Food & Drink

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I’m working with Friends of Glass today to promote the benefits of glass. Friends of Glass is a community that supports everything about glass packaging and advocates a lifestyle that includes glass for three main reasons: health, taste, and sustainability.

When you first start off reducing your plastic usage, using glass in place of plastic can be daunting. So, I wanted to show you three ways in which I have switched from using plastic to using glass in my kitchen.

Storing Food In Glass In The Fridge

storing food in glass jars

Preventing food waste isn’t always easy. With the best of intentions sometimes you find something festering away in a tub at the back of the fridge.

I always feel that what lets Tupperware tubs down is that depending on the style of the tub or how tomato-stained your tub is, you can’t always see inside. And out of sight, out of mind – which is not a good thing when it comes to food waste.

Something I have had good success with is storing my food in glass jars. I can easily see the contents of the jars meaning I’m more than likely to use up my food. For added bonus points – glass doesn’t get tomato stained!

Storing Food In Glass In The Freezer

Did you know that you can store food in the freezer in glass jars? Oh yes! You made have heard horror stories about freezing glass, but I have found that if you stick to the four golden rules when it comes to freezing food in glass jars then you can eliminate breakages:

● Do not overfill your jar – always leave around two inches of headspace in your jar. As the contents freeze, they will expand a little, and this method offers room for expansion, helping to avoid breakage. Jars with a wide mouth, rather than bottles, make for a safer choice for freezing.
● Make sure your food is fully cooled before placing it in the freezer.
● When you first put your food in the freezer, sit the lid on your jar loosely.
Once your food is completely frozen, you can then tighten up the lid. If you forget to tighten up the lid (I often do!), then don’t worry, it won’t affect your food.
● Finally, watch how you stack your jars to prevent jars from falling out of the freezer. This won’t be much of a problem if your freezer has drawers.

I don’t buy specific jars for freezing food in – I re-use what I already have. Jars that I have found particularly useful are old peanut butter jars and vegan mayonnaise jars.

Food Storage On The Go

best way to transport soup to work

I could wax lyrical about the joys of soup all day long – it’s such a great way to use up any leftover vegetables looking a bit sad in the drawer of your fridge.

Whilst making soup is easy, transporting soup for an easy homemade lunch at work can be tricky. I’ve had many a Tupperware container or a flask leak my precious soupy cargo over the years.

Through trial and error, I can safely say that what I have had the most success with is transporting my soup in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid (not a clip top style jar). Just make sure that the lid is tightly screwed before popping it in your bag, and try not to drop your bag! If you are accident-prone, wrapping a tea towel around your jar can help act as a buffer, and also help you mop up any soupy spills after lunch!

For an added eco bonus, if your work doesn’t have any composting facilities, you can bring any of your food scraps home in your empty jar at the end of the day.

What makes glass a good replacement for plastic Tupperware?

There are six main reasons as to why glass is a good eco-friendly replacement to Tupperware (remember – only once your Tupperware has come to the end of its lifespan):

  1. Unlike plastic, glass has an endless life. It is 100% recyclable and can be recycled infinitely without loss of quality – it can take just 30 days for your bottle or jar to return as a new bottle or jar to the store shelf.
  2. Unlike other packaging materials, glass packaging is a healthy choice because it needs no chemical layer to protect what it contains, so there is no danger of toxic chemicals, such as BPA, leaching into food and drinks.
  3. Glass preserves the taste of food and drinks perfectly.
  4. Food and drink preserved in glass can help keep food and drink fresher for longer.
  5. Glass is made from three naturally occurring, abundant materials – soda ash, limestone, and sand.
  6. Modern glass bottles and jars are typically up to 40% lighter yet stronger thanks to new manufacturing processes.

Don’t Throw Out Your Old Tupperware Though!

Before you get carried away and start binning your old Tupperware, stop and take a breath. I am a huge proponent of using up what you have – I believe it’s simply not sustainable to throw out plastic items you already have in order to replace them with reusables made from more eco-friendly materials. So I am still using my old plastic Tupperware containers, which will be in active service until they are no longer usable.

When your tubs give up the ghost, I recommend only then replacing them with glass. I have bought two glass tubs, but in the main, I have been using old glass jars as the most sustainable and eco-friendly way to store food.

Are you a fan of glass too? Are you looking to make some of your own plastic-free kitchen swaps? Why not join the Friends of Glass community The Friends of Glass community believes that many families and retailers are unaware of these benefits of glass, and so want to spread the word. You can help by joining the ever-growing number of glass advocates on Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter, to help add your voice!

Health & Beauty, Life & Style

Homemade Hand Sanitiser Recipe

homemade hand sanitiser

This post contains affiliate links

DISCLAIMER: This homemade hand sanitiser recipe is not a substitute for proper handwashing. And while this home recipe contains common natural antibacterial ingredients, it has never been tested in a lab to determine it’s efficacy against viruses such as coronavirus. This recipe does not include the 60%+ alcohol content that is recommended for hand sanitiser to properly kill coronavirus. A recipe that contains this level of alcohol can be found through the World Health Organization.

Last year I made some homemade hand sanitiser that I have been meaning to share with you. I have two young kids, aged 4 and 8. Whilst my kids are great at getting into messes when we’re out and about, I have to hold my hands up and say I’m an expert at it too!

Also, have you seen the original Trainspotting movie? If so, then you’ll know the scene with the worst toilet in Scotland. Admittedly, whilst not as bad as that toilet, I’ve definitely found a few contenders in and around Edinburgh. Whilst I would always prefer to wash my hands with soap and water, hand sanitiser is definitely a handy thing to carry in those times.

I spent a little while searching on the internet for hand sanitiser in a glass bottle, but the only thing I could find was a £16 bottle from Aesop. Not having the budget or inclination to spend £16 on hand sanitiser I decided it must surely be easier and infinitely cheaper to make my own. So I set about rummaging through my cleaning product ingredients box to see what I had to hand.

What I Found Was:

Witch hazel, made from the bark and leaves of a plant called Hamamelis virginiana. This is a medicine cupboard staple that’s easily picked up really cheaply in most chemists and supermarkets. It’s around £2 a bottle, which will make 3 bottles of hand sanitiser.

Witch hazel is great to use because the tannins in this plant help kill bacteria – it’s been proven effective against influenza A and HPV and herpes, but gentle enough to be used on a daily basis.

If you don’t have any witch hazel then feel free to substitute for cheap vodka. It will push the cost up a little – but if it’s what you have to hand then it will also do the job as it’s alcohol content makes vodka a great germ killer.

I chose lemongrass essential oil for this homemade hand sanitiser recipe because of it’s proven antibacterial action. This scientific study showed that lemongrass oil is even effective against drug-resistant organisms, making it a great choice of oil for a hand sanitiser.

Please note, lemongrass essential oil can be too strong for sensitive skins. If you are sensitive to lemongrass, consider another essential oil with germ-killing properties, such as tea tree oil.

I also chose lavender essential oil for its antibacterial action, which has proven effective against e-coli and MRSA in scientific studies.

My recipe hasn’t been tested in a lab, so I can’t make any claims to its effectiveness other than anecdotally, but if you’re keen to give it a go here’s how to make it:

Lemongrass & Lavender Homemade Hand Sanitiser

Make your own all natural homemade hand sanitiser / hand sanitizer with this easy recipe.

Makes 100 ml

Ingredients

100 ml glass spray bottle (use an old one if you have one. You can also use an old plastic bottle. Sometimes over time, the essential oils can eat away at the plastic so just be mindful of that, but if there’s less chance of it breaking in your bag then it’s a better choice).

60 ml witch hazel (I got mine in glass bottle from Sainsbury’s for £2)

15 drops Lemongrass essential oil

15 drops Lavender essential oil

1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil (optional – added for its moisturising properties)

40 ml cooled boiled water

Method

If you are using the vitamin e oil, then add it to your clean, dry empty bottle, before adding your essential oils. Otherwise, simply add your essential oils to the empty bottle.

Next, add the witch hazel and cooled boiled water, and add the spray nozzle.

Usage & Storage

Before usage, I would always recommend doing a patch test on a small area of your skin, to test for any sensitivities. If after 24 hours there has been no reaction then you should be good to continue usage.

Before each use, shake the bottle well to combine everything and spray your hands a few times. Rub your hands together until they are dry. Do not use on broken skin.

The hand sanitiser has a 1.5% dilution and is safe to use for adults. If you want it stronger, you can go up to 20 drops of each essential oil (a 2% dilution), but I wouldn’t recommend going any higher than that.

Your homemade hand sanitiser will have a shelf life of around 6-8 weeks, but if it starts to look funny or smell funny before that period, it’s best to discard it and make a new batch.

Homemade Hand Sanitiser for Kids

If you want to use it on small children from aged 2 and upwards, I’d always recommend doing a bit of reading on essential oils. I would also recommend using no more than 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil and 10 drops of lavender essential oil. This is a 1% dilution of the oils. Again, do not use on unbroken skin.

Essential oils aren’t recommended for use on children younger than two. Again, doing a bit of research on essential oils if you decide you want to is always highly recommended.

As always, keep your essential oils and the finished product out the reach of children, and only use under direct adult supervision.

Notes on Good Hand Hygiene

Whilst hand sanitiser is good in a pinch, the single most effective way of removing germs from your hands is to wash your hands with warm water and soap. My top tip is to use hand sanitiser when you don’t have access to running water and soap, but to make sure you wash your hands as soon as you can.

The NHS has some good advice on how to wash your hands properly – apparently singing happy birthday twice helps you gauge the length of time you should be washing for!

ps: here are some other things you can DIY with the same ingredients for maximum bang for buck!