I remember my great-grandma having drawers full of plastic containers- empty yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream and butter tubs. She had so many glass canning jars that she used to keep her beads, polished rocks, oddly shaped sticks and other odds and ends for her craft projects in. She kept everything!
My grandma holds on to old tubs to store leftovers, sewing supplies and small things around her house.
My mom and my aunt both keep plastic containers and those plastic gallon tubs from ice cream (we ate a lot of ice cream as children). When we were little there were always plenty of plastic tubs to use while playing in the dirt, mud puddles, picking berries, gathering plants or for holding the random insect that we found outside. There were boxes of canning jars saved for the next season's canning, for drinking out of, for catching minnows in the creek, and they worked really well as bug holders too!
When I got my own place, I told myself that I did NOT want a drawer full of plastic tubs and lids that didn't have matches. I didn't want to search through it to store leftovers and go through the trouble of labeling them. So, I tossed all the plastic and glass containers for years.
But now, with the eco friendly ideas seeping into my brain, I've started saving. Slowly and carefully though, so as not to overwhelm my cupboards (or my husband with leftovers stored in sour cream, yogurt and cottage cheese tubs).
I've started saving glass. My husband loves Ragu spaghetti sauce (eventually I'll make my own, I just need to transition him into it). So, all those glass jars were being thrown away. In the past two weeks I've saved three of them! (We don't really eat that much spaghetti- I made two lasagnas last week, one to eat and one to freeze.)
Since they are glass, they work really well for leftovers- they freeze and they are dishwasher and microwave safe. And the label comes off so I can relabel it easily.
So, there's another step that saves some garbage and gives me more options for storing leftovers!
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