Author Topic: What to do with glass jars/bottles?  (Read 6500 times)

swick

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What to do with glass jars/bottles?
« on: October 12, 2012, 09:12:46 AM »
Hello Everyone!

Inspired by the "throw away 100 things challenge" I would like to pick your brains for some mustachian things to do with glass jars and bottles. Our town does not have glass recycling, the nearest is just about a 3 hour drive away. We don't like the chemicals in cans, so we end up with tons of glass sitting in our basement because I can't bring myself to add them to the landfill.

I have stored everything in jars that I can possibly think of, but I need some more ideas! Anyone have some crafty/creative/mustachian uses for glass food jars and bottles?

KulshanGirl

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Re: What to do with glass jars/bottles?
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2012, 09:19:39 AM »
Do you have bulk items in your local stores?  You can bring in jars and weigh them before you fill them up (tare weight) and then use them for your bulk items.  Save some plastic baggies!  Also, maybe give them away to a crafty person on freecycle. Or post on CL to see if there is someone who is a gung-ho recycler that makes that trip sometimes and see if they'll take yours a bit at a time with them?

swick

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Re: What to do with glass jars/bottles?
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2012, 09:58:27 AM »
All great Ideas:) Our local store doesn't have a bulk section:(

I have given away about as much as the town can use, I'm not the only one with this problem.

I will try and see if anyone is going down who would be willing to take some to recyling, I have been asking around but most of the comments are "I've given up, they go to the dump now"

I am making some very cool transparent colored jars with food dye and mod-podge glue for our wedding centerpices this summer, but I still have an abundance.

Does anyone use those mason style jars that pasta/tomato sauce comes in for canning? I have read not to because while they say they are mason jars they are much thinner glass and not actually meant to be reused.

kdms

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Re: What to do with glass jars/bottles?
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2012, 10:10:01 AM »
Re-using jars for canning purposes is possible, depending on how you intend to process the food you put in them.  For example, there's a lot of different pickle/tomato/jam recipes that don't need to be processed, so as long as the jars can be preheated and the food goes in hot, they can self-seal without using a water or pressure canning bath.  (I do this a lot with pickles in small batches.)  I don't personally worry too much about the glass thickness (unless it really is a thin jar) and have reused store jars for water bath canning.  If one ends up shattering in the pot (I've never seen it, but it doesn't mean it's impossible) then so be it; at least it's contained and under water....  I wouldn't reuse a store jar for pressure canning...not brave enough to experiment with that much potential pressure.

As long as you can get a proper seal and lid, I don't see a real problem reusing the jars.  Bear in mind that if it was tomato sauce (or something else) in the jar originally, that jar has been processed to get the original seal -- so it should be strong enough to be sealed again, in theory!  :)

michaelrecycles

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Re: What to do with glass jars/bottles?
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2012, 01:57:14 AM »
Round up your fellow "jarheads." Pressure the local haulers or government to include glass in the recycling program. Or maybe the grocer will accept source-separated glass and have their suppliers back-haul it.

Jack

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Re: What to do with glass jars/bottles?
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2012, 07:39:45 AM »
FYI: Sadly, jars of Classico brand pasta sauce have just switched from Mason-style screw threads to the other style (I can't remember what it's called) that most other glass-jarred products come in, making them less reusable than they were before.

PJ

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Re: What to do with glass jars/bottles?
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2012, 08:40:58 AM »
What about building a bottle wall? 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bottle_wall
 
I'm not necessarily talking about building yourself a new futuristic house like those pictured in the thread, but if you have some garden property around your house, maybe it would benefit from some low walls to serve as windbreaks, architectural elements, etc.  And if you do build a new futuristic house out of bottles, then please do post pics!

TomTX

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Re: What to do with glass jars/bottles?
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2012, 03:39:03 PM »
I buy bulk herbs, spices and loose tea online - I can get 1 lb of spice for the same price as 1-2oz locally. As a bonus, 90% of the time my online spices are much fresher.

However, they arrive in cellophane bags.

I transfer them to glass jars. This does a much nicer job of keeping them fresh and sealing in the flavor/odor.  Trust me, having a pound each of freshly dried peppermint and spearmint is FRAGRANT! The curry and garam marsala are a close second! Plus the oils are leaching into the plastic (the plastic discolors in short order.)

Also - when you make bulk batches of sauces, soups, pasta, chili - you can put this week's portion into the glass jars for storage in the fridge, and for taking to work.

In the workshop - store screws in one or two, then different nails in a few. Use one for those loose drill bits. Use one for zip-ties. Use one for computer screws. Whatever misc small stuff you have. Protip: Attach the lids to the UNDERSIDE of a shelf or board just above eye level. Your jars will be suspended at eye level, so you can easily spot what you're looking for. Just twist the jar to attach/detach. Plus, you never misplace the lid.

Okay, you made your Moustachian bulk buys of oil, soy sauce, whatever at Costco. Transfer a "current use" volume  into narrow-mouth glass bottles using a funnel (ie - one oil bottle, one soy sauce bottle, one whatever bottle.) Much easier than pulling out the gallon jug of oil every time I cook, and easier to pour exactly the amount I want to use.

Mrs MM

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Re: What to do with glass jars/bottles?
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2012, 08:38:44 PM »
Sorry I didn't read all the comments, but do you have kids?

If you do, then the majority of our glass jars (with lids) are used for making potions.  Then, you have to keep them a long time and put them on display, of course.  You can go through a lot of glass jars that way!

You could use them as a tupperware substitute as well.

If they are colored, you could break them and make a glass tile mosaic somewhere...

Maybe you could use them for plants/flowers or candle holders?

This page has some neat ideas too, if you're feeling crafty: http://www.oh-lovely-day.com/2011/05/diy-10-diy-mason-jar-wedding-ideas.html

swick

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Re: What to do with glass jars/bottles?
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2012, 09:01:25 PM »
Hello Everyone!

Thanks for the inspiration and ideas:) I LOVE the idea of a bottle wall, alas we are renting at the moment. We also don't have anywhere in town we can buy bulk items, but I was recently given a vacume sealer attachment that is suppose to work with Mason jars, so I am looking forward to using some more for food storage.

No kids, although I'm the coordinator and program director for an Arts Centre...So I am loving all the crafty ideas!

carolinakaren

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Re: What to do with glass jars/bottles?
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2012, 05:59:44 PM »
I've reused glass jars like Mrs MM did in place of tupperware.  I also like using them to organize makeup brushes, tubes of moisturizer, etc. in my bathroom drawers.  I read the comments very quickly, but did anyone mention jars as a way to dress up inexpensive candles?  You know the votive size that don't come packaged with a holder of some type?  It's a nice way to dress up the house for a party if the jar isn't too big.

CNM

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Re: What to do with glass jars/bottles?
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2012, 06:06:39 PM »
If other people in your town have the same problem, maybe it's a business opportunity?  You can charge people to recycle their glass for them and then when you have a large amount, make the long trip.

Tradies wife

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Re: What to do with glass jars/bottles?
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2012, 08:07:22 PM »
I've been known to buy jars from the op shop. But have saved a heap from cooking.
- Smaller jars with metal lids. Chutney, tomato sauce, jams and lemon butter.
- Big coffee jars with plastic lids. http://www.shinyhappyart.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/120610-3-jars-emergency-cookies1.jpg Thinking Christmas presents. Emergency cookies.
- Salad in a jar for lunches..... been meaning to do some of these.
- Small 125g cream cheese jars (ok, I have worked at the Kraft factory) were washed up and used as candle holders and bombonarises for our wedding. Some colored stones, stickers and a tea light candle = cute little gift.
- Make up some play dough and give as a gift with some play dough laminated sheets, instructions on how to make them on the jar covered in a little contact (plastic wrap stuff). Playdough mats - http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&noj=1&biw=1024&bih=632&site=webhp&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=playdough+mats&oq=playdough+mats&gs_l=img.1.0.0l6j0i5l4.276439.280357.0.282472.14.14.0.0.0.0.235.2136.5j1j8.14.0...0.0...1c.1.5Mz7NGvhgLs
- Make your own finger pain kit, using the jar to mix the contents in so that the person receiving the gift can make up 3-4 jars of color. Add some paint brushes and a pad of paper for a cute gift.
Here is the finger paint recipe http://lajollamom.com/2010/12/home-made-finger-paint-recipes-kids-crafts/
- Grow your own sprouts kit for kids (or big kids to grow alfalfa or other sprouts). http://www.backyardnature.net/simple/alf-spr.htm

If all else fails donate them to charity, so mad people like me can pick them up and turn them into 'stuff'. Hope there is enough ideas here to get you thinking.