Weaning off plastic | Kitchen Organization & Dry Goods Storage with Glass Bottles

Plastic is a problem…and glass is an option, in some cases.

How do you store your cupboard goods? Things like flour, oats, peas, spices, oils, seeds.

In Barbados, where pretty-much anything in a container or jar has a starting price of about BBD. $10. (USD. $5.) and plastic Tupperware roughly BBD. $3. or a little more at the ‘dollarstore,’ it can be challenging to wean off plastic when it comes to temporary storage for things in the kitchen.

If you’re pocket isn’t in a position (right now) to buy glass items to reuse, how about slicing off the tops of plastic bottles you already have and using them as mini planters to grow a fresh herb or veg?

My kitchen now has a decent collection of glass bottle sets saved from repeat purchases of favourite items (like green olives), and they come in so handy for kitchen organization and presentation. When you can, do a quick scan of your standard grocery list and make a note of which items are packaged in glass and then in plastic. Now, what can each of those bottles be safely re-used for? Remember the seals (for glass ones) would have already been bust open when you first use the product, but once they have a durable cover, you can still store quite a few items in them or use the empty glass bottles to rest plant cuttings in clean water for re-growing them.

Of course, it’s not necessary to transfer items from their packages into bottles but by doing so we’re more likely to:

  • avoid throwing any existing glass into garbage bags. Finding a good use for them.
  • ration our portions better. If you have a massive box of cereal in front of you, it might be tough to pour out a smaller amount than usual, but if you’ve already set aside a decent-sized bottle of cereal, you’re more likely to split that into a few portions to last a few servings before diving into the cereal box again.
  • have clean glass bottles ready to use for things like water, smoothies, herbal teas, spice blends, hair oil mixes and whatever else you can think of.
  • repeat the process and gather a collection of matching sets you can choose from to use for anything.

Had a moment to scan through your grocery list? Hopefully this pic from part of my kitchen collection gives you some ideas of products you might already buy, have at home or want to add to your list.

Let’s talk a bit about label-removal after this pic coming up.

what dry goods are in your kitchen right now? Any leftover macaroni or spaghetti rolled up in a bag jammed in a corner somewhere? Have a teeny knotted bag of linseed that can use a cool container? If you’re anything like me, you like seeing an array of colours, shapes, textures and ingredients when you open that cupboard door. Just makes you wanna start cooking something.


This can be the most tedious (sometimes annoying) part of the process, but it doesn’t have to be.

First, clean jars thoroughly in hot soapy water then rinse well in more hot water. Clean the lids and dry them properly so no rusty-looking residue has a chance to set in. Try soaking those glass bottles in a bowl or pot overnight with a little dishwashing liquid around the entire label. By morning, a gentle but firm knife scrape or sometimes a little slice and peel technique works well to get the label off and start with a fresh bottle.

Hopefully you’re inspired to save or collect durable glass bottles to reuse instead of accumulating a lot of plastic. I still miss and make plastic purchases here and there in between packing purchases in my reusable shopping bags; it’s a journey – not a competition. At least on this blog.

Just when Barbados pitched for a Plastic Free 2020, a global…situation came on the scene and the timeline of the eco-friendly initiative changed to suit (for obvious reasons.) Let’s face it, when storm winds, heavy weather and disasters hit, the last thing on anyone’s mind is plastic but when we consider the amount of littering and dumping in our otherwise lush green and blue zones – all around the island really, we can easily see plastic is a problem.

Not to mention the blocked trenches (is that what you call them?) that lead from the springs ideally to the sea, which are often choked with garbage in flood-prone zones – making water spill over onto streets instead of draining smoothly into the sea. This then can lead to stagnant water catchments then mosquitoes…and we know how that can go.

Joyful Life | Creative Career – a gift from a guest writer. These roll-up shopping bags are durable and convenient to travel with.

Let’s be a part of the solution…one step at a time when, where and however you can. Your actions may encourage someone else for the better.

Care to share? You’ve got the mic. Feel free to add any tips I might’ve left off; ones you think can help us all to live more eco-friendly, or at the very least in and beyond our streets and communities.

Related post: ‘Weaning Off Plastic And Making Better Eco-Friendly Decisions.’


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Refreshment and resources for the journey. Join singer, songwriter and farmer Indra from Barbados for gardening moments, songs of freedom, tropical recipes and travel journeys on what has organically grown into one of the leading 'Caribbean Lifestyle Blogs & Websites to Follow.'

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