Last summer I began saving our glass peanut butter jars instead of recycling them. We now have a ton and use them for, seemingly, everything. These are the wide-mouth 16 ounce jars with metal lids, my favorite being the Hannaford brand organic peanut butter jars, due to the plain white lids; but we instead usually buy the cheaper, but still natural, Teddy peanut butter. And now, due to our attempts at a Paleolithic real foods diet, we’re buying an almond butter that has a plain brass lid that I like as well.
My life seems to have actually become a tiny bit simpler since I began re-using these jars, and we’ve saved the money a years worth of ziplock bags, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and Tupperware would have cost. Besides, I’m sure our bodies are healthier, and that the planet is a little happier. So, I figured I’d share the ways in which we use them. (Not our bodies or the planet. The jars, I mean).
I often fill up jars of water to keep in the fridge because I’ve found–when I was pregnant and trying to remember to drink enough water–that I drink way more when I can just grab a jar from the fridge.
I’ve even used the jars for mixed drinks. Last weekend, for a bbq, my mom brought the rum and I brought some orange juice in a peanut butter jar. We added it together with some lime juice and ice, shook it up, and it tasted great. It was also SO nice to have a lid for my drink–since Fae requires (at least) one and a half hands. I also used peanut butter jars when my husband and I made White and Black Russians to toast my Pepere.
When we go out, to the pool, the park, or the beach, we bring a cooler bag of jars filled with water, sliced cheese, nuts and fruit, or anything else we may want. I realized how silly, but oh so environmentally friendly, it was while packing for the local pool yesterday. And, wow, was the pool amazing. I had no idea it would look like a mini water park. Fae got excited (yelping and kicking her feet) when we turned the corner and got a view of the pool. She had more fun than seems possible for a ten month old, and then passed out on me while nursing.
I have to admit, I was proud of myself for nursing, in a regular bikini, amidst what seemed to be half of the locals of Manchester, comfortably. I feel like the more people who see it–and who see it as a comfortable, natural, part of life–the easier it will be for Fae when she has a little nursling of her own.
And back to the jars:
Water, cut vegetables, fruit, bricks of opened cheese, meat, snacks, etc. etc. We often have half an avocado in a jar in the fridge, and it appears to stay fresher than it did in plastic. We also use the jars for leftovers (in the fridge or freezer) since we don’t, as mentioned, use Tupperware or any plastics for food storage. And all of this saves precious time and energy for me.
When I make greek yogurt, I end up with three jars of yogurt and one jar of whey.
I also keep a portion of our powder laundry detergent in a jar, with a tablespoon, downstairs by the washing machine; and also, hundreds of plastic snaps for my cloth diapers and other craft supplies find a home in them. They’re also great for storing bulk foods, baking ingredients and bulk herbs, or even to use as a flower vase, measuring cup, or coin jar.
With our plethora of lids, I always have some kitchen toys for Fae. She likes to hold a lid in one hand, and clap her other hand on it like a hand drum or tambourine. She also likes to just let loose and fling lids in all directions. And–this is cute–when she sees me with a jar of water, she kicks her legs and makes her “I really, really want that” sound (sort of an “Ahh” mixed with “Ehh?”) until I let her have some sips.
So we use all of our saved peanut butter jars, and we’re still saving more. I also have a few larger and smaller glass jars that are useful. Actually, when I’m buying anything that comes in glass, I not only look at the ingredients, but the aesthetics of the jar as well. I just love the ways in which I can make life a little simpler for my family, freeing up time for what’s truly important to us–time together.
Fae is playing with her some of her toys on the floor next to me. She’s shaking her maraca saying “Ahhhh.” We have the Neverending Story on, and Jared was just wondering why such a blue-collar man would have married a woman named “Moonchild.” I think I might dress Fae up as “Moonchild” some time.