One of the big learning curves of becoming zero waste is to find value in what we would normally just throw away. Reusing and repurposing are probable two of the biggest guidelines that anyone trying to live a more sustainable life can do to cut down on their waste and overall footprint.
One of my favorite things to repurpose and reuse time and time again is glass. Glass is one of the best materials to buy things in since the containers are useful for many projects and glass can also be recycled endlessly since the molecular structure and quality isn’t altered from the recycling process.
The stereotypical glass containers that come to mind when people think of the zero waste movement are mason jars. This has led to many people feeling the need to go to a big box store and buying brand new canning jars for use in their home, when in reality, you can amass a collection of your own jars in very little time when you buy products that are packaged in glass.
I personally use my glass for many different purposes, like pots for my new plants, drinking glasses, and storage for foods like granola.
The best jars that I have found are from products that are easily found in most grocery stores.
I use these as a drink glass and bring my tea to class in these jars all the time. The have a kind of oblong shape to them since they are not a perfect circle, but they work great for me.
These stout jars are great for planting some newer plant in or for starting seeds, however, you need to be careful about over watering since there is no drainage hole. You could have some problems with standing water and killing your plants.
From the time I was a child, my family has repurposed the jars from the brand above and used them as drinking glasses. everyone from my grandmother, to my aunt, and my cousins all use these jars. They are really just perfect because they are straight up and down.
Smuckers is probably a more universal brand that can be found just about everywhere, and their jars resemble more of a mason jar in shape, so they are a great thing to buy if you don’t want to go out and buy empty mason jars.
If you aren’t someone who uses jelly a lot, something you could try out is instead of choosing an unhealthy snack, you could just make a piece or two of toast. Then you can butter it and spread some jelly on top of that. My mom personally love this as a snack and even has it sometimes with her dinner.
Pasta Sauce Jars
Pasta jars are nice because they come in a lot more variable sizes than some other products, so if you are looking to amass a bunch of jars that look the same and are just different sizes, pasta jars are usually your best bet (plus it give you an excuse to eat more pasta).
Honestly, you never know what you are going to be able to find in glass packaging unless you do your due diligence and go through your own local grocery store. You may honestly just surprise yourself at what you can find, and definitely don’t be afraid to look high and low for what you want. I only found the Polar brand fruit jars by squatting down low in a Walmart to look at a bottom shelf (no joke, and people sort of looked at me funny, but who cares! Sustainability is important!).
I am also not saying that you have to absolutely find everything that you ever buy ever again in glass. There are some pretty great containers made out of plastic, like peanut butter jars for example. As long as you can make it work for you, then go for it.