Zero Waste Homestead, Part #1

I’ll be the first to tell you, our home is not a zero waste environment, at least not yet. We do so many things and have tons of items that contribute to the amount of waste in our community. Plastic bottles, plastic bags, food packaging, harsh chemicals, paper towels, grocery bags, the list could go on for days. Despite still having these items in our home we’re on our way to a more natural, eco friendly, zero waste lifestyle.

Since joining the homestead lifestyle I’ve become increasingly aware of alternative options to decrease our waste production. Leftovers? Feed them to the dogs or chickens. Cotton Balls? What can a cotton ball do that a reusable piece of cloth cannot? Plastic bags for food storage? Use SELRES_bde5be5f-583b-4d49-88fe-4ecb9e690b57SELRES_00b74c8b-b734-4832-bf77-f356da96d771SELRES_ceda5db0-918d-485d-b728-ba6e36053448mason jarsSELRES_ceda5db0-918d-485d-b728-ba6e36053448SELRES_00b74c8b-b734-4832-bf77-f356da96d771SELRES_bde5be5f-583b-4d49-88fe-4ecb9e690b57! In our home this has been our first true step towards a more zero waste lifestyle. During a trip to a local hardware store to get dog food and peruse the isles for whatever we may need for our new home I walked past a large assortment of mason jars. The thought then hit me that instead of using plastic bags for all of my snacks each day while working, I could use mason jars. Sealable, safe, reusable, and 100% not going to be a single use item.

Right then and there we made the impromptu decision and purchased a pack of 16 mason jars. Since that experience just a few weeks ago I haven’t once looked back or used a plastic bag for my snacks at work or on the go. We still have a few leftover plastic bags that I’m saving just in case we need them for something unexpected. Even then, I can’t think of an instance where I’d prefer having a plastic bag over my handy mason jars. My snacks no longer get squished, they stay cool longer, I don’t worry about them accidently coming open, and I can even bring sweet tea in for lunch. Which seems to me like a win from all angles.

I’ve gotten a million compliments on how cute the mason jars are how great of an idea that is and it feels great knowing that others are also seeing how easy it is to make strides toward a zero waste lifestyle. Not only are mason jars zero waste for the environment but they’re also a zero waste item for your budget. Between me and my husband, I’m anticipating gaining at least $20 in our budget just from cutting out plastic bags throughout the year. While this might not seem like a ton to some over the years, I’m anticipating that amount of savings to only grow over the years as we do this.

Not only are mason jars zero waste for the environment but they’re also a zero waste item for your budget.

Another benefit of using mason jars inside your home is you can bring drinks with you instead of buying the individually packaged ones. I have been loving the ability to bring sweet tea with me to work in a nice manageable size and I don’t have to spend $1.50 at the gas station for it. Drinking out of a nice clean glass that you know exactly where it’s been, when it was packaged, and that it’s always been kept sanitary is also a huge plus. No strange cans, plastic bottles, or questionable drink caps to worry about!

Mason jars can also be used to house leftovers which helps eliminate clutter in your cabinets and keeps food much fresher than just your regular old plastic container from Wal-mart. When using a mason jar you never have to worry about chemicals leaking from a plastic container or having your jar melt when heated up. That peace of mind, if nothing else, is a solid reason to switch from plastic containers to the glass mason jar.

Overall the mason jar can make for an incredible addition to your homestead and is definitely something to consider embracing. From versatility, food to drink compatibility, budget savings, and fewer chemical scares from leaking plastic the mason jar is one of the easiest lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce your waste in both the environment and your budget. Plus they’re cute, so what’s not to love about the mason jar?

If you’re interested in getting your own mason jars check them out here.

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Are you a homesteader with great ideas on how to cut down on waste? Tell us in the comments. We’d love to hear what you’re doing to take better care of your family and the environment.

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