Reusing Glass Jars and Bottles to Upcycle
If you have been throwing away glass jars and bottles, it’s time to put that to an end. We’re here to tell you about what upcycling is and how you can put your used glass jars and bottles to good use in your life.
What Does It Mean To Be Zero-Waste?
Being zero-waste represents a commitment to not contributing any extra pollution to the Earth. Instead, a zero-waste lifestyle is based upon preserving materials until they eventually can be recycled, composted, or otherwise broken down naturally.
What Is Upcycling?
Upcycling is a crucial step in being zero-waste because it is all about reusing old items in new and exciting ways. Upcycling gives used items a new life and purpose, meaning that we won’t have to buy or waste as much.
How Can I Reuse My Glass Jars and Bottles?
Due to the durability and timeless aesthetic of glass jars and bottles are great options for storing items of all kinds. This makes glass containers an integral tool in any sustainable organizer’s arsenal.
Storing food items in glass jars and bottles is a beautiful, cost-effective, and eco-friendly way to keep them in good shape. Glass bottles are an incredibly effective means of food storage because you can always see what’s inside.
This can eliminate the need to mark them somehow or write what they’re holding in some cases. However, to avoid the age-old tragedy of mistaking sugar for salt and vice versa, those might be best to label.
Think of foods that traditionally come in jars like peanut butter, jelly, or pickles. Just please don’t put them all on the same sandwich.
These foods can benefit from being contained in reusable glass jars rather than commonly used single-use plastic. This is especially true when making these foods at home. Home-pickled vegetables are already both impressive and delicious, but putting them in a reusable glass jar adds both a rustic charm and a sustainability factor that takes it to the next level.
Glass containers are ideal for growing small plants or herbs in window sills, balconies, or anywhere there is enough sunlight but maybe not enough space for something larger.
These jars provide enough room for a healthy amount of soil and for the plant to grow tall. Then, with the use of more glass jars and plants, a beautiful and totally organic herb garden can be made. Few things taste better than a meal prepared with homegrown fresh herbs. If meal prep ideas are ever hard to come by, consider even having the herbs in your garden inspire a few dinners!
If the plant grows too tall for its glass jar home, it may have to be carefully transported into another planter to continue its journey. Luckily, this is when the glass bottle can become a nursery once more, and more seeds or seedlings can be planted to start the cycle all over again.
There are also several benefits to having fresh plants to care for around the home. They can be therapeutic and have been shown to reduce stress levels in those who interact with them.
Sustainable Gift Packaging
If you do not currently have any uses around the house for a glass jar, but you need a sustainable and aesthetically pleasing package for a gift, look no further. After all, there’s no need for gift wrap when the “wrapping” is actually a part of the gift itself!
Mason jars can be used to house all sorts of more compact gifts, including gift cards, small pictures, or jewelry. Thankfully there are plenty of different sizes of glassware, so there is sure to be something that will fit your present perfectly.
Suppose the minimalist look of a glass jar isn’t what you’re going for. In that case, it can easily be spruced up with the addition of recyclable or biodegradable ribbons, bows, or tissue paper.
Homemade Candle Holders
Glass jars are the perfect container for homemade candles. This is because they can stand up to significant heat without breaking or melting because the material is an excellent insulator. It is possible for heated glass to break due to a phenomenon called thermal shock, but this only occurs if the material is quickly and drastically heated rather than gradually.
Due to the gradual nature of candles and how they melt, a glass jar will have plenty of time to acclimate to the wax’s changing temperature.
Another benefit of using glass to hold handmade candles is that it is, of course, see-through. This means that we get treated to a front-row view of the wax as it melts little by little, and we can watch the flame burn down the wick, an experience that many find calming.
When the candle is nearly done, the translucent glass can be seen to determine exactly how much wax is left. Then finally, when the candle is done, the glass jar can be reused yet again to house a new homemade candle.
We’ve already touched on how the see-through nature of glass containers is a significant asset to any beautiful piece in the home, but allow us to touch on it again. The transition from a glass jar to a glass vase is seamless, and all it takes is to put something vase-worthy in it. The moment a gorgeous bouquet of flowers enters a jar, it stops being a jar and instead becomes a vase. The jury is still out on whether it reverts to a jar when the flowers are out, though.
Using a glass jar as a vase rather than more traditional glassware gives a more rustic, farmhouse-type feel to a space. Where other glass can seem garish or over-the-top, an understated glass jar allows what’s inside to be the star of the show. It always adds to what it holds, never detracts.
Preparing meals in advance is one of the best ways to make busy days a breeze. Whether it’s a day on-the-go, or work is taking up a lot of time, meal prepping is the answer. However, after the cooking (hopefully with your fresh herbs) is done, another issue might just crop up. What’s the best way to preserve it? Yet again, this is where glass containers show up to save the day.
Glass containers are wonderful for storing meals because they don’t take up much space in the refrigerator, and most (newer) jars are dishwasher safe. That being said, it is generally seen as the safest practice to put any metal lids on the top rack while washing.
One of the most common meals to see stored for later in a glass or mason jar is a salad. Salads and mason jars were seemingly made for each other since the tall nature of the jar allows you to stack and see exactly how much of each ingredient you’re putting in. Then, when you’re preparing to eat your meal, shaking the jar to mix the salad together is as easy as pie or salad.
There are still options to store those items in slightly more manageable quantities for those who prefer to do our shopping in bulk (whether for the better prices or to waste less packaging). Using various glass jars is a great technique to have what you need in arm’s reach while still keeping your home tidy and free of clutter.
Anything of a certain size can be stored in a glass container, making them excellent for storing different craft supplies. From buttons to pencils to paper clips and more, the next big DIY craze might just start with a mason jar.
DIY Soap Dispenser
Instead of constantly purchasing new single-use plastic bottles of soap that will just be thrown out when they’re done, a one-time purchase of a glass jar and a jar’s lid with a pump attachment is a much better alternative. The glass is prettier to look at and will fit perfectly in any bathroom or on any shelf, but it also can be continually reused and refilled.
Cylindrical glass bottles are a no-brainer to use as cups around the house. They’re so much more stylish than many other cups on the market (especially plastic ones), are dishwasher safe, and are even recyclable!
Why Does Bite Use Glass Bottles?
We’ve gone over several ways glass jars can be used and reused for new purposes, but in case the reasons Bite uses glass bottles weren’t already clear, we have a few more.
Bite’s glass bottles are refillable for their entire lifetime. Whether they’re filled with a fresh shipment of toothpaste bits or something new altogether, there is always something to put in a glass bottle.
One of our favorite things about glass is that it isn’t plastic. Upwards of 8 million tons of plastic waste ends up polluting our oceans annually, and we knew we couldn’t contribute to that.
Recyclable and Reusable
When the glass bottle eventually reaches the end of its life cycle, it is entirely recyclable. Until that day, we encourage the using and reusing of our bottles for just about any use under the sun,
In addition to being recyclable, glass is also a biodegradable material. Given enough time, our glass bottles will eventually naturally break down into sand.
There are seemingly a million ways to use a glass bottle for greater or at least different purposes. It’s always the simplest solutions that work the best, and there are few things simpler or better than a glass jar.
Interaction With Indoor Plants May Reduce Psychological and Physiological Stress by Suppressing Autonomic Nervous System Activity in Young Adults: A Randomized Crossover Study | National Institutes of Health