Build a better mousetrap means to improve something that is already perfect. The case in point here is the canning jar. How could it possibly be improved when it is perfection, itself? The answer comes in three words: plastic storage caps.
plastic jar lid
Aesthetically, they are the little black dress of the storage world. Easy-on-the-eye, neutral white, neat, pleasant in a tactile sense, and simpler to use and wash than lids and rings.
Herb-wise, I much prefer them and here's why:
Herbal-Infused Vinegar -- vinegar will corrode any kind of metal, requiring a protective sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap but with the plastic lid, you avoid that extra step. This also applies to most herbal cleaning products that contain vinegar.
Herbal Tincture -- same as above, but the culprit is alcohol.
Herbal-Infused Honey -- easier to wash the stickiness off the plastic lid than a lid & ring.
Bath Products -- when you're in the shower using a scrub, which would you rather mess with, honestly?
Tea Jars -- aesthetically pleasing and easier to use.
Dried Herbs -- same as above.
Herbal Liqueur -- same.
32 oz. lacto-fermented plums, 64 oz. raspberry rose-geranium liqueur, 16 oz. lavender tincture
I think I actually use jars more now that these lids are available. I know it's plastic but maybe more use balances out the negatives of the plastic factor. They can be used for food storage in the cupboard, refrigerator or freezer; any kind of liquid from juice to dyes to homemade cleaning products; playdough & crayons; ribbons & fabric scraps -- it's an endless list. And if you get the half-gallon jars, the storage potential increases exponentially!
in the freezer: some of the 2010 pesto, grape juice & tomato sauce
The only time not to use these is when you're capping something hot -- making an herbal infusion or canning still requires the lid & ring system.
I've never seen these lids in-store so have always ordered them on-line. There are several makers with prices in the $4 range for a box of eight, some sites sell by the case. And they come in regular and large-mouth size. Do a search for "plastic storage caps" and go-to-town!
I hope you like them as much as I do.
Also posted at Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday.