April 22, 2010

10 Ways to Reuse Jars

Although I have never considered myself a tree hugger, I try to do my part to help out and make this a better place for everyone.  If you think about it, being thrifty and green living go hand-in-hand.  Thrifty living and environmentally friendly living both involve being conservative, using less, and repurposing and reusing products. 

Within the past few years, I have begun reusing plastic jars. I used to throw them into the recycling bin and then I realized that they weren’t hard at all to clean.  We go through a lot of peanut butter in our house and so I have found all kinds of uses for the jars. 

To clean the jars, fill them with hot soapy water and let them sit overnight.  The next morning dump out the water and rinse them with hot water. The peanut butter that was in the jars will loosen overnight and rinse out fairly easily.  If the peanut butter is still a little stubborn, rinse out the jar, and soak it again with soapy water. 

Here are a few uses for the jars.  Of course, you can use glass jars for some of these ideas too.

1.  Store crayons, markers, and other art supplies. The small peanut butter jars are good for crayons and the large mayonnaise jars work well for markers.

2.  Store dry foods such as rice and beans.

3.  Store nails and screws in your garage.  Those boxes that nails and screws come in are very flimsy.  They break and soon you have the sizes and types of nails mixed. The jars can help keep them all separated in an easy to use and easy to see location.

4.  Store small toys.  My son has a jar with some of his favorite rocks and another jar with his tiny dinosaurs.  My kids know that we reuse the jars and so I sometimes hear, “Mom, when that jar is empty, can I have it?”.

5.  Make a letter sorting activity. Write a letter on each jar and have children sort small items into the correct jar.

6.  Collect your treasures.  Use them to store seashells, rocks, and other bits of nature.  Make a beach in a jar.

7.  Store your beads, buttons, or other craft items.

8.  Use jars as paint containers. This would work well for craft projects or to have some wall touch up paint at easy access.

9.  Collect money.  Use them as banks.  Everyone needs an easy place to collect money.

10.  Use them to store grease and oil. On the rare occasion that I fry food, I need a place to store the used oil. I don’t want to dump it down the drain or pour it into the trash so I pour it into a plastic container and toss it once it’s full.

What are some ways that you reuse jars?


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