There are so many uses for the Mason jar other than just using for pickling sauces and jams. Cathy Isom tells you about the common household item you may already have that will have thinking twice about ever using plastic again. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
From: One Green Planet
by Malorie Macklin, contributing author to Green Planet
As our everyday lives become inundated with plastic, we are overwhelming pressed to weigh the short-term conveniences with the long-term burdens this waste leaves us with. Plastic is quite a pesky little monster, sneaking into nearly every aspect of life. It’s at the grocery store in the form of bottles, plastic bags, and plastic containers that hold our food and beverages. It’s what you carry your groceries home in. It’s part of your daily beauty ritual, housing your lotions, cosmetics, hair care, and the like. And that’s just where plastic sits on the surface of everyday life – if you really look hard enough, you’ll find that plastic has firmly wedged itself into so many (too many!) aspects of your everyday routine.
And the damage that our plastic lifestyles are having is not going unnoticed. Roughly a trillion plastic shopping bags are used every year worldwide. An estimated 50 billion plastic water bottles are used in the United States alone every year. And that plastic isn’t going anywhere soon. A plastic cup may take 50-80 years to degrade. A plastic bottle may take up to 1,000 years to do the same. But before any of that plastic has a chance to “go away,” it’s going out to the ocean at the rate of 8 million tons a year. And once in the ocean, it’s free to harm animals like sea turtles, whales, and birds.
The answer to this plastic problem is simple: stop using plastic. But how we go about doing that is a bit more complex. Fortunately, we’re in an age of endless possibilities, innovation and creativity. One particularly interesting replacement to plastic use can be found in something you’ve most likely got hanging around your house already: the mason jar.
A Jar For Every Occasion
Mason jars have seen quite the surge in popularity over the last few years. And the newest darlings of Pinterest and DIY blogs aren’t just a chic new décor and kitchen staple – they’re awesome sustainable solutions to many of life’s little plastic hangups. Kind of like the “thneeds” of Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” (except without all the deforestation), a simple and unassuming mason jar actually has dozens of uses outside of just canning tomatoes and jam. Want to get some ideas for using mason jars in place of that pesky plastic? Read on!
- Smoothie Cup: If you’re a smoothie person and not the type to chug right from the blender, you no doubt need something to drink your healthy concoction from. A mason jar with a lid can follow you out the door with your smoothie in tow for an easy breakfast on-the-go.
- Fresh Juice Cups: If you like to make fresh juice at home, storing your juice until you can drink it is one of the troubles you probably face. Pour the fruity and veggie goodness into individual mason jars so you can easily grab and gulp single servings as you wish.
- Coffee/Tea Cup: Those reusable mugs are fine and dandy for on-the-go coffee and tea, but you need not spend money on them if you’ve got a mason jar around. Whether iced or hot, you can take your caffeine or herbal fixes on the road with you! Just watch the pressure that can build up with hot drinks in a sealed jar.