Creating a sustainable lifestyle might feel like a monumental task, but it’s easier to manage when you think about making small changes. We’ve collected a series of seven simple ecohacks you can do to make every day feel like Earth Day. These ecohacks are designed to be so simple, you’ll probably find yourself showing off your newfound sustainable trick on Insta or TikTok.
You’ll notice many of the hacks include glass bottles and jars. That’s because glass is 100% recyclable and a super-friendly material to reuse. Enjoy these simple ideas.
EcoHack #1: Upcycle your glass bottles or jars for decor and organization
We all end up with glass containers in our homes, cars and offices. But did you know you can recycle, reuse and repurpose glass endlessly? Add to your decor or organize the clutter:
- -Reuse an old glass jar as a vase.
- –Upcycle a wine bottle into a candle holder.
- -Organize your desk (and run a fun contest).
- -Turn glass peanut butter and jelly jars into drinking glasses.
- -Convert that empty glass candle into a toothbrush holder.
- –Reuse glass containers to store matches, office supplies, Q-tips, or vitamins.
EcoHack #2: Make recycling fun
As a species, we’re drawn to pleasurable activities. And when we’re having fun doing something, we tend to want to keep doing it, over and over again. Try the following ecohacks:
- -Start a glass recycling competition and keep track of how much glass you recycle each week.
- -Use a visually interactive recycling bin like the interactive and functional one by Jack Lee and Trinna Wu.
- -No curbside glass recycling program where you live? Pack your glass and take a fun trip to the glass recycling center.
EcoHack #3: Get the family involved and invested in sustainable practices
There are so many ecohacks you can get your family to practice. For example, O-I Sustainability Data Engineer Specialist, Gabriela Trindade, teaches her kids about the link between growing vegetables and consuming food: “I have a small vegetable garden that I grow 100% organic, and I use that to educate my kids about our responsibility for the food we consume and the time it takes to grow,” she says.
You can also:
- -Teach your kids to conserve water when they’re brushing their teeth.
- -Get them reusable water bottles instead of disposable ones.
- -Have them show off their art skills by decorating brown paper instead of buying new wrapping paper.
- -Save your eggshells and make Mexican Cascarcones for Easter instead of buying plastic eggs.
EcoHack #4: Mindful shopping
Take the time to find and buy food packaged in glass instead of plastic or metal. Glass is not only kindest for the planet, but forgoing that plastic food packaging is also an easy swap for your health.
- -Being more mindful and choosing glass on the shelf is an ecohack.
- -There are lots of choices for swapping items packaged in glass once you realize your cart is typically filled with plastic packaging. Yogurt, peanut butter, and seltzer are great places to start.
EcoHack #5: Use glass jars to prep and store food
When you can’t find the food products you like packaged in glass, swap them into glass containers when you get home. “I like to wash and prep fruits and veggies and store them in the fridge. It helps my food stay good longer and reduce food waste,” says Emily Walker, O-I Sustainability Data Specialist, Reporting & Content.
Other food prep and storage ecohacks include:
- -Make your own pickled veggies.
- -Keep foods fresh in a reused jar for meal prepping.
- -Prepare and store trail mix in a reused glass container.
- -Assemble those delicious overnight oats in a glass jar.
- -Store homemade sauces in glass jars in your sauce vault.
EcoHack #6: Reduce waste
You can help reduce waste in so many ways. O-I Sustainability Strategy Leader Bob Hippert says, “I travel quite a bit. I reuse travel bottles — shampoo, conditioner, hair gel — instead of using new ones to cut down on packaging waste. Many small travel-sized bottles have caps that unscrew, making them easy to refill.”
Here are some more waste-reducing ecohacks to try:
- -Say no to single-use plastic forks and spoons you’re eating a to-go meal at home.
- -Buy zero-waste unwrapped produce at the grocery store.
- -Make a fantastic liquid soap out of the last bits of bar soap.
EcoHack #7: Give glass jars another life for plant propagation
- -Reuse a glass yogurt jar as a planter for a succulent. Just fill the clean glass jar with soil and plant a succulent.
- -Use old bottles or jars as planters or to propagate plants in water.
Try EcoHacks On for Size
See?! Adding a few simple swaps to live a more sustainable life can be quick and easy. If you have any ecohacks you want to show off, tag us on TikTok or Instagram. We’d love to see your tricks for reuse, reduce and recycle.