Sustainability 101: Reusing Containers

I don’t know about you, but I tend to feel overwhelmed when thinking about all the things I’d like to change or improve on. There is always so much to do, but I end up getting nowhere because it’s impossible to take on everything at once and I don’t know where to start.

Fortunately, there’s a blog that has helped me a lot with all this: Reading My Tea Leaves. Erin Boyle does a post every so often that she calls “Habit Shift.” Her relaxed, can-do, baby-step attitude has really freed me to make some forward motion.

I hope that’s something we can do around here: small steps together toward better community, better finances, better eating, better living.

As Uncle Vern once said, “At its core, sustainability is something that can be carried on in the same way in the foreseeable future.”

So in light of that, let’s start small… reusing containers. You buy a jar of peanut butter or spaghetti sauce, and instead of tossing the jar in the trash when you’re done, you toss it in the dishwasher and use it to store tonight’s leftovers or pack tomorrow’s lunch. Eliminates waste and keeps money in the bank. No need to purchase plastic bags or disposable containers. It’s a win- win! This one has been a big help in our family; we haven’t purchased ziplocs in years. And, personally, I like to use some of the jars for flower arrangements around the house – another penny or two saved not buying vases.

Final note: take a look at what you’re already doing well, habits you’ve already changed and do a little happy dance. Be encouraged, feel some accomplishment! If you’re having a bit of trouble with that one, just think of all you’ve done by simply being part of the AHO family: supported local farmers, taken steps toward seasonal eating, brought organic food to your family table, reduced packaging consumption with boxes of fresh produce, helped reduce impact of toxins and chemicals in the world. So keep up the good work – one small step at a time!

Author Cassandra Varberg

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