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Second Lives: 12 Ways to Reuse Your Old Glass Jars and Bottles

Thanks to our milkmen, your glass recycling bin is probably a lot emptier than most. But what about those glass jars and bottles that can’t be refilled time and time again?

Why not get creative with those old glass jars, bottles and pots the milkman can't collect and give them a second life with our easy and fun upcycling hacks? Here are just a few ideas:

  • Use them to store your spices, seeds, breadcrumbs and dried fruit. Tom Parker Creamery’s glass bottles are particularly good for this - they’re airtight and so much prettier than plastic bags.
  • Odds and ends. Whether it’s buttons, pins, or any other small craft supplies, just pour them into a sleek glass jar and they’ll bring a bright and colourful feel to any boring old storage space. Pure Nature's yoghurt pots are perfect.
  • If you’re a keen cook, try your hand at making your own preserves. Once safely sealed up in the jar, you can decorate them with paper labels, ribbons or decorated lids to make unique homemade gifts for loved ones who share your passion for food.
  • Pickling. This is a great option for larger jars with a sturdy twist top lid. Try upcycling an old Thursday Cottage jar.
  • For summer parties, embrace your inner hipster and turn your old bottles and jars into drinking glasses. Perfect for serving cocktails, mocktails and even milkshakes, you can add a personal touch by decorating them with messages in markers.
  • Make a snow globe – why wait for Christmas? Enjoy some snowy magic all year round!
  • Create modern upcycled planters by filling some jars with soil and adding the seedlings or bulbs of your favourite plants. You can always hang them up by some rope for a homey, handmade feel. Alternatively, fill them with water, and use them to propagate herbs or grow your own avocado plants.
  • If you're not so great at looking after plants you can create a mini terrarium instead - they look amazing and they’re low maintenance.
  • To add a warm glow to your home, turn your jars into simple tealights. The Herds and the Bees yoghurt jars are especially good for this. Keep them simple or give them a shabby chic feel by adding ribbons and garlands to create your perfect atmosphere. You can even decorate them with colourful markers to create a stained-glass effect.
  • Preserving vegetables. Did you know that if you store your veggies in a jar of water in the fridge they can last even longer? Try this with hardy veg such as carrots, asparagus, celery or even herbs and leafy salads. To prolong their freshness, always store in fresh cool water, and replace it at least every other day.
  • Breakfasts on the go. A large jar is perfect for stirring up some overnight oats, and our kefir bottles are the ideal storage for a healthy smoothie to enjoy on a morning run.
  • If all else fails, just use a few old glass bottles as vases for some freshly picked flowers to brighten up your home.

What do you use your old jars and bottles for? Let us know the #ecohacks you swear by at @freshmilkandmore.