Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Simple Changes: Glass Bottles Instead of Plastic
Like many others, we are trying to change some of our basic habits, for varying reasons of frugality, practicality, sustainability, and simplicity.
I'm slow to change, but I want the good changes to be lasting.
Sometimes I think I'm way behind the curve in comparison with others who have either been living differently than we have for a longer time, or who are just more savvy overall. But I am inspired by seeing ways in which we can continue to improve, and I'm heartened to see that these changes often come in very small packages. Sometimes, it's the little things that add up in the bigger picture.
My Grandma and Grandpa lived simply and well. Many of the changes we've adopted in the past, or simply habits, have been a result of remembering how my grandparents lived. I've noticed that same sensibility in other folks' writings on the web...a longing for the way our forbears did things...simply. Sometimes "simple" means carving out time differently and slowing down to do something that initially takes longer, but produces a better product or saves money. Sometimes it's just a different way of looking at the same set of challenges and applying the widsom of our elders.
At any rate, I'm starting a series here of small changes we're making that we're trying to incorporate as habits. This is open to everyone, and if you have one you'd like to include, I'm happy to post it here as well :)
Small Changes: Glass Bottles Instead of Plastic
This is something my Grandma did. She saved glass jars of every sort.
Selecting store items packaged in glass not only cuts down on plastic in landfills, but is a better all-round reuseable storage solution for anything small. I like to use mine for storing dried pantry items such as pastas, rice, seeds, nuts, etc. They are also great for organizing nails or screws, buttons, office supplies, and sewing items.
I have to wash my jars a couple of times, and often I'll just leave the label on. If you need the label off, it'll take some soaking in hot water and possibly working the sticky glue off with a soft scrub pad. These are some jars after their first washing...
I have a friend who uses Mason jars for hearty drinking glasses. She rinses a few clean jars with water, and while still damp, puts them on an empty shelf in her freezer. Her husband works really enjoys any beverage in those icy cold frozen Mason jars when he comes in from his long, hot, days as a painter. They are really refreshing!
They are also fun for projects with children, whether as temporary housing for interesting insects, storage for found rocks (I loved collecting those with my Grandpa!), or for making sand art by layering different colors of sand or soil and then making designs by running a broomstraw down the sides for different effects.
What do you use your glass jars for?