Survival Uses: Butter Tubs

Survival Uses: Butter Tubs

Butter is a staple in almost every cooking dish, whether it be greasing up a pan, side ingredient, or the main component, America loves butter. Butter is a very simple food; it consists of milk protein (butterfat), salt, and water. In the 1800s butter was used for all sorts of things such as fueling lamps to being an important gift at weddings. Today, the US makes 1.89 billion pounds of the yellowy goodness, making 127 million dollars a year. Butter has a pretty decent shelf life so if you are like me you probably buy it buy the tub. But, what to do with them afterward when they are empty? Survival Uses: Butter Tubs: 

Rooftop Garden

This is a perfect idea for those who live in an apartment building or other urban areas where land is scarce. There 50,000 people living in urban developed areas, and 3 million people living in an apartment of some kind. Just because there is hardly any green in the concrete jungle, doesn’t mean you can’t grow vegetables. Butter tubs are the right size to grow dense rooted and climbing vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, etc. Rooftop gardens are a great way to teach your urban kids how plants grow and where food comes from.


Because of its solid structure, you can store all sorts of things in them. You can use them in the kids’ rooms from legos and small toys. The linen closet for all those rags you just need to have. The bedroom for make-up, socks, and more. You can even use them to hide things in plain sight. Butter tubs aren’t see-through because they want to keep the butter from becoming overly exposed to light, which can destroy the butter’s taste and texture. You can wash one out and use it to hide valuables like money or jewelry in it right in the fridge.

Makeshift Bucket

Buckets will be very helpful in a post-apocalypse world. They can be used to collect rainwater. It can be converted into a washbasin to clean the house or do a load of laundry. It can also be a small latrine for on the go potty emergencies. It doubles as a trash can for keeping the place tidy. One of my favorite uses is food storage. Because they once housed butter you’ll know automatically they are food-grade safe. Being food grade safe means the plastic doesn’t have any sort of dangerous chemicals they could otherwise contaminate the food. They are somewhat watertight so they can protect things like sugar and salt. Anything you can do with a bucket you can do with a butter tub.

A Giant Bowl

Butter tubs not only make good buckets, but they make good bowls as well. You can use it to serve many dishes to a large group of people. I have heard stories from soldiers that they use them to share salads with their platoon members. Just remember plastic can melt over an open flame, so it’s best to cook the food in a pot before putting it in a butter tub. They can be kept in a doorway or an end table as a catchall for things like keys, scraps of papers, condiment packets, etc. Keep a couple of small ones on the tool bench for screws, nails, tacks, and all those little things we lose all too often when working on a project.

Compost Bin

Composting is very beneficial when growing your own food. It keeps the soil warm in winter, and cool in the summer. It increases the organic matter in the soil that helps feed roots better. It protects the roots from overwatering and wind damage. Making compost is pretty easy. Compost can be made from any fruit and vegetable scraps, like skins and cores. You want to avoid meats and oily foods though because they don’t degrade fast enough to be of any use. Leaves, weeds, and mulch can also be used as natural compost. All you do is collect these scraps and stuff them into a container then wait for it to begin to decompose. Once they half decompose spread it across the garden, particularly around the base of the food you are saving.

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Written by M.L. Lewis

M.L. Lewis is not new to the world of writing. She has written various short stories and poems throughout the years and has won multiple awards in art and literature. The highest honor she received was Poet of the Year in 2000, and again in 2005. A poem she wrote in honor of law enforcement can be seen in the book, Everything You Wanted to Know about the Heroes in Blue. She was also featured in Encounter magazine for the volunteer work she did for the United States troops. In 2010 she won Resident of the Year in a local newspaper titled The South Hills Messanger. Today, she spends her time increasing her knowledge on disaster preparedness while working on her Ph. D. in Paranormal Studies.

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