Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Totally Brilliant Ways to Use Empty Food Cans and Containers

We are putting more and more packaging out into the world and spending even more trying to figure out ways to recycle it. Well, here are a few simple and practical ways to reduce your environmental footprint by reusing some of the empty containers you may normally throw out. 


1. Make “Bottom of the Mustard Bottle” Vinaigrette

 
Here’s is a great tip from cookbook author Dorie Greenspan: When there’s just a smidgen of mustard left in a jar, build your own vinaigrette in it.
To make hers, Greenspan adds a tablespoon of vinegar (you can use white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, anything you like), plus some salt and pepper. At that point, you could also add some chopped fresh herbs, minced garlic, and minced shallots, as Martha Stewart recommends. Close the jar and shake it up. Then add 3 times the amount of olive oil as the amount of vinegar you used. (So if you added 1 tablespoon of vinegar, add 3 tablespoons of oil.) Screw on the top of the jar and shake again. If necessary, add more oil and vinegar, salt and/or pepper little by little until you’re happy.

2. Use an empty yogurt container as a measuring cup.

 
This great tip comes from Real Simple: If you fill a standard 8-ounce yogurt container with flour or liquid, that’s about 1 cup. Fill a quart container and you’ve got about 4 cups. You can also use 4-ounce size for a 1/2-cup and a 6-ounce size for a 3/4-cup measure.

3. Make “Bottom of the Honey Jar” Lemonade…

 
When you have a bit of honey left in the bottom of the jar, make like New York Times food writer Melissa Clark and use it to make lemonade. Her instructions: Squeeze fresh lemon juice in, which helps break down that hardened leftover honey. Give it a good shake and refrigerate. When you’re ready to drink it, mix in a glass of water or club soda until it tastes right.

4. …or “Bottom of the Honey Jar” Simple Syrup.

...or "Bottom of the Honey Jar" Simple Syrup.
Olga Massov sassyradish.com
Melissa Clark’s idea was inspired by this one from Sassy Radish blogger Olga Massov: Instead of squeezing in lemon juice, just add the same amount of hot water as there is leftover honey. Give the jar a shake and use it as simple syrup in cocktails.

5. Use an empty 20-ounce soda bottle to portion out single servings of spaghetti.

 
The opening of an empty 20-ounce soda or water bottle fits just enough uncooked spaghetti for a single serving. If you need four servings, just use the bottle to measure it four times.

6. Turn a bottle of whiskey into a soap dispenser.

Turn a bottle of whiskey into a soap dispenser.
A standard dispenser top will screw onto a 200-milliliter glass bottle of Jack.

CHECK OUT THE ENTIRE ARTICLE ON BUZZFEED