A peek at my herb shelf: reusable jars and DIY labels

Step by step I try to change things for the better in our little household. Better for our health, but also for our budget, and of course, for the environment. Because going green doesn’t only apply to yourself. It also has to do with how you treat your surroundings, our precious earth and the whole eco-system.

One thing that comes to mind when thinking about that, is recycling and reusing. Recycling is something we’re doing already for as long as I can remember. Admitted, sometimes it can last a bit too long before taking the trip to the recycling facility downtown. But, we’re storing everything that doesn’t belong in the normal waste in our garage, waiting for it to be transported to the appropriate place. Recycling is really the easy part, isn’t it?

Reusing things, that’s another story. Although we’re certainly not doing bad, I think everyone can find things to improve on this part. Rome wasn’t build in a day, so we can’t change everything at once either. But sometimes, little things come to mind and today I want to share one of them. It's not something that seems to matter much, but I'd like to think a lot of little things make one big!

You should know I like to use herbs in cooking. A lot of them. And a lot of different kinds. Some people use nothing more than salt, pepper and the occasional basil or so, but I’m definitely not one of those people. A while ago, I discovered a great shop where you can buy all kinds of herbs in bulk. Not only is this better for our finances, but it also gives me the chance to store our herbs in reusable jars. I must admit, the herbs bought in our regular discount store, are also kept in glass jars. But the lids don’t always work that good, and, honestly, the look of them just doesn’t make me happy. Plus, I've also come across a lot of other brands having their herbs in plastic jars, which makes it not so eco-friendly. So when I ordered my first batch of herbs in this online shop, it was the perfect opportunity to look for something nicer.

I first found suitable jars at Ikea, 4 pieces for 2,99 €, being a budget-option. I’ve also bought two from Dille & Kamille, one of my favorite stores in Antwerp. It’s just fantastic to walk in, finding all kinds of kitchen stuff in natural materials, with a retro feel to them. It always smells so great there too. At 1,5 € a piece still very affordable jars, although they are smaller than the Ikea ones. But the lids are made out of metal, where the Ikea ones are plastic looking like metal ;-).

Anyway, if you want to buy some for yourself, make sure they’re glass jars, so you don’t have to worry about BPA (a toxin very widely used in plastics, that leaks into your food, yummm!).

What I like about this change, is that I can buy herbs in larger quantities now, making it more budget-friendly. Also, the jars can be used over and over again, making it good for the environment. And what I personally like too: I can make my own cute labels for them!

Super-easy to do of course: just buy some hobby-cardboard, with patterns you like.

Cut out little labels in a size suitable for your jars, and write the name of the herb on it.

Next, I use those little reusable sticky gum-like-things to attach it on the jar.

Don’t know how it’s called elsewhere, but over here I remember it used to be named “Buddies”. Haven’t bought them in a long time, because well, they’re reusable. It’s actually meant to put posters etc on your wall without having to use tape or drawing-pins. Benefit of this is it’s easy to replace your label for another one, should the content of the jar change over time. I don’t like to put on premade labels that afterwards won’t come off properly and you’re left with this sticky, yucky spot.

In the perfect world, I would have my shelves entirely filled with these. Not all my herbs are changed for these nicer-looking ones though. We still buy the basics at our discount store, just because we need to keep a close eye on our budget. But for some herbs that can’t be found there, or herbal mixes that often have a lot of additives in them, buying at an organic shop in bigger quantities and using these jars, is the better option. And the more fun one too!

By the way, the shop I’m talking about here, I will talk about in my next blog post. Stay tuned!

What are the little things you guys do to change your habits in favor of the environment?


  1. love it! always using an excessive amount of spices, need to start making my own mixes

    1. Thanks! It sure is perfect for making your own mixes in!


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