Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Illuminate your Pasta Sauce?

By Archive, August 1, 2007  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Archive
Alright, we're definitely not talking about how to make glowing pasta sauce (something tells me that if it existed, glowing pasta sauce wouldn’t meet our Quality Standards), rather Jami, who shops at our Kansas City store, had a rather unique idea for how to reuse any number of glass jars, including, you guessed it, glass pasta sauce jars. Here’s her terrific idea: "I like to take my glass jars from finished pasta sauce, jelly, peanut butter, etc. and turn them into romantic lighting for our dinner parties on the patio. It's easy: just clean them, remove the outside label, and drop a tea light candle in the jars. Better yet, keep a stash of old candles that have melted down and turn them into one fun layered candle. It’s easy and best of all you've got beautiful mood lighting that benefits both the environment and your dinner party!" How do you reuse your glass containers at home? Is there another easy, environmentally conscious way that you reuse items to add ambience to your outdoor parties?
Category: Green Action

 

50 Comments

Comments

Claire Geiger says ...
I reuse glass jars for drinks from home or coffee shops. That way, I eliminate the need for a paper cup that gets wasted. Coffee shops are always willing to let you fill your jar up or will do it for you. (Sometimes you even get a discount for bringing your own) They are perfect for taking drinks on the run (especially for college students) becuase they have the screw-top lids.
08/05/2007 10:40:54 AM CDT
Sandy says ...
The empty pasta sauce Mason jars are great for using on the blender to mix up breakfast protein shakes. After it is all blended I just drink it right from the jar. Only one container to wash.
08/05/2007 12:14:42 PM CDT
V. A. Fisher says ...
Use clean glass or plastic spice jars to hold little sewing items so you can find them quickly. Whether you need a white shirt button, a thimble, or a safety pin, you can locate it readily. Use larger plastic jars to hold spools of thread. This is a handy and decorative way to recycle!
08/05/2007 4:13:59 PM CDT
Janet Ketchen says ...
I reuse glass jars every day as I make my own organic kefir. I use a quart glass jar with a plastic seed sprouter lid to make it and often have more than one on the go. After straining it, I pour the kefir into pint glass jars with plastic lids. The kefir keeps longer in glass jars as well.Great for giving it away as well. My kefir is great as an alternative to buttermilk. Love it.
08/05/2007 5:36:48 PM CDT
Sandra Hannon says ...
I never throw away glass jars! I can always find a use for them. I also love making homemade organic cookies and giving them to my friends and family and people I do business with. They love them and are especially delighted when I present a dozen cookies in a glass jar. I tie a festive ribbon around the lid and, using a hole puncher, attach a lable to the ribbon that says: "Jar O'Cookies". Who doesn't love getting their very own "cookie jar" filled with delicious homemade, organic cookies! I also make my own homemade organic salsa and reusing glass pasta jars is a great way to present this as a gift. I also love re-using glass pasta jars to store picnic foods in. They transport easily, stay very cold in the cooler and are easy to serve from. When I was a young girl, I fondly remember when Pecos cantaloups would come in season because my beautiful grandmother, Ruth, would peel, seed and cube the cantaloups and store them in, you guessed it, recycled glass pasta jars. I am proud to say that I continue her tradition with not just cantaloups, but all melons, such as honeydew and watermelon. The melon stays nice and cold in the refrigerator and looks so beautiful. I have brought many "jars" of melons to summer potlucks. They also look beautiful on a picnic table as centerpieces. Last, but not least, I always store nuts and coffee beans in re-cycled glass pasta jars in my freezer. They keep for many months and whenever I need nuts for a recipe, it is so easy to just measure out what I need. The same with coffee beans. Whenever I need a half cup of beans to process for a french press, it is so easy to measure them out of the glass jar. Storing the coffee in the freezer allows me to keep several varieties of coffee available without having to worry about the coffee becoming "stale." Re-usable glass pasta jars: you can't beat them!
08/04/2007 5:33:08 PM CDT
Donna Updike says ...
I hate throwing away empty glass jars and lids. I have found that it is possible to reuse jars for preserving applesauce, jams, and jellies because they will re-seal at least one more time. I prepare the jars by washing in hot, soapy water. After I have processed the applesauce, jams or jellies, I fill the jars, tighten the lids and place in a hot water bath. Then they are processed according to the canning directions. I will sometimes decorate the jars with fabric and ribbons to make them look festive. This is a great way to save money (no need to buy canning jars) and to have gifts on hand for holidays and visitors. The best part is that I am able to avoid sending the jars to recycling or to the land fill.
08/02/2007 6:17:58 AM CDT
keri says ...
we reuse our old glass jars on the patio for two things. first, we fill them with water mixed with a little lemon dish detergent (a natural way to deter mosquitoes), and then place a floating candle inside to make them pretty. second, i like to use them as holders for plastic utensils when we are having a barbeque. for holidays we paint them--red white and blue, etc.
08/02/2007 7:22:16 AM CDT
Kathy Jentz says ...
I reuse glass jars for seed saving from my garden. They are perfect for it as they are air and water tight. Keeping out moisture is the key for seed longevity. You can easily label jars of collected seeds and line them up in a cool, dark place such asyour basement, garage, or pantry. They can be usedthis way over and over again. Plus they are quite decorative and charming in their own way. My favorite seeds to collect are annual flowers like cleome, hollyhocks, and marigolds. This year I'm being more adventuresome and trying out vegetable seeds, which require a fermenting process to collect them. I trade my collected seeds with others and there are laways plenty of extras to go around.
08/02/2007 8:04:11 AM CDT
Elke Muller says ...
I love reusing glass jars! I thoroughly clean them and remove the outside paper. After drying them, I use them for dried lentils, dried spices, and pastas. Anything that I purchase in bins at Whole Foods keeps really well in a glass jar - plus it is see-through and I know immediately what I need.
08/02/2007 9:27:23 AM CDT
mimi sicard says ...
I use my pasta sauce jars for bouquets of flowers for co-works - just wrap jar in a colorful tissue paper and tie with a pretty bow. No worries about getting the vase back or if my co-worker happens to have a vase in her desk.
08/02/2007 10:51:46 AM CDT
Alecia says ...
I re-use my glass pasta sauce jars to store loose pasta and other small kitchen/household items (bobby pins, elastics, paper clips, pens). I also use them for my Nature Clean Dishwasher powder. Once the box is opened the soap forms a big hard lump. To make it easier to use I pour it into the jars and then each bit of soap is sealed. It stays as a powder and its easy to dispense.
08/02/2007 11:09:08 AM CDT
debi moore says ...
I reuse glass jars for leftovers...after cleaning thoroughly and removing the labels, I put any leftover foods like soups, pastas, etc. If you remove the lid, they microwave easily at work!
08/02/2007 11:17:04 AM CDT
Robin Beattie says ...
I find that these jars really come in handy during the holidays, or for hosuewarmings! I re-use the jars to store dry cookie, cocoa, and bread mix. I make up the mixes myself, put it in the glass jars,cut some pretty and festive cloth to place over the mouth of the jar, and screw back on the lid. I then attach a label with the recipe. Voila- the pasta jar has a new life as a thoughtful, homemade present.
08/02/2007 11:30:37 AM CDT
Kristy says ...
What don't I use glass jars for? After removing the labels and soaking them in warm, sudsy water, I use them to hold popcorn, rice, beans, coffee, tea, cookies, crackers, candies ( and anything from the bins at Whole Foods)...practical and quite pretty in the kitchen! In the craft room, glass jars hold markers, pens, pencils...and In the laundry room, glass jars hold safety pins and lost buttons...the uses are endless!
08/02/2007 11:36:13 AM CDT
S, J. Baker says ...
I use glass jars with a fairly narrow neck for the fragrant oils and infusion sticks that are so popular now. Purchase the refill oils and sticks rather than the decorative sets with their own containers. I also use jars and bottles to root cuttings from my yard--great for basil, coleus, pothos ivy and any other plants that are easy to propogate.
08/02/2007 12:30:15 PM CDT
Marianne says ...
I reuse my jars to store a batch of fresh made tomato sauce, leftovers which stay fresher, sauces, etc. I keep the Whole Foods canvas bags in my car along with the same plastic bags for produce and use each time I shop. After washing and allowing plastic produce bags to dry, I reuse them to store freshly washed herbs, lettuce, celery all wrapped in a cloth or paper towel which helps them keep fresh for a couple weeks. I think it's time people go back to using good old ceramic dishes and galsses for entertaining. Food tastes better, they hold up well and the landfills are a little less empty. Gracious dininng!
08/02/2007 12:33:56 PM CDT
Akilah Rabb says ...
My kids always have a project going. We reuse glass jars to store arts and crafts supplies, mix and store tempera paint, little terrariums and temporary 1/2 day bug habitats (after holes are punched in the metal top), and for kitchen experiments like pickling all sorts of things.
08/02/2007 12:39:08 PM CDT
Susan Sivric says ...
I wash my pasta sauce jars, paint the lids the colour of my choice, glue pretty ribbons around the lip of the lid or base of the jar, and fill them with all sorts of bathroom products - cotton balls, ear cleaning tips, make-up removal pads - they're fabulous and look so pretty!
08/02/2007 1:02:32 PM CDT
Sharon D. says ...
I make mini-greenhouses out of glass jars. Just place one with a wide enough mouth over small cuttings, like begonia or African violet. The extra humidity helps them take hold. Haven't had much luck with reproducing the herbs yet.
08/02/2007 4:44:54 PM CDT
Laura Ewald says ...
I use my old glass jars for storing nails, screws, nut, and bolts, and any other small things in the garage. My husband puts a screw through the top on a wood beam and then you can store all you need in them twist them to the top of the ceiling and still see what's in them. Just be careful taking them up and down!
08/02/2007 4:54:17 PM CDT
kath chyna camasto says ...
We have reused our pasta sauce jars by filling with sand to make doorstops.
08/02/2007 5:48:40 PM CDT
Kris says ...
Recycled glass jar candles can be taken up another notch: Tear up colored or printed tissue paper and dip in a little bit of white glue mixed with water. Stick the pieces (papier mache style) to the outside of the glass. They can match your party colors or go with the house. Light them up (after they dry) and they look like stained glass.
08/02/2007 6:55:52 PM CDT
Cristina Carolan says ...
I reuse glass pasta sauce, pickle, and condiment jars to store seeds and nuts and also use them for sprouting. Sprouts are some the healthiest things one can eat. Soaking nuts makes them more digestable. If you get organic sprout seeds, you can grow your own organic sprouts on the counter and its more cost effective than buying them. You can create different blends and make just as much as you need. Reusing a glass jar is easy and you can put a piece of cheesecloth secured with a rubberband to make rinsing easier. With glass, you don't have to worry about plastic derivatives leaching into your food because it's non porous.
08/02/2007 7:04:40 PM CDT
Ellen Lang says ...
Old cans can be turned into luminarias by punching holes in the sides and putting candles inside. Putting these along the side of a walk or driveway looks lovely.
08/02/2007 8:33:20 PM CDT
Vikki Walton says ...
Depending on the color of the glass jar, I use them for different purposes. Dark brown ones from old Kombucha bottles or supplements are great for home-made tinctures or creams. Clear glass ones are good to use for gifts of home-made sugar scrub or granola. Simply paint or attach a cloth to the jar lid and voila, you've got a free container. And instead of putting leftovers in the fridge that become science experiments, using a glass jar is an easy way to spot what's inside--and they come in all sizes, perfect for that bit or bunch leftover.
08/04/2007 4:26:36 PM CDT

Pages