Alot of us Eco Mama Warrior Goddesses for Mama Earth buying things in glass jars to be more environmentally friendly & eco loving. That is a very good thing.
A few things to consider about using glass though...
- It takes approximately 1 million years for a glass bottle to break down in a landfill.
- In Australia glass recylcing has remained unchanged at a rate of only 44% of all glass containers being recycled.
- Most bottles and jars contain at least 25% recycled glass.
- Glass never wears out - it can be recycled forever.
- Recycling glass saves 25-32% of the energy used to make glass because the glass melts at lower tempretures than the raw materials used to make glass.
- Glass containers save 9 gallons of fuel (oil) for every ton of glass recycled.
- Glass is made from silica, limestone & sand. A lot of mining goes into extracting these minerals to continually make NEW glass
Glass recycling MUST increase in order for the use of glass to be considered a âgreener optionâ. It is produced from raw minerals mined from the earthâs crust however it creates an âinertâ (un-contaminatable) containment for foodstuffs. This is why it is used so often by the âGreen Crowdâ.
Here are a few tips to ensure that the glass you DO recycle from your home is able to be reused during the recycling process:
- Remove ALL lids, caps & bottle rings from glass containers before putting them out for recycling.
- Broken glass can NOT be recycled!
- Broken ceramics also can NOT be recylced!
- Ensure the glass has been washed thoroughly before putting out for recycling.
There are literally THOUSANDS of ways to reuse glass around your home so that you donât even have to throw any away - ever!
Yes, thatâs right - even broken glass or ceramics CAN BE REUSED! But more on that later.
Here are some great links for helping you to find ways to reuse glass around your home, simply & easily:
EHow has a great article on How to Reuse Glass Jars including hanging flowers from trees outside & using them for party decorating!
Nature Moms Blog has a great article 10 More Ways to Reuse Glass Jars that is full of simple & quick ideas that you can implement straight away at home.
The Blog Home of Green Earth Goodies has some great ideas on Reusing Glass Jars as Decorative Storage that you might want to check out. Some clever & funky ideas!
The Go Green Blog has a list of 5 Ways to Reuse A Glass Jar that are helpful & nifty!
Green Your Way have a great article with 15 Ways to Repurpose a Glass Jar that is well worth a read up on.
So that takes care of the basics of re-using & re-purposing glass around your house quickly & easily.
But what about broken glass, shards of bottles & peices of ceramics that CANâT be recycled or functionally re-used?
Here are a couple of tutorials on how to re-use broken glass AND ceramics to create amazing one off peices that youâll love - and no glass has to be thrown away from your house again!
Mosaics are stunning peices that can be used in footpaths, on stepping stones, vases, terracotta pots, to frame mirrors or pictures, as wall hangings, to cover old furniture (like table tops) - the list of possibilities is endless!
And mosaic making REQUIRES the use of pieces or shards of ceramics, tiles, mirrors & glass.
Here at The Joy Of Shards they will teach you everything you need to know on how to indulge in this amazing craft to produce some truly stunning pieces AND reuse that broken china or ceramic plate you dropped the other day!
This video shows you what is possible using BROKEN shards of glass!
You can use this technique for SO many things & if you want you can even paint the shards of glass with glass paints to create different colours.
Couple of tips when working with BROKEN glass:
- Wear gardening or thick, industrial rubber gloves to protect your hands at all times
- Use a black carbon or diamond nail file to file down sharp edges so you can handle the pieces more easily & prevent cutting yourself running fingers over the finished project.
- Use a strong clear finishing glass glue for fixing the shards to your desired object.
- Paint the shards in different colours for more variety in what you can create using glass paints
- Cut the rims off glass bottles and jars & file down the edges using a carbon file to give yourself a vast array of objects to cover in broken glass mosaic. For detailed instructions on how to cut glass bottles Mother Earth News has a fabulous article on this!
- Tea light and candle holders
- Utensil & pencil holders
- Quirky Drinking glasses
- Small dishes for holding niknaks
- Party plates for olives or dips
- Souffle dishes for use in cooking
You don't have to be limited by cutting the glass in straight lines or straight across the bottle. You can do it in a slant or perhaps even a wiggly line!
You will need cotton string or twine, a mixture of equal parts petrol and kerosene and a large basin of ice water. You may also want some long-handled tongs for added protection for yourself as this is quite a volatile process!
You start by soaking the string in the kerosene mixture and then you wrap it around the bottle where you want to make the break - start out with something simple until you get the hang of how the process works.
The next step (& the most dangerous!) is to then light the twine on fire. Immediately after the flame goes out, plunge the bottle into the bucket of ice water you had on standby. The glass will split along the string line due to the hot & cold temperatures in quick succession. File edges smooth with a carbon file & voila!
Would love to hear how YOU reuse, re-purpose or re-craft glass at your house - tell us here in the comments!
Love & Eco Hugs
The Eco Mum xo
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