John Landis [Mason Jar], You Poor Little Man

Zero Waste

recycling is not enough
Everyone is familiar with this versatile home staple. From canning peaches to burning candles, people have found many ways to use the Mason Jar. The most unique use I've seen is a lemon-pepper chicken baser. Yep, that’s sure to keep your chicken juicy.


With all the many uses for mason jars, I’m sure little thought goes into why they were initially created and who the hell is Mason anyway!
Well, contrary to your great-aunt and her slammin’ strawberry jam, Mason jars were not created for canning. In the  midst of the French Revolution, Napoleon offered 12,000 francs to the person who could figure out a better method of preserving food while out in the battle fields. At the time pickling and salting were the best they’d come up with. The result was an opaque bottle with wax and string as a top, needless to say was a hot mess.


Nearly 80 years later, John Landis Mason came up with the 3-piece Mason jar that most are used to today. Mason got a patent for the jar in 1858, but in 1879 the patent expired and well-known competitor Ball flew in and created their own edition of the glass jar. Mason wound up dying impoverished in New York City.


The Mason jar, which hasn't changed much since John Mason’s patent, is a transparent jar with a hermetic seal top and screw-on band. The seal has a thin layer of rubber that helps to keep the jars spill proof.


This happens to be a zero-wasters BFF. I mean imagine the possibilities!


I am fairly new to this whole Mason jar luggin’ and thuggin’, but I def KNOW I don’t have enough. I currently have 21 jars, but they get used up pretty quickly. I’ve been looking to get more through Freecycle, but haven’t quite made the request. Here are some of my favorite uses for the Mason Jar:

Light fixtures for a kitchen. I’d like to bundle them and have them as hanging fixtures.


Soap pump. I’m actually planning to make this soon in my switch from store-bought to bulk dish detergent.


Bulk storage! Duh, I go to the store with about 4-6 of these depending on what I need.


Morning oatmeal to-go. In the morning while getting ready I boil some water. Right before heading out of the house, put oats, hot water, cinnamon, nuts, fruit, almond milk, chocolate pieces or whatever fixings I can find in a jar and head out the door. By the time I get to work (about 30 minutes later) it’s cooled a bit and the oats have softened.


Portable drinking cup. I keep a Mason jar in my bag for drinking on the go. Most coffee spots will give you discounts for using your own cup so save some bucks!


Terrarium. I haven’t gotten this far to create one, but I imagine a terrarium Mason jar on my desk would be great to look at in between emails.



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