Gently moving your kitchen ways towards a less wasteful existence can be as simple as using jars. To house your dry pantry supplies, encourage bulk shopping, hold leftovers, make dressings in…the humble jar can be the first step into reducing disposable plastic in your kitchen. Yes, its all too easy to be seduced by the styled kitchen pantries full of artfully arranged glass jars all serene in their uniformity, and fill your online cart with a plethora of new and gleaming sets. But we must resist the urge to throw the baby out with the bath water and look to what we have right in front of us. Products that come in glass jars are still a very accessible commodity on our supermarket shelves and cost far less to both our pockets and the planet than purchasing brand new, empty ones; upcycling is always the best option. On your next shopping trip consider some of these ideas:
- Favour glass jars over plastic ones when shopping for condiments. Most of what you’re purchasing can be bought in glass if you spend a few extra seconds perusing the shelves. It’s a great way to add to your jar collection and it makes your dollar work that little bit harder.
- Be mindful of different sizes and be prepared to upsize on your olive purchase for example, if you need a certain sized jar for storing your granola.
- Scour op shops/thrift stores for jars and glass containers (or ask your friends/relatives/workmates). A mish mash of different shapes and sizes will create an authentic and homely aesthetic far more than any perfect matching “shop bought” set ever could.
- Simply soak your labels off in a sink of hot water. The residue can then be scuffed off with a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a cloth. A little bicarb soda can be sprinkled on with the oil for particularly stubborn glue.
- Get creative with labelling. String and a piece of upcycled cardboard is more than adequate as is a simplicity of white permanent pen etched straight onto the jar. We use brown paper with nothing more than a swipe of glue to hold it in place.
- Think outside the box…well, jar. Leftover casserole in a jar makes the perfect lunch snack for tomorrow. And those greens that languish in a flat container keep full of vim and vigour when packed loosely into a big glass storage container perched in full view on the top shelf of the fridge.
- Jars are the perfect vessel for gift giving. A homemade bath soak, a ball of lavender scented play dough for a little one or a herb infused salt in a jar are heartfelt and gentle on the environment. A gift of soup in a large jar will always be welcomed with open arms and without the burden of washing and returning your container, the kindness is doubled.
- Keep a box under the sink or in the laundry to house those extra jars that you don’t need just yet. I promise you that the perfect use will show itself in due time.