It is fair to say that retail packaging protects from contamination and from damage, but it is also a marketing tool that often clashes with eco-friendly practices. Municipal recycling programs have helped reduce solid waste in landfills while recycled plastic and glass are handled as industrial by-products. It is now up to households to make sustainable choices by restricting their throwaway habits.
How to Save by Buying in Bulk and Recycling Glass as Kitchen Tools
To buy in bulk or in larger quantities reduces waste. And, spices, nuts, dried fruit, or candies sold from lidded bins are cheaper because of the absence of retail packaging, the optimal packaging sustainability.
Spices are usually packaged in pleasing containers nicely lined up on shelves. But, each time a customer needs curry or garlic powder, he buys the container again. Common sense would be to re-fill the original container, and store the remainder in a glass jar, or to recycle a jar holding equal volume.
Glass jars can have many secondary uses. They are convenient for salad dressing recipes, especially for the basic French vinaigrette as all ingredients can be mixed by shaking. Pre-made for several meals, it is a healthier alternative to store-bought dressings. As for the ingredients needed they are part of many other preparations. Furthermore, lids can become liners under the sticky bottles of balsamic vinegar, oil, or syrups, and be eventually recycled.
Other utilisations are up to the imagination. They are shakers to “beat” eggs before cooking, or mix milk and flour for sauces. They hold assortments of beans, cereals, and other soup ingredients. They conserve home-dried herbs. And, attractive liquor flasks become personalized gifts when filled with herb-flavored olive oil.
How to be Creative with Containers from Wholesale Stores
Stores that sell wholesale products utilise plastic containers often as sturdy and smart as any commercial products. The labels, however, are usually a deterrent to re-using. But, a good example is Kirkland mixed nuts at Costco sold in a container with a label cleverly removable.
In the laundry-room, the transparent boxes with colored lids show content such as new or recycled gift-wrap material, left-over wool, buttons, and unusual sewing items. They also store assortments of glues and material for picture-hanging.
In the garage, they hold paint brushes, nails and screws, and other handyman items. Golfers can use them to store small accessories. They also hold crayons, puzzles, and children’s little treasures.
In the bathroom, they are an easily-transportable container for first-aid items. And they will contain hotel toiletries for personal use or donations.
How to recycle Plastic Containers as Garden Accessories
They are light, transparent, versatile, and hold produce. For a neater look the label on the lid can be even painted over. And, the money saved on commercial containers can buy more plants.
Small containers for herbs are perfect storage boxes for flower seeds, or to exchange them. With the lids off, they can be used to winterize potted plants in garages or garden sheds. They are a convenient way to share home-grown fruit or vegetables with family and friends. And they can hold small tools, plant labels, or parts for drip irrigation systems.