Friday, June 1, 2012

Recycling with your garden

Here at our house we have yet to become a part of any recycling program, which we really need to do soon.  But there are ways that we have been cutting waste to keep the Earth happy.  Our biggest step that we started this year was our compost pile.  Right now it is just a pile in a corner of the yard, but eventually I will find something to make a compost box out of.  In our kitchen we have an old pretzel bucket that we put food waste in.  Coffee grounds and egg shells make up most of our compost, but there's a few fruits and veggies that have been half-eaten by the baby that we toss in there too.  Any leftover food scraps also get tossed in.  The downside is that if we don't stay on top of it, it gets smelly.  Fast.  But all of this food is going to be eaten by our worms (which we saved from the bait store) and turn into some amazing dirt to be spread out on our garden next spring.

Other things that people recycle and we don't right now is plastic.  Plastic has always confused me because some of it is just not recyclable and I have just re-used it for drinking bottles or plant watering bottles anyways.  But it can only be re-washed so much, because that little neck on the bottles just isn't exactly easy to get past.  I decided to look online to see what I could do with the immense bottle collection that has been stacking up in my cupboard all winter. 

Watering Bottles can be made from a 2-liter soda bottle.  From what I've read, they're handy when you won't be around for a few days to water your garden.  Just fill them up, and insert them in the dirt upside down.  Sounds like those watering globes that are sold everywhere, to me!  If you wanted something more fancy, you could always paint them up or make a cover for them.

Milk Jugs, Plastic Bags, Coffee Cans, and Yogurt Cups also have a ton of uses.  In The Garden Online has plenty of uses for these wasted materials, some of which even I did not realize (and I love to reuse my stuff).  What struck me the most was the lack of ability to recycle yogurt cups.  I'm glad that I had been saving them for seed starters!

Cardboard is just another material that decomposes great and has a variety of uses.  Aside from everything being shipped with the stuff, it decomposes great in the garden.  If you've just moved or seem to just collect boxes, you've got plenty of cardboard around to cut up for decomposition in a compost pile.  You can use boxes as a container for plants, and even use smaller ones as decomposable starters (just make sure that you cut some drainage holes in them).  Weed barriers, foundation for a garden path (under some mulch), and many more things can be used from just cardboard. 

Nature Moms Blog has even more cute ideas for recycling those pesky newspapers and toilet paper rolls.  Looks like there's a use for almost everything!

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