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10 Ways You Can Help Save the World With Mason Jars

Do some good for Mother Earth with one of these handy ways to upcycle a Mason Jar.

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Empty canning jars await use on a wooden table.Southern Light Studios/Shutterstock

Glass is Far More Sustainable

Plastic products are very common in our modern life. According to The Pacific Institute, “every year we use approximately 1.6 million barrels of oil just for producing plastic water bottles.” Plastic waste is one of many types of wastes that take too long to decompose. Normally, plastic items can take up to 1,000 years to decompose in landfills. But plastic bags we use in our everyday life take 10 to 1,000 years to decompose, while plastic bottles can take 450 years or more. Instead of throwing those plastic bags away, here are 7 ways you can live a more waste-free lifestyle.

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Jar of cereals in kitchen cupboardJack Jelly/Shutterstock

Bulk Shopping to Reduce Single-Use Plastics

Mason jars are a staple at farmers’ markets and for good reasons. Farmers have used them for generations and they eliminate the need for single-use plastics. So much food at grocery stores comes in plastic containers and Mason jars provide a more sustainable container. People who shop for bulk food often resort to bringing their own Mason jars to the grocery store to reduce their waste. Here’s what happened when one of our editors went plastic-free in the kitchen for a week.

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DIY Mason Jar Dish ScrubberFamily Handyman

DIY Mason Jar Dish Scrubber

If you are all about ease and convenience when it comes to washing the dishes, check out this DIY Mason jar dish scrubber. It even has a soap-dispensing handle. First, punch a few nail holes in the jar’s lid. Trace the lid onto a sponge and cut it out. Hot glue the sponge to the inner rim of the screw-on part of the lid. Fill the jar with soap, screw on the sponge and you’re set!

These 25 why-didn’t-I-think-of-that hints for the home cook will help you save time, get organized and work more efficiently in your kitchen.

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Herb Gardenktkusmtku/Shutterstock

Herb Garden

We love Mason jars for a variety of reasons from décor to cleaning purposes but we really like the idea of starting an herb garden with Mason jars. Simply fill the jars with soil, plant your favorite herbs and watch them grow! Tie a tag around the mouth of the jar to keep the herbs straight.

By the way, here’s how to dry your homegrown herbs.

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Single Serving Mealsbonchan/Shutterstock

Single Serving Meals

Mason jars are great for creating single serving meals. You can easily make a salad in one or have a pasta salad. A lot of folks will mix granola and yogurt together for a delicious snack. You’ll help reduce waste by using Mason jars for some of your meals. Check out how to build a salad in a jar without it turning into a soggy mess!

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Leftover food in a glass jarMikhail Valeev/Shutterstock

Store Leftovers

Storing leftovers in an array of containers often turns out to be a game of peek-a-boo when you’re searching for something to eat. But if you store leftovers in clear containers you can make a decision quicker and know if it’s time to throw something out. See why you shouldn’t store your leftovers in aluminum foil.

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Stack of canned foodZigzag Mountain Art/Shutterstock


Canning is an age-old activity for many and it’s still an important activity to help prevent food waste. Around 40 percent of food in the U.S. gets wasted annually so if you can keep some from spoiling, why not! Want to learn how to can? Here’s a terrific primer on the art of canning.

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Drink in a glass jar with a handle and striped straw.Ekaterina Kondratova/Shutterstock


A lot of people like to use Mason jars for beverages of all kinds. Mason jars can be the perfect vessel for an iced tea on a hot summer day or the best container to fit all the ingredients of a Bloody Mary. Here’s where to get the best Bloody Mary in each state.

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Bee Feeder

Bees have been in need of a boost since colony collapses have taken place due to the use of neonicotinoids on plants. Since we need bees to pollinate plants, it’s important to do what we can to increase the population. You can grow bee-friendly plants or create bee feeders from Mason jars.

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Mason Jar Bird Feedervia

Mason Jar Bird Feeder

Mason jars are everywhere! You can build a winter bird feeder using a Mason jar or purchase attachments. These feeders are attractive hanging from trees or plant hooks.

Note: Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman

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