You don’t have to preserve food to develop a collection of jars. If you’re already trying to avoid plastic and cans, or if you do a lot of shopping in the natural food aisles, you’re probably recycling a lot of them. Next time you finish that jarred pasta sauce, soup, jam, nut butter, or your neighbour’s homemade red pepper jelly, don’t toss the jar! Soak it in soapy water to peel off any labels, wash the insides thoroughly, and you have a world of possibilities. Here are 6 practical ways to use jars in your home, without just adding to the clutter.
Candle holder. Conventional scented candles are not good for your indoor air quality. Skip the chemicals, and fill jars with sand, rocks, or Epsom salts and a tea light. Add some essential oil for fragrance if you wish, or make your own beeswax candles (I’m hoping to try this for the holidays this year – if you try it, let me know how it works!).
Vase. Add a ribbon around the moth of the jar, and you’ve got a simple, yet attractive vase for fresh, dried, or silk flowers. Perfect for an instant (and cost effective!) pop of colour on a window sill, mantle, or bookshelf. I recently received an arrangement from a florist with a natural jute ribbon – it was beautiful!
Leftovers and Baby food storage. Jars are excellent for freezing, and unlike plastic you don’t have to wait for food to cool before putting it in. In fact, if you put food in warm, put on the lid, and let cool, it will form a tighter seal. Let cool before putting into the fridge or freezer to help save energy. If you’re freezing liquids, don’t forget to leave room at the top for expansion.
Soap dispenser. You can get pump attachments to turn your mason jars into soap dispensers – how cool is that?! I got mine from Grassroots (www.grassrootsstore.com).
Bulk storage. From food to DIY cleaner ingredients, jars are a great way to keep things air tight. Some smaller bulk stores will also let you bring your own containers to fill up – so use your jars to eliminate those little plastic bags (just have the cashier weigh your jar before filling).
Drinking glasses. Water, coffee, beer… no need to spend money on specialty glasses when you’ve got a collection of mason jars! Check out the cool accessories like cuffs and smoothie lids by Mason Bar Company too.
What are your favourite ways to repurpose jars?