Gardening is a wonderful gift and it can be done whether you have a garden or not (take it from someone who hasn't had a garden in 3 years). Before we dive into all the zero waste tips I have compiled for you, let's remind ourselves the advantages of gardening.
Gardening, to some, is a form of relaxation - a meditation of sorts. It is science backed that this productive task is therapeutic and even benefits those who suffer from anxiety or depression. Feeling connected to nature is probably the biggest reason for this. Improved physical healthy is another benefit of gardening. You take in the Vitamin D from the sun, get your body moving and get some fresh air. Not only is it good for your health but it teaches one patience because beautiful flowers or delicious vegetables do not grow overnight and take a lot of work to produce. However, in the end you will have a supply of homegrown organic vegetables which brings a sense of achievement along with it. If you want to read about more benefits and what to be careful of click here.
Now let's dive into all the ways that we can enjoy this activity whilst also being environmentally conscious.
Reuse old containers
As you can see in the picture above, some of the 'plant pots' are reused plastic cups, glass jars maybe even yoghurt pots. It might not look pretty but it sure is a better solution to encouraging the production of plastic by buying multiple plastic pots. This is especially easy when you are just starting off your seedlings. Speaking of which, you do not always have to buy seeds from the shop. Get creative and use what you have. A sprig of basically any herb will flourish into an unlimited supply if treated the right way. If you don't know how, click here for an easy guide!
Reduce water usage
If you live in a home with your own garden then this is slightly easier to do. Put out a few
buckets when the forecast predicts rain and collect some rain water to use for your plants. Not only does it cost you less but it reduces water usage too! If, on the other hand, you live in an apartment and think it might look a bit weird carrying buckets of water upstairs through the block, I understand you. Here's another solution. If you're the type of person who would never re-boil the kettle but there is water leftover, don't pour it out. Let it cool down and water your plants. When you boil pasta or vegetables and normally you drain the water down the sink, next time do it into a jug so you can water your plants. They would probably benefit from the nutrients released from the vegetables when boiling.
Rethink buying unnecessary plastic items
If you have your own garden then try avoid buying a large bag of compost wrapped in plastic. Why not make your own? Its super easy to do! However, if you do not have this option then use some waste that you would normally put into your compost bin, such as egg shells which contain so many nutrients and calcium any plant loves!
Another popular item when growing tall plants are plastic single use cable ties. They do not do this world any good unfortunately. There are alternatives that are just as convenient except these ones you can reuse and don't have to keep buying! Do you see a saving money trend in this blog post? What I personally use is a thin string what you tend to see on rustic gifts at Christmas - twine. This fabric makes it easy to reuse and also to tie on your plants without damaging the delicate ones.
Another great swap is rather than buying special made plastic plant labels, again, make your own! Keep the wooden sticks off ice pops or ice creams, you can even buy some sustainable bamboo ones or just simply write it on the container.
In conclusion, I hope I showed you that living sustainably and plastic free can actually turn out to cost you LESS money than what our usual shopping habits demand. Although it might take a little bit of extra creativity, it can be a fun activity to do with kids or even for yourself. Gardening is a beautiful thing and I would encourage everyone to plant something this spring and feel that irreplaceable rewarding feeling.
You might think it's just one plastic straw but if everyone thought like that then there is a couple billion straws we have to dump into landfill. Think sustainably.
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