While "Spring Cleaning" may be a more popular term, "Starting fresh in September" is just as important! This is the perfect time to catchup on all the chores that got skipped over while we were basking in the sun, and set intentions for the new season. Something were focusing on in September at SKORDO is healthy body, healthy home. When thinking through this concept, I knew my first local stop would be GoGo Refill in South Portland. This gem is New England's only Zero Waste Store, selling sustainable switches for everyday products, alongside a BYOC (bring your own container) refill program for soaps/detergents/skin care + more.
The refill program is what caught my eye originally, our lovely local customers are often contacting SKORDO wondering if there is any recycling program to return our jars, similar to Smiling Hill Farms bottle return system where you get a deposit back. Unfortunately, our current warehouse facility doesn't have the capabilities to properly sanitize the jars to be used again for food products. With this in mind, I wanted to come up with suggestions on how you could re-use your jars another way. So, off to GoGo Refill I went.
To prepare for my visit, I removed labels, then scrubbed jars + lids. This was easy to do with my No Tox Life Vegan Dish Block + Redeck Bottle Brush, also from GoGo Refill. When I got to the shop, I was greeted by the friendliest of faces as per usual! They helped me navigate the refill menu and educate me on some of the products I haven't used before. I was in the midst of packing for a flight to see my sister, and SKORDO's 1/4 cup jar is the perfect size for carrying-on liquids to a flight. They hold about 2 oz, while TSA's guideline is unto 3.4 oz.. I decided it would be smart to fill shampoo + shea butter and try some mouthwash tabs for the first time. The employees take your sanitized container, tare it out on the scale, and fill with as much product as you'd like- you pay by weight. With new handwritten labels to tell the difference, these jars were looking proud to be purposeful again!
Another fun company to reuse your jars with here in Maine, is Near + Native. Near & Native is "striving to close the loop on the lifecycle of the candle and extend the life of beautiful vessels." They will accept any type of container, within reason, and fill it with their lightly scented coconut wax. With the same idea as shampoo + lotion refills, they will tare the weight of your vessel on the scale, fill it up, and you'll be paying for just the ounces of wax! SKORDO jars make the perfect little tea lights. This process isn't as instant as a trip to GoGoRefill, it took about 3 weeks start to finish. However, these two brilliant companies work together, so you can pickup + drop off your candle vessels at GoGoRefill, where Near + Native will collect them, create them, and drop them back off. You can take care of all your sustainable needs in one place! They also offer to ship, should you be a ways away. You get the freedom to choose from any of their 12+ scents, my favorites being Saffron Tobacco and Pomegranate Cider.
Making these was such an enjoyable experience, and knowing I'm giving my jars a new purpose was super fulfilling. Heck, SKORDO jars already overflow my kitchen, so it only made sense to bring some to the rest of the home.
After brainstorming with family, my sister shared that her + her partner share one electric toothbrush, by swapping off replacement heads, and SKORDO's 1/4 cup jar is the perfect height for keeping the replacement heads clean on the counters. I have since adapted the same habit, but I kept labels on for these so we can differentiate who is cumin seeds + who is whole cloves. There's also the simplest way of them all, purchasing polybags of your favorite SKORDO blends, and using the bags to refill your jars as needed. Our small jar is usually around 1 oz, where a polybag is around 5 oz, allowing you to get 4+ refills from each bag!
I am so curious to hear other creative ways jars have been reused, and I'd love to see photos shared in SKORDO Cooks. Here's to new habits + healthy homes!