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Why We Have to Cease Throwing Away Empty Jars (and the Finest Methods to Upcycle Them)


Yearly, the US produces round 268 million tons of waste. It generates extra waste than every other nation on this planet, however it’s not a title to be pleased with. Most waste goes to landfill or will get incinerated, each of that are extremely pollutive and environmentally damaging waste administration options.

Bounce to the listing

Some states try to make progress on the problem. In California, for instance, Gov. Gavin Newsom lately signed off on adjustments to a bottle recycling regulation, which goals to cut back the quantity of plastic and glass headed to landfills.

The difficulty of waste administration depends on authorized and company intervention. However, that mentioned, there are small issues that people can do to cut back waste at house. Upcycling, for instance, is a enjoyable and simple technique to preserve some objects from ending up within the trash for longer. And if you happen to’re seeking to get in on making essentially the most out of easy objects, we propose beginning with empty jars.

Why we have to cease throwing away empty jars

Glass jars and bottles are straightforward to recycle, however provided that the infrastructure to recycle them is in place. Based on one report launched in 2023, glass in Massachusetts and different northeastern states is utilized in landfills and development tasks. That is largely as a result of they depend on single-stream recycling methods, the place the glass is blended in with different recyclables so it turns into soiled and is not appropriate for recycling.

This downside has been rumbling on for years. In 2019, an article in Chemical & Engineering Information, titled “Why glass recycling within the US is damaged,” reported that whereas Individuals eliminate 10 million metric tons of glass yearly, solely round one-third of that truly will get recycled. 

Upcycling an empty glass jar right into a pencil holder isn’t going to repair this downside, however it’s going to lower down on the quantity of glass waste your family produces. And it’ll make you’re feeling good, too, particularly if you happen to make the method enjoyable and artistic. So, if you wish to repurpose your empty jars (and it is best to!), listed below are seven methods to get began.

7 methods to repurpose these empty glass jars

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1 Use them as further kitchen containers

With air-tight seals, jars preserve meals objects recent, making them splendid for pantry staples. Bigger jars can develop into a brand new house for dried macaroni, for instance, or you possibly can fill them up with cocoa, rice, or quinoa (further factors if you happen to head to a plastic-free retailer to high them up!). You can additionally flip them right into a deal with jar, and fill them up together with your favourite sweet, popcorn, or cookies (Kardashian fashion). You’ll be able to even design your personal labels, too, if you happen to really feel like getting artful.

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2 Arrange your desk

You don’t have to make use of further jars are kitchen storage in any respect. When you’ve cleaned them out, they make for excellent desk organizers and may develop into a brand new house for pens, pencils, paper clips, mini post-it notes, and anything you prefer to preserve available in your WFH workplace. Plus they’ll prevent cash on further stationary pots and trays, too. For those who’re arty, you too can use them to retailer your paint provides, too.

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3 Pack salads into them

We love Tupperware, however if you happen to’re go-to containers are in any other case engaged (for instance, retaining all your leftovers recent within the fridge), an empty jar makes an awesome container for an on-the-go salad. Fill it like this: dressing first, adopted by your favourite salad greens, after which substances like rice and vegan cheese. Whenever you get to the workplace, or wherever you’re having lunch, seize a bowl and tip the jar the wrong way up. That’s it! Your yummy lunch awaits. 

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4 Make your personal jams or chutneys

For those who like to get artistic within the kitchen, preserve your outdated empty jars available to retailer issues like home made jams and chutneys (we love this recipe for Vegan Bourbon Bacon Jam, for instance!). They double as nice vacation or birthday items for family and friends, particularly if you happen to spend a while making cute label designs.

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5 Get pickling

Pickling is straightforward to do at house, particularly when you’ve gotten loads of empty jars helpful. Merely fill them up together with your favourite greens, something from basic cucumbers to carrots or beets, earlier than including brine, spices, and herbs, after which depart them to ferment for a number of weeks. The result’s a gut-healthy, deliciously tangy ingredient to cook dinner with. For extra on the advantages of fermented meals and pickling, discover our information right here

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6 Construct a terrarium

Terrariums are an awesome, low-maintenance technique to carry a little bit little bit of nature into your own home, and so they’re straightforward to make, too, particularly you probably have a big empty jar available. It’s essential to start out with a layer of small rocks for drainage, earlier than including layers of activated charcoal and potting soil. After that, add in small crops, like succulents and moss, and prepare them within the soil, earlier than sealing it shut with the lid. Congratulations, you’ve created a mini ecosystem! For extra on the best way to create and keep a terrarium in an empty jar, comply with this information from Kew Gardens.

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7 Upcycle them into cocktail glasses

A unusual, enjoyable technique to upcycle outdated empty jars is to make use of them as cocktail glasses. They’re enjoyable to sip from, however as a result of they arrive with a lid, additionally they double up as shakers, too. Merely pour in all your substances, scoop in some ice, screw on the lid, and have enjoyable shaking it round. Subsequent, take away the lid, pop in a straw, and also you’re able to go. Discover a few of our favourite vegan cocktail and mocktail recipes right here!

For extra on recycling, learn:



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