So this is going to be a very short post about one of the most essential pieces of equipment for a waste-free life: mason jars.
I first came across using mason jars from Lauren Singer, the woman who created Trash is for Tossers and has been living a zero waste lifestyle for the past two years. At first I thought, “oh that’s quirky and kinda cool”, but not much more than that. It was just another one of those trends which everyone was jumping on along with serving cocktails in jam jars and using biscuit jars for lampshades… It was only when I started using them that I realised how incredibly versatile they are! I now use them for almost everything, from storing all sorts of food (cooked meals and leftovers, dried beans or rice, flour and sugar), to keeping body lotions and toothpastes in to carrying them to work every day with my lunch in.
So what’s the benefit of mason jars besides being able to store everything? There are several. Firstly and most importantly, they don’t use any sort of plastic. This means: no toxins leaching into food and no poisonous material being dumped in the ocean or ending up in landfill. Secondly, they don’t have any lingering smells if you forget to wash out the jar on the day of use, which can be very useful if you are always running around with work and life! They are also ideal if you are lucky enough to have having bulk buying and packaging-free shops nearby, and can store and carry liquids without leakage as well. What’s more, there are so many different types: hinge lids, screw lids or, the ones I prefer, the metal clip lids. These can be altered and used to suit whatever purpose you intend them for, such as making re-sealable drink cans, and the jars with clips are great because you can also microwave your food straight in the jar. What is not to love?!
Mason jars are fairly cheap and are quite easy to find around Konstanz (Karstadt, Nanu Nana and Müller all have them) and around most other cities too- just look in your local department store or cookshop. Even better, why not upcycle old jam or peanut butter jars for storing food too? Sure, they do raise a few eyebrows when I pull one out of my cloth bag with my cutlery and face cloth, but like I said before, little things like these all help to start the conversation about stopping using plastic and showing people the healthier alternatives available.