The Beginner’s Guide to Going Green With Glass

The Beginner’s Guide to Going Green With Glass

Who isn’t familiar with glass? As one of the most commonly used materials in the world, glass can be seen almost everywhere around us, whether it’s in the form of your favourite drinking cups, the sunlit windows in your home, or even that odd little figure you picked up at the neighbourhood garage sale. Its versatility and practical benefits have cemented it as one of the most popular building materials for centuries - it’s no wonder you can find it anywhere. 

But what’s less commonly known about glass is its efficiency. Did you know that this crystal-clear material is actually infinitely recyclable? 100% of glass can be reused no matter what its original form was, and even broken glass can be safely deposited into the recycling bin! This makes glass a widely sought after resource, since its capacity for being recycled and upcycled makes it the perfect sustainable building block for creating a circular economy

Although properly disposing of glass can seem difficult in comparison to some other popular materials like paper or plastic, it’s far from rocket science. Learning how glass works - and how to correctly handle it to maximize sustainability - is infinitely important when it comes to cutting down on waste, saving crucial natural resources, and paving the way to a brighter, greener future. 

That’s why we’re here to make things easier for you! Read on to find out more about this magic material and what you can do with it to help the environment. 

What Makes Glass A Sustainable Material?


Six clear glass cups stacked upside down in the shape of a pyramid, set against a blank white background.
Source: Unsplash

First things first: why exactly is glass useful when it comes to helping the planet?

One easy way to visualize it is this. Imagine buying your favourite drink at the convenience store. If it’s a typical brand, chances are that it comes in a single-use plastic bottle. When you’re done with the drink, that plastic bottle will be tossed out into the garbage, eventually ending up in a landfill and becoming waste that’s actively harmful to local ecosystems. 

Statistics show that over 3 million tonnes of plastic is thrown out by Canadians every year, but only 9% is properly recycled, which results in a huge buildup that seriously threatens our environment. Not to mention that it’s a lot harder to recycle plastic than most people think - the material often contains microplastics that bleed out and contaminate our planet, and its creation is usually powered by nonrenewable energy sources that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. 

On the other hand, if your drink came in a glass bottle, it might be a different story. Glass is more durable and longer-lasting than plastic, which means that it’s a far more sustainable material long-term. It’s also mainly crafted with natural resources like silica, which makes it non-toxic! In other words, a drink packaged in glass instead of plastic eliminates excessive waste buildup, causes less harm to the environment, and also does a far better job than plastic if you feel like reusing or even upgrading your bottle once you’re done. 

So How Can You Help the Planet With Glass?


Four green glass bottles lined up in a row on top of a wooden surface, each filled with different types of flowers and plants.
Source: Unsplash

Now you’re familiar with the basics of glass and why it has so much potential when it comes to helping the environment. But what can you, as an individual, do with your glass waste to support this cycle? Here are some tips to keep in mind next time you come across an empty glass bottle or container! 


A hand wearing a striped shirt pours milk from a glass bottle into a glass jar to make coffee. The jar is placed on a table beside a glass bottle repurposed as a flower vase.
Source: Unsplash

#1: REUSE YOUR GLASS. The easiest and most surefire way to get the most out of your glass is to reuse it! Since glass is sturdy and long-lasting, it can be repurposed in tons of different ways as long as you make sure to clean and take care of it properly. Got an empty glass jar leftover from finishing your favourite jam or condiment? With a quick wash, it’ll be ready to be used again to hold anything you desire, whether that be candies, homemade sauces, or even freshly picked wildflowers to brighten up your home. 


A row of several labelled glass jars with lids that contain spices, lined up across a wooden shelf.
Source: Unsplash

#2: UPCYCLE YOUR GLASS. An even better way of reusing your glass is to upcycle it into something new and exciting. Not to be confused with recycling, upcycling means that instead of a material simply being processed and remade into a similar product, it’s upgraded into a higher quality one that’s a step up from what it used to be! This is incredibly beneficial for the environment not only because it cuts down on waste in an innovative, unique way, but also because it uses up much less resources associated with traditional recycling, which reduces energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. 

If you’ve got a creative streak or are talented at hands-on work, upcycling is a fantastic way to breathe new life into your empty glass containers. Tea lights, candles, flower vases, and even mini terrariums are just some of the ways you can transform your glass into a better version of itself. 


Several empty green glass bottles organized in rows inside a yellow plastic case.
Source: Unsplash

#3: PROPERLY DISPOSE OF YOUR GLASS. If you still have glass left over that you’re not sure how to deal with, properly and safely disposing of it is still a big way you can help the planet. All you have to do is give it a quick rinse and package it up, then deliver it to your nearest recycling plant. The best way to do this is to check in on local resources to make sure you can drop off your glass correctly. This way, your glass can be efficiently sorted and re-enter the cycle as soon as possible. 

Worried you’ll make mistakes while sorting? Too busy to locate and drive to the right facility? If you’re looking for a simple, hassle-free way of disposing of your glass that’s also super eco-friendly, consider donating to Mosa if you’re in the B.C. area! All you have to do is fill out a short form and we’ll drop by to pick up your glass for you. 

As of now, we only accept glass bottles, but we can guarantee that they’ll be upcycled into beautiful, unique new products that don’t only help build a greener future, but also support the creation of a circular economy that prioritizes environmental sustainability. 

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.