Going Glass: Nifty Ways To Live Greener With Glass
While it was anticipated that plastics would gain popularity, due to their durability, versatility and cost, at the beginning of the “plastic age”, almost 80 years ago, the global waste-management and health problems associated with them weren’t. Today, tons of plastic have accumulated in landfills and natural environments. In fact, a study published in Science by researchers from the University of Georgia, in the USA, showed that an estimated 8.8 million metric tons of plastic had landed up in the ocean by 2010. Furthermore, many studies are claiming that certain chemicals found in plastics – such as bisphenol A (BPA) – could be harmful to human fertility, fetal development and cell repair.
But since we have started to understand the consequences of overusing this household material, the demand for healthier alternatives has grown. The main substitute – which is by no means new on the market – is glass. Unlike plastic, glass can easily be recycled, without losing purity or quality, and therefore rarely ends up in a landfill. And what’s even better, there are so many potential uses for glass in everyday life. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Create a herb garden
Glass jars are the perfect place for growing herbs. Start by taking a clean glass jar and filling the bottom – approximately 3-5cm deep – with pebbles or gravel. From here, pour in your potting mix and leave a bit of space at the top. Plant your herb seeds, for one specific herb, and then top the jar with enough potting mix to cover the seeds, about 2cm. Water lightly and ensure the jar gets plenty of sunlight. Read the instructions on the herb seed packet for proper maintenance, and watch your plants grow.
2. Buy recycled glass tiles to spruce up your décor
If you’re looking to revamp your patio or pool, consider using recycled glass tiles for a little color and a lot of convenience. Recycled glass is very durable, and less likely to crack, scratch or stain than standard glass tiles. Click here to find out more about the sustainability of glass.
3. Rethink your storage
Old glass jars that have been cleaned can be used to store almost anything. Use them in the kitchen to keep cereals, grains and pantry snacks fresh. In the bathroom, they can serve as a dispenser for your toothbrush and toothpaste, or store your cottonwool and earbuds.
If you find yourself looking at a beautiful glass jar or bottle that simply cannot be stored away, use it to create your own aromatherapy diffuser. Simply fill the bottle with warm water and add a couple drops of your preferred essential oil. Drop in some long bamboo skewer sticks, and your homemade aromatherapy diffuser is ready to go.
There are many innovative ways of using and reusing this material that are both environmentally friendly and do not pose a risk to your health. So, if you’re feeling creative, give it a go. Click here to find out how you can easily grow biofortified microgreens.