Mindful activities for children: recycling glass jars

Fridge full of plastic!

Fridge full of plastic!

Fridge full of glass...

Fridge full of glass...

Does the scene here look familiar? We shop and buy plastic containers full of our supplies and then mindlessly put them in the fridge and eat directly from them, simple! It’s what we do all the time without really thinking about it.

What if instead we only used those plastic containers as temporary containers?


Or better still, what if we took our own glass jars or re-cycled the plastic ones and took them to the deli or market to buy those foodstuffs where possible?

It’s not only for fridge-friendly food – look in your pantry and see what’s stored in those handy self-sealing plastic bags – flour, coconut, spices….the list is long. You will be surprised how often you can use glass jars when you get started on the idea – nuts, dried fruit, cereal – really the list is endless! 

You might end up with a fridge and pantry that looks like this above, full of recycled glass jars.

So what can children (and adults) learn about being mindful from using re-cycled glass jars?

1 | They can learn that it’s important to make mindful choices about how we live rather than mindlessly doing what’s always happened. Maybe you could search for more non-plastic packaging when you do your shopping? Children will enjoy this hunt and especially if finding packaging they could use to store another product when it is finished is part of the criteria.

2 | They can learn that recycling glass jars helps protect the planet by reducing waste and energy used in making new containers if you discuss it with them.

3 | They can learn not everything is disposable and if we care for what we already have it will be there to use over and over again! The glass jar idea can sew the seed for other ways of re-using items in their lives.

4 | They can learn that plastics contain chemicals (you can research that together) which can leach into foods and make us sick so they can make more mindful choices about what they use in general.

5 | If they arethe ones who move the food from plastic containers  to glass jars they will be invited into the present moment by paying careful attention to their task and by fulfilling a useful family ‘job’– they will be practising mindfulness!