One green habit we’ve developed that I’m really proud of is re-purposing (instead of trashing or recycling) food containers. If something we want to buy has different packaging options, we usually choose glass over plastic, even if it costs a little bit more. We have a limited supply of canning jars, and it’s probably better to save those just for canning anyways. Spaghetti sauce jars, in particular, serve as great substitute. They work well for everything from culturing yogurt to storing grains and beans.
Last week we went to Whole Foods and I stocked up on dry black and cannellini beans from the bulk bins. I used my homemade produce bags at the store, and when we got home, the black beans went into a large glass jar (with a re-purposed mayonnaise jar lid) and the cannellini beans went into a re-purposed plastic rice container. No new plastic used!
I also use re-purposed glass jars in the freezer. I try to freeze food in the quantities I need most often. This saves me from having to defrost a ton of something and then scrambling to find ways to use it. I find that re-purposed glass peanut butter jars are the perfect size for storing cooked beans, pumpkin puree and marinara sauce.
Perhaps the most fun use of old food containers is turning them into toys for our African Grey. Why buy expensive toys when a phone book stuffed inside of a Quaker Oats container makes her just as happy?