Recycle and Reuse Series: Glass

All glass can be recycled and reused.Glass containers are a good recycle resource for preppers because glass can be used over and over again.   That empty spaghetti sauce jar?  Store your dry beans in it.  Plastic bags get nasty over time, your beans will stay fresh longer in the glass jar.  Storage of food and beverage items is only the beginning.  Glass bottles can be converted to drinking glasses.  The discarded top of the bottle can be used for other purposes or melted down.    Those wine bottles?  Use them as candle holders or cut them at the neck and convert them into pencil holders and flower vases and pots.  In the sewing room, they can contain those pesky pin and needles as well as button and other notions that tend to fall to the bottom of the sewing basket.  Outside uses include laying them on their sides like bricks using cement to make a decorative wall.  In the garage they become perfect storage for nails, nuts and bolts and other hard to keep track of items.

Some things to remember when storing glass for recycling or reusing are:  sort according to previous use:  glass used for food storage will have thicker walls, smooth interiors and be free of bubbles inside the glass.  Glass with thin walls breaks easily.  Broken glass any where other than where it needs to be is dangerous.  When you are considering what to do with glass objects, if it has bubbles in the walls, do not use in the oven or fill with hot food.  The bubbles are unpredictable will burst and break the container.

As with any job, the right tools make all the difference.  Glass cutters will help you make desired cuts and sandpaper will smooth sharp edges.  Safety is important too.  When working with and sanding glass always wear eye protection and breathing masks.  The last thing you want is glass in your eyes and lungs.  Your imagination and common sense can tell you what glass does to eyes and lungs.  If you decide to use a heat source to remelt the glass, there is a whole new set of concerns and skills you will need.  See to it that you get them from the best sources and teachers available.  The last thing anyone needs is injuries that can happen to people who are not prepared to work with molten glass.

photo by: gailf548