Ever since I read The World Without Us, I have been a bit obsessed with cutting as much plastic out of my life as possible. Intellectually, I have always known how bad plastic is, but for some reason, this book really drove the message home. One thing that I have discovered, is how easy it is to replace most of your plastic leftover storage with glass jars.
The wonderful thing about the glass jars is that they’re usually free. The next time you make spaghetti, just rinse the jar out and put it into the dishwasher. It’s amazing how quickly you will build up a good-sized collection.
The only downside is spooning the food into the jar. Sometimes it can be messy, because the mouth is narrower than most plastic containers. I have two solutions for that problem. The first, and easier, is to use a spoon that is slightly smaller than the opening, that way food won’t dribble down the sides. The second, is to use a canning funnel. This is a funnel that has a wider mouth, and is used to pour homemade jams into jars. You really don’t need one to make this work, but if you found a cheap one, it might be worth it.
The upside of using glass jars is enormous. My plastic containers don’t last all that long, so over my entire life, I imagine that I would go through quite a bit of them. Each one is going to be around for tens of thousands of years, leaching nasty chemicals into our environment, and getting eaten by unsuspecting animals.
Also, little known is that these containers usually have chemicals in them that are know or suspected to cause all sorts of health problems. We didn’t evolve with the ability to handle these chemicals because we have created them only recently. Glass jars don’t have this problem. Glass is nonreactive, and won’t add any unsavory chemicals to your food. This alone I think makes it worthwhile to make the switch.
Past posts on sustainability: