Monday, December 17, 2012

Reusing Yogurt Containers

Thus far, buying yogurt has proved to be one of the big sticking points in reducing waste.  I haven't yet found yogurt in a reusable container, and NYC doesn't recycle any plastic besides bottles.* 

I started eating yogurt a lot last year - who knew I could really love it when you get rid of all that fake sugar and flavoring? Anyway.  Nothing beats yogurt and granola for a quick, simple breakfast. 

I buy a big container from a dairy at the Greenmarket every week or two.  They started to stack up on my shelf because I figured I would find a place that would take them, i.e. the Gimme 5 program.  That hasn't happened, although I will take some home at Christmas (my parents' county recycles all numbers).

In the meantime, though, I've been using them as bulk-buy containers.  They're lightweight and stack together, which means they're easy to carry, and when I get home I just wash them. I've even used them to store some foods that don't spoil fast and that I eat fairly quickly, like oats, brown rice, and pasta.  I sharpie the food, cost, and tare onto the lid to make life easier on the volunteers at 4th Street Food CoOp



  1. What a great idea!

    We use them for storing leftovers, but bulk foods would really cut down on all those plastic bags!

    1. Yes to cutting out plastic bags! And these are light enough that you could use them even in places that won't let you tare your own containers (Whole Foods & Fairways, looking at you...)

  2. I hear you!

    I've learned that it's not hard to make my own yogurt (especially since I have access to scientific things like . . . thermometers!) You just heat up milk to about 190 degrees F, let cool to 120 degrees, mix in some active yogurt, and then keep at 120 for several hours. There are lots of variations; you can check them out on the web.

    This is much cheaper and makes less trash (especially because I can get milk in glass bottles).

    Having said that, I've learned that it's hard to make *really good* yogurt. So every once in a while I'll make my own, but I usually buy yogurt from a stand at market that allows me to return the plastic tubs.

    1. I've looked at how to make it before, on your blog and others. I just haven't had the time yet, but it will happen. I buy my milk in glass bottles too, from the same place I buy my yogurt. It would be cheaper, at least money-wise, to make some from that milk. Although I'd have to scrounge up a thermometer.