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plastic free gift giving - need help
December 16, 2009 - 7:44 am

I love to bake cookies and other treats but have yet to come up with an attractive, affordable plastic free way to share them with many people. I bought some cloth napkins at a thrift store and that will work for some things but probably won’t keep them fresh. I don’t usually give enough to any one person to fill a tin. Canning jars are nice but not so cheap. What other ideas to people have. Thanks so much.

Beth Terry
409 Posts
December 16, 2009 - 10:20 am

Hi Carrotlover. When you say “tin,” do you mean a certain sized tin? At my local thrift store, they usually have tons of tins of all different sizes that have held not only cookies but teas and other treats. I don’t understand why people get rid of them because I have found that placing cereal, pretzels, and probably cookies inside a cloth bag (or napkin) inside a tin will keep it fresh for a long, long time.

Anyone else have ideas?

December 16, 2009 - 7:35 pm

It’s not a solution to this season’s cookie giving, but you could let your friends and co-workers know that you’ll take any canning jars or small tins they find themselves with (this is how I’ve gotten several canning jars over the years). They’re expensive but only valuable to a few people, so most people are glad to pass them on.

And unless you are mailing cookies, I wouldn’t worry to much about giving the cookies in a container to keep them fresh. People tend to either eat them right away, or put them in containers they already have if you give them cookies in a small paper bag, or your so very cute cloth napkin idea. (The napkin idea is wonderful! I’m going to hit the local thrift shop later today to see if I can snag some to copy your excellent idea!)

Green Tallahassee
December 18, 2009 - 3:11 am

According to our friends over at there is such a thing as “cookie osmosis.”

Place a slice of fresh bread in with your cookies a day or two after you’ve baked them, or whenever you find their texture has deteriorated. The moisture from the fresh bread will migrate to your cookies (through cookie osmosis.


December 18, 2009 - 10:13 pm

Who says you have to use designated “canning” jars? pack things in wide-necked mayonaise or sauce jars, and disguise the commercial lid with some cloth as you would with the canning jars.

December 19, 2009 - 7:28 pm

I save and reuse tins that I’ve gotten cookies in for either food gifts or to “wrap” experience gifts like tickets, etc. Membership paperwork looks a little more significant when wrapped in a a tin instead of handing over a paper envelope. More importantly, this method helped me get rid of a bunch of tins I kept for future reuse before a big move. If the tin isn’t decorative, I paint it with leftover spray paint (courtesy of an old roommate who left me with a bunch of junk to deal with when she moved out.)

Last year, I baked dog treats as gifts. I saved spaghetti jars and used that to package the treats. I also saved and reused small jam and salsa jars to fill with homemade sugar scrubs as gifts. The jars with plain lids I left as is. The printed lids I either covered with a piece of scrap cloth or spray painted over the printed cover.

Some thrift stores and garage sales will have canning jars for sale too.

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