Almost every one of our glass food storage containers is secondhand. If you’ve ever walked up and down the aisles of a secondhand store’s kitchenwares aisle, you’ve likely seen the makings of a thrifted glasswares collection yourself. We tend to fill up our cart with glassware that is still perfectly fine except that it lacks a lid, and then purchase the lids ourselves. Below, how we do it:
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Lids you can replace:
-Tops for Ball and Mason jars. This is, of course, self-evident. Glass jars can be found for fifteen cents to a dollar at most secondhand shops, and replacing the lid with a shiny new version costs not much more than that. Jar lids can be found locally at grocery stores, food co-ops, and home and kitchenware stores, and they’re usually packaged without plastic in a cardboard box.
-Gaskets for Le Parfait, Fido, and Weck glass jars. Often, I’ll see a beautiful glass wire bale jar with a gasket that looks like it’s from 1980. Rubber gaskets only last so long before they start to ossify and crack, but replacements are fairly affordable. You can find Le Parfait gaskets here, Fido gaskets here, and Weck replacement gaskets here. (Be sure to carefully check the size before ordering).
-Lids for glass Pyrex containers. The lids for these are often just plain old missing from thrift store shelves, but when we had an epiphany that we could buy the bases secondhand and then just replace the lids, we hopped online that very day to order a few (found here). The lids alone are not as inexpensive as you might think, and are often only available for purchase in packs of two rather than one. However, buying new lids is still less expensive than buying a new lid and a new container - plus, you can feel virtuous knowing the glass base is secondhand.
-Lids to water bottles and coffee mugs. At a local secondhand shop a few months back, a friend and I found not one but two bkr glass water bottles and a glass-and-cork KeepCup, all without lids. (We think a zero waste fairy left them for us). I recently hopped on the bkr site and purchased a new lid for my favorite not-new, but new-to-me, water bottle.
-Other things. If you’re not sure whether replacement lids are sold separately, take out your phone right there in the aisle and check. They’ll often be on the manufacturer’s site, under “accessories” or “replacements.” It’s also prudent to make sure that the size and shape of lid you need is still being sold, but if you want to take a gamble and buy without researching prior to, chances are you’ll only be out a few dollars anyway.
Other things you can top with a brand-new lid and call it a day? Secondhand glassware wins to share?
More thoughts on going zero waste without buying anything new, here.