by: Carrie A. Blakley
With this ‘zero waste’ idea that’s been going around the Internet lately (read that as ‘something that’s been taking place for the past 5+ years, that people are just now starting to pay closer attention to’), it made me stop and ask myself: “How much do I really recycle”? The answer is: Anything I possibly can. When I go to the local transfer station, people can see me piling through stuff left under the pavilion. Often, it’s stuff that anyone in their right minds would throw out, or leave for someone else. I am that someone else, and yes, I’m not in my right mind (we all know this anyway, let’s not pretend otherwise). We’re all used to recycling out glass bottles, our electronics, our plastics, and our tires. At this point in this county, that’s an almost involuntary action. But, what else do we really recycle? Do we really stop to consider what we can repurpose?
Cardboard boxes can be used for all sorts of things, the least of which is fire fodder. Plant starter pots don’t have to be purchased. Just save up a few egg cartons, yogurt containers, and fruit cartons. Poke some drainage holes in the bottom of the solid plastic items, and you just made yourself a starter container. If the container is made of plastic, you can reuse the containers over and over. Just wash them out, and store them for the next round of seeds. Items like newspaper, and egg cartons, are biodegradable, so they can be planted directly into the ground, and will be broken down by nature. Egg shells can also be used to start growing seeds, but once the new plants are put into the ground (or, larger containers), don’t throw the egg shells away. Grind them up and use them around your plants. Larger shell bits act like razors on the ground that slugs and snails will not cross – because the sharp shell edges cut them.
Got kids (not baby goats)? Start saving those yogurt, and fruit cup, containers. Why? Arts & Crafts. They’re perfect size for holding anything small, or portion out anything in smaller portions (say, crayons, stickers..etc.). They also make for great small portion food scoops for smaller pets. Did you get 1 too many straws with your drink order? Save the unused straw in the glove compartment to use later, use it as a plant marker, use it as a type of splatter paint brush…etc. See? Lots of different uses for common stuff if you just put your imagination cap on and start getting creative. Enjoy the week, even if it is going to be a bit colder than it has been. Stay well, and get creative!