7 Best Ways To Reduce Plastic Waste In Your Garden
With the huge negative impact that plastic has on the environment, it has become necessary to ensure a plastic free zone in your surroundings. From food and drink packaging to plastic plant pots, this substance has slipped easily into each of our lives and made us completely dependent. But now it is time to look over this and switch to alternatives that are harmless to us and our environment and we should first start with our home gardens and ensure in making it a plastic-free zone. From plant labels to compost bins, plastic is a great feature in our gardens too.
Plastic was invented in the 1960s and since then it has been a game-changer and today around 500 million plastic plant pots and seed trays are sold every year. As in so many cases, recycling is not the solution to dealing with garden plastic. Instead, Ponzi encourages gardeners to seek “ways to keep plastic out of the garden in the first place” to cut demand for horticultural plastics. But how? It is really easy to switch to plastic-free options in your garden. Here are the best ways to beat plastic pollution in your garden.
1. Create Your Own Fertilizer
One of the most effective ways to cut down on plastic waste is to make your own fertilizer, commonly known as compost. If you are not already turning food scraps and garden waste into a nutrient-packed solid addictive that plants love, you are missing out. A compost is far more than fertilizer for the garden. Compost is a necessary and sustainable strategy for reducing waste and hence preventing air pollution.
2. Grow Or Harvest Your Own Mulch
One easy and efficient way to cut down on plastic waste and also save money is to skip bagged mulch and make use of the free materials growing your yard. Not only do mulches look good and help reduce the number of weeds in your garden, they also help preserve soil moisture and add nutrients to the beds.
3. Pass On Plastic Nursery Pots
Are you buying transplants from a garden center? If yes, you are bringing home plants in plastic pots. While some pots are recyclable, others can be brought back to the nursery for re-use. You can make seed starter pots out of newspaper, toilet paper tubes and repurpose a cardboard egg carton. Also opt for bare root plants or make pots from compostable materials like coir and parer to reduce plastic pollution.
4. Upcycle Broken Pots
We understand that plastic is durable and very unlikely to break, but such is not the case with terracotta and ceramic pots. However, a broken terracotta pot does not mean that you have to dispose of it. Apply the philosophy of wabi-sabi and embrace imperfections, while also adopting the basic idea of upcycling and finding new uses for old items. You can even repurpose plant pot shards and place them in larger pots to protect the soil from unwelcome pests and create handy plant labels.
5. Choose Plastic-Free Gardening Tools
Go for durable metals and wood tools rather than plastic ones. Plastic tools are more likely to break easily and need replacing and therefore you should find rakes, shovels, trowels, garden carts and trimmers made without plastic. Go for ash handles in tools, and buy tools made of metal, carbon or stainless steel. Also, switch your plastic gloves with cotton ones which can be composted along with the food scraps.
6. Get Creative With Plant Markers
Ditch the standard row makers and instead design your own plant markers. You can use sturdy sticks or repurposed shims, shards of broken terracotta pots, popsicle sticks, or inexpensive metal spoons from rummage sales or thrift shops. You can even make your own markers out of clay or hand painted rocks—a great project for involving kids in the garden.
7. Choose Non-Plastic Seed Packets
Though a majority of seed packets are made from paper, so skipping garden plastic in this department isn’t as challenging. Thoughtful planning can help you buy less seed overall, and you can cut down on packaging waste further by swapping with friends and neighbors. Consider saving your own seeds as well.
Gardening with less plastic can take a little extra thought, but it isn’t difficult. Try some (or all!) of these simple swaps and beat plastic pollution to a large extent. You’ll have the double pleasure of a healthier garden and the knowledge that you’ve helped to slow demand for unnecessary plastic.