goods, glass jars are a great organisational tool to keep your areas looking and feeling fresh.
If the esthetic images of jar-filled pantries aren’t enough to inspire your organisational endeavours, take to the other areas of your home to create low-impact toothbrush holders, spice racks, and more!
3. Help Your Garden Grow
Believe it or not, glass jars can accelerate your indoor and outdoor gardening!
If you love fresh herbs but don’t have the means for an outdoor herb garden, planting yourmost loved flavours in jars on the windowsill is a perfect workaround for any home.
For those outdoor gardens, your reused glass jars can replace expensive glass cloches to protect your budding beauties from pests and insects and create a greenhouse effect to keep your growth warm in the cooler months.
Simply flip the jar over and place it over your sprouting plants to give them a protected environment to grow!
4. Transform Your Takeaway
We all love a good takeaway coffee cup, but purchasing a new cup isn’t necessarily the most sustainable (or affordable) option.
If you’re ready to ditch the single-use cups in favour of a zero-waste alternative, a glass jar will do just the trick!
Worried about the heat or breaking risk? A Saver Sleeve not only protects your hands and your jar but also dresses up your standard-sized jars for a cute and practical coffee cup!
5. Store Your Specialties
From your delicious overnight oats recipe to yourhomemade body lotion, glass jars can store all of your signature substances!
We all know that homemade goodies are the perfect way to avoid chemicals and preservatives, but making a fresh batch of your favourite recipes isn’t always realistic. Luckily, jars make it easy to brew in bulk and save your creations for later.
Safe for the freezer, microwave (remove any aluminium parts), and dishwasher, brewing your kombucha, storing your broths, and displaying your bath salts,laundry flakes, and more has never been easier!
Save the Planet, Reuse a Jar
When it comes down to it, there are infinite ways to reuse a jar! From storage to decorations and everything in between, we can’t wait to see how you’ll put your carbon-saving efforts to work!
Want to get more out of your repurposed jars? Pick up a 100% LFGB approved food-grade silicone SaverSleeve today to transform your jars into a cute and practical container and encourage endless reuse!