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In order to live a more green and ethical life, we must all try to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill each year. Too many of us send our waste off without paying much attention to where it ends up. In order to become part of a global solution, rather than part of our global problem, we should all try to get as close to a 'zero waste' lifestyle as possible. One of the things we can do is reuse household waste to grow our own food. Here is how you can use some of your household waste to help you in your gardening efforts:
Toilet Roll Tubes, Cardboard
Toilet roll tubes and other small, untreated, plain cardboard boxes are perfect for starting off seeds. They are great for seedlings that will be transplanted to larger containers later but which do not like for their roots to be disturbed. Since the cardboard will decompose in soil over time, they can be planted with the seedlings into larger containers (or outside), allowing you to leave the roots of the seedlings undisturbed.
Yoghurt Pots & Plastic Trays
By piercing yoghurt pots or other plastic tubs on the bottom, you can allow water to drain from them. When filled with a growing medium, these containers are perfect for growing your own food inside your home. Plastic trays that often come with your food as packaging can also be used – these are great for catching the drips below your containers. They can also be placed one on top of another (or with existing lids) to make a homemade windowsill propagator.
Plastic bottles can also be used to make little propagators to start seeds on your windowsills. Or, they can simply be cut in half and make perfect containers for growing plants, with the top part inserted into the lower half, with the neck downwards to allow for drainage. If you have enough of them, plastic drinks bottles can even be used to make an effective and attractive greenhouse with some wire and a rudimentary wooden frame.
Tin cans can also be stripped of their labels and look great as rustic plant holders. As long as the tine were used for holding food, they will be perfect for growing more of it. Just be careful as you fill the cans not to cut yourself on any sharp edges. You could also paint them with non-toxic paint to stop them from rusting and to create a finish you like.
Of course, cardboard and untreated paper can also be composted, as can scraps from your kitchen. Fruit and vegetable peelings, and other kitchen scraps can be turned into compost – compost that could be used as a growing medium for your indoors plants. You don't need a lot of space for a compost bin, and you can even compost indoors if you don't have any outside space. Making your own compost is one of the best ways to put waste to good use.