I have always considered glass as a treasured material, from those early days as a child in the South Wales valleys, when I would hear the arrival of the Corona pop lorry and excitedly gather our used bottles so we could collect our deposit. I wish deposits still existed today. It always made so much sense.
It never occurred to me why the same deposit scheme didn’t exist for our milk deliveries. Yet, there was still something very satisfying about putting out the empty bottles at night and collecting the full bottles ready for breakfast each morning.
As I grew older, and my attentions moved to wine, during my student days I would turn the empty bottles into candle holders, admiring the ‘waterfalls’ of droplets that the melted wax created, and recreating the ambiance of a 1980s French bistro.
These days, empty jars with pretty tealights have been added to my repertoire of makeshift candle holders. That’s what I love about glass, so many practical reuse opportunities, before you even have to think about recycling. With jars being used time and again for pickling, storing spare ribbon or even nails, I’ve never become bored of their reuse potential and am always keen to find new ideas. I particularly love them for displaying flowers – tall passata jars make great vases as do the short and dumpy Nutella jars.
Of course, there are only so many that can be reused and repurposed, eventually recycling becomes the last resort, dropping them into the coloured bottle banks, so they can be melted, remoulded and refilled to deliver food and wine to my table.
And if it’s the sparkling type, even better. Those bottles make great candle decorations for a celebration dinner.
On that note, let’s raise a toast.
Apparently old jars as drinking glasses are the latest trend.
Me? Oh, I’ll stick to my recycled wine glass.
So, without further ado.
Bottoms up and three cheers to all the creative possibilities that can be had with glass.
*Guest blog post by Karen Cannard, the creator of The Rubbish Diet, a slimming plan for bins that can halve your waste in just a few weeks. For practical tips that help reduce your waste and save money, sign up for The Rubbish Diet Challenge at www.therubbishdiet.org.uk. And if you’re in West London, look out for events where there will be also be opportunities to meet local Bin Doctors.