Five reusable household items for the garden

Five reusable household items for the garden

In 2018, I made a pledge to eliminate single-use plastics from my life. I found it easy to make progress toward that goal, but achieving 100% success was difficult. Unless you grow most of your food, you are bound to come across plastic packaging. And while many plastics are recyclable, using an item one time and discarding it is still a wasteful practice. In general, I find that the more I reuse items, the less I spend wasting money on products that are harmful for the environment.

Here are 5 common household items you can reuse before you recycle them:

1. Plastic spray bottles.

Once you’ve used up your household cleaner, you can thoroughly wash the bottle and reuse it. Plastic spray bottles are excellent for watering seedlings and misting houseplants. Once the sprayer gives out, leave the top on and recycle the bottle as one unit.

2. Food containers.

Fruits and vegetables in the produce section often come in plastic containers that can be reused as greenhouses for seedlings. The lid seals in moisture before germination and can be removed once seedlings sprout. Domed lids work best as they give the seedlings an inch or two of space.

3. Pill bottles.

An empty pill bottle makes an excellent container for seed storage. The bottles reduce light exposure and prevent moisture from getting into the seeds. You can put them in the refrigerator to extend the life of the seeds.

4. Plastic buckets.

Cat litter, paint, rock salt, joint compound, and even cleaners and detergents come in plastic buckets ranging from 1 to 5 gallons. These sealable buckets are excellent for storing bird seed, potting soil, lime and just about anything you can think of that needs to stay dry.

5. Plant tags.

In general, you should reuse plastics from the garden center as much as possible. This is especially true of plant tags, because many recycling centers do not accept them. Flip the tag over and use it as a marker for your seed starts and vegetable garden. Give your plant tags another life before they find their way to the landfill.

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