Glass is a substance that does not break down. Reports state that it takes at least 1 million years for it to begin to decompose, while others say it is closer to an undetermined number.
Most glass is 100% recyclable, and recycling companies will usually accept different colors of glasses. What cannot be turned into new glass products can be often be repurposed into other functional materials. Also, the amount of energy that is spared from recycling only one glass bottle could run a computer for around 30 minutes (Earth911).
With pre-packaging all around, we may forget that we can repurpose everyday items like glass containers, into other uses in order to save the energy and environmental costs associated wtih producing new glass. Glass making in itself is an art form, and often even empty jars can look interesting. Don’t throw out or necessarily recycle all glass, but keep some for holding materials around the house.
Use food safe glass in the kitchen to store pantry items and snacks. You can stuff them with leftovers or transport hotter things like soups, in heatproof glass. Compatible holders can be used for drinking glasses instead of purchasing store bought ones to stock cabinets.
Outside of the kitchen you can also find numerous uses for glass containers. Fill them with coins, home repair, office or school supplies. If you want to give a gift that has a presentation with a nicer touch than a gift bag, save any appealing glass jars that have been emptied. Simply remove the packaging, clean and fill with a recipient’s favorites like mints, candies or homemade fares. Top with ribbon, decoupage it or make a label to place on the outside.
Also look for different sized pumps that fit on glass containers, which can usually be found at home organization or hobby stores. These can be placed on top of a variety of glassware and are ideal for pumping items bought in bulk like condiments and beauty supplies. They can even be put on large glass jars for dispensing beverages, like sun tea, which should only be made in a glass receptacle.
Also, if you have ever broken a glass family heirloom or favorite piece, don’t throw it away. Consider turning it into art. Create your own glass mosaic or jewelry fairly easily. With a bit of do it yourself know-how, you can transform broken glass into another keepsake. For a few glass project ideas, ask hobby or craft stores if they ever offer any free or minimal fee classes if you want to learn how to upscale a glass piece, or check out resources like Online Mosaic Instructions Guide and Specialty Art Glass: Learn How to Make a Mosaic for more design concepts.
Additionally, some stores offer a small cash incentive for returned glass bottles, so check to see if yours might. Another neat way to know your discards will be put to good use is to support local artisans by donating your unwanted glass to them if they can use it for materials.
Glass containers can resourcefully be reused, with virtually endless possibilities.