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Embracing sustainability: Reusing Food Program Packaging

In today's world, sustainability isn't just a buzzword—it's a way of life. At Queen's Health Promotion Hub, we provide you with nutritious food options through our Fresh Food Box and Mason Jar Meal programs, but we are also committed to minimize our environmental footprint. One significant step we've taken is designing our packaging to be reusable. From the tote bag to the small spice containers, each item in your fresh food box and mason jar meals has the potential for a second life beyond its initial use. Here are some inspiring ways you can repurpose these items and contribute to a greener future.

Health Promotion bag

The sturdy red tote bag that holds your fresh food box items can serve multiple purposes:

  • Grocery Shopping Companion: Use it for your weekly grocery runs instead of disposable plastic bags.

  • Beach or Picnic Bag: Its spacious design makes it perfect for carrying towels, snacks, and drinks for a day out.

SMALL 2 OZ Spice containers

These lidded plastic containers are ideal for storing small items and spices:

  • Office Organization: Store paper clips, thumbtacks, or rubber bands.

  • Travel Companions: Fill them with your favorite spices for camping or vacation cooking.

  • Travel-Sized Toiletries: Refill these containers with shampoo, conditioner, or lotion for convenient travel-sized toiletries.

  • Craft Supplies: Use them to store small crafting materials such as beads, sequins, or buttons. They keep supplies organized and easily accessible.

  • Kitchen: Use them to store seeds or bigger spices, like cardamom or cloves.

  • Pill Organizer: Use them to organize vitamins or medications for daily use, especially when traveling.

Paper containers

While the porous material stops these containers from being reused for storing food, they can be used for a variety of other ways:

  • Seed Starters: Fill them with soil and plant seeds for your garden.

  • Art Projects: Use them as paint palettes or to mix different craft materials.

  • Desk Organizers: Cut the tops off and use them to hold small office supplies.


These larger containers are versatile and durable:

  • Leftover Storage: Perfect for storing leftovers in the fridge or freezer.

  • DIY Herb Garden: Drill drainage holes in the bottom and use them as pots for herbs or small plants.

  • Water your Plants: Fill the containers with water and place a smaller plant pot to set up an irrigation system where your plant can water themselves.

Warning: do not place hot food/water in plastic containers (and do not microwave them!) as they may leach carcinogens and endocrine disruptors when heated!

Mason jar

  • Herb Garden: Convert mason jars into indoor herb gardens by planting herbs like basil, mint, or parsley. Place them on your kitchen windowsill for easy access while cooking.

  • DIY Candle Holders: Fill cleaned mason jars with wax and a wick to create homemade candles. Customize them with essential oils for delightful scents.

  • Food Storage: Use mason jars to store dry goods like rice, pasta, or nuts. They provide an airtight seal and keep ingredients fresh.

  • Vase for Flowers: Arrange fresh or dried flowers in a mason jar to create a simple yet charming centerpiece for your table or desk.

  • DIY Terrarium: Create a miniature garden inside a mason jar using small plants, moss, and decorative stones. It's a low-maintenance way to bring greenery indoors.

  • Fairy Lights Lantern: Place fairy lights inside a mason jar to create a whimsical lantern for outdoor gatherings or cozy evenings at home.

  • Painted Vases: Paint mason jars in various colors and patterns to use as vases for fresh or artificial flowers. They make cheerful decorations for parties or everyday use.

We hope these ideas inspire you to reuse your food program packaging items instead of tossing them away! We invite you to share your creative ideas with us on Instagram by tagging us @queensustudentwellness.


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