Monday, October 3, 2011

Jars: Minimizing Plastic Use

Uses for jars:

1.  Use glass jars (I use canning jars and clean glass peanut butter jars) to store leftovers, dried foods, herbs, etc.

2.  Glass jars make great receptacles for stashing craft supplies.  We use them to sort Lego pieces when working on a large project.  (I know.  Lego is plastic!)

3.  Small glass jars (like old vitamin bottles) can be refilled with small amounts of lotion, or a small amount of baking soda or mineral make-up for a pick-me-up while traveling.  I also use a small jar to bring along a day's supply of nutritional supplements.

4.  Large jars are great for holding spoons, spatulas, and other cooking tools.

5.  Jars can be used in decorating.  I decorate with them in the following ways:

*Fill them with marbles, shells, beads, or other pretty items.
*Use them instead of vases to hold flowers.
*Fill it with potpourri.
*Use it to display photographs.  I use a large canning jar filled with pretty potpourri.  I then slipped two pictures of my children between the glass and the potpourri. 

6.  Use a jar to make tea.  I find that one (washed) peanut butter jar holds two very nice cups of tea.  The jar cover is a bonus because it helps in the brewing process and prevents summer bugs from dropping into my tea before I have a chance to drink it.

7.  Jars are great for picnics.  They can hold food or can be used instead of paper or plastic cups.  When people leave the table, they can save their drinks by covering them with the lids.  No more bugs in the lemonade!

Other Jar Tips:

1.  Choose wide-mouthed jars for food storage.  I find these easier to use and to clean.
2.  Rather than saving every glass jar I use, I only reuse glass peanut butter jars.  That way, I have uniformly sized jars and tops.
3.  Canning jars are great, but it was a pain to deal with their lids and bands.  I solved my problem by having two small dishes in my cupboard.  One is for the large lids and one is for the small lids.  In the cupboard above these, my husband affixed two brackets onto which I can slide the bands. 

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