Jars of Renewal

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What to do with all those jars? Tempe doesn’t recycle glass in my neighborhood, so I’m often scratching my head in my kitchen trying to figure out how to put yet another perfectly good glass jar into use instead of into the trash. Let’s just say after several months of research, I’ve got a plan. If you are interested in a Fall craft and art series that will help tame the craziness that is holiday gift-giving, stay tuned. Start saving your jars and lids of all sizes. This week, wash them with hot water and rinsing them in a cold water and vinegar mixture will get them squeaky clean. Next week, we’ll get cooking.

“To cherish what remains of the earth and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.” — Wendell Berry


29 Replies to “Jars of Renewal”

  1. Sounds fun! 🙂 Hum. I don’t have any jars. I take my recycalables (is that a word?) to my parents every week. Thankfully, their neighborhood recycles glass. I’ll see what I can scrounge up. You have me curious!

  2. Aw, man: My husband told you about the jar shelf, didn’t he? 😉

    I’ve been saving jars because I feel so wasteful throwing them away (we don’t have glass recycling in our neighborhood, either), but I have no idea what to do with them. Bring it, Sister!

  3. Oooh, I’m excited.
    I was thinking of putting some jars filled with candy corn and candles on my front porch steps at Halloween, but your idea sounds even better.
    Also, no glass recycling? Crazy!

  4. They don’t recycle glass? That is random. For some reason, my trash company will recycle newspaper, but not cardboard. Grrrr. Anyway – I’ll be waiting with my glass jars!

  5. Luckily, in Chandler they accept everything. My boss lives in North Scottsdale and they don’t recycle glass, either. So, he puts it in a box and every 2 weeks I bring it home.

    Give us a hint!

  6. Tucson recycles glass, thank goodness, but I still try to use glass jars when I can. I’ve bee using them to store things like small toys (marbles, magnets, jacks) and for food storage for spices, flours, nuts, etc – that I buy bulk. Can’t wait to see what you stir up and put in these jars!

  7. Ooooh, I like it! Time to go dig through the recycling bin.

    (for the record, I put anything recyclable in the recycling bin. I figure its out of my hands, and if the recycling center wants to throw it away, it’s on their conscience.)

  8. We have glass recycling here, but you have to take it to the recycle center directly. We save a lot of the jars anyway – they’re great for all kinds of little kitchen purposes. Will be fun to see your idea for them!

  9. I am excited! Our city doesn’t recycle glass either, so I am always saving jars for various reasons but not always using them. This will be a lot of fun! 🙂

  10. I’ve been saving my jars in anticipation of giving homemade snack mixes at Christmas time. Can’t wait to see what you’ve got planned!

  11. Frank is making a bookshelf in which the lids of the jars are screwed to the bottom of each shelf. You can then put items in the jars and screw into the lid. It’s hanging art and storage.

  12. I have a stack that I was saving for our grocery store, but I think I’ll hold on to them now. Our local “whole foods” type grocery store takes plastic yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese type containers as well as glass jars with lids, and they sterilize them. Then, they put them out on shelves in the bulk section so you can fill them with vanilla or oil or honey or whatever. It’s a pretty awesome system.

    But I’m all about holiday gift giving! Bring on the project!!!

  13. The answer is simple, make them into Christmas presents.
    You love to cook right? Well, make up mixes for cookies, muffins, whatever..and put them into the clean jars with a recipe on how to make the item the ingrediants are meant for.

    Then just put a small square of cloth around the lid, once it’s on the jar, and tie a ribbon around it with a tag for the recipe and directions.

    Another thing to put in jars is herbed vinegars and oils. Then put on the cloth and ribbon, and voila, useable present.

    One more use for jars which I use often is a storage container. My son’s collection of sea shells went in one while pens and pencils go in another on the shelf. I’ve also used them as a “piggy bank” for loose change.

    You can also get etching cream and make etched glass jars. It’s easy to do and you can get this at Micheals at the craft section.

  14. i’d suggest taking up canning. my roommates did it this past year when we found a load of jars in the house. to be honest when they first started doing it i thought of you. i never did it myself. i was more of the observation & moral support in the process, but it was still fun.

    thanks for your comment. i means a lot to know that people still check out my site sometimes. i’m probably going to make another update this weekend.

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