I recently asked readers for some ideas on topics we might want to discuss together (that is, topics on which you would like to weigh in with some tips for other readers). Here's a topic idea submitted by Shelby24019:
"Since we are trying to go green and keep as much out of our landfills as possible, [you could ask for submissions on] what are some of the ways our members recycle? Unusual containers, shredded newspaper as mulch in the garden, etc. Odd objects as trellises for vines. You could do a survey to see what everyone does on their part for recycling in their gardens."
Share your recycling tips with us!Answer Shelby's Question
Not Just a Shell
- I use coconut shells in outlining landscaping designs and as planters when dried. I also use them as mulch and at the same time to help eradicate weeds. These shells also give the garden a rustic look.
- —Guest ineselewis
I Recycle Glass, Mirrors
- I pick up broken glass and mirrors wherever I can get them. I make small decorative wooden items. Some I use for picture framing and the mirrors I can cut into shapes such as hearts. People love this stuff. Find a local craftsman who will love to take it off your hands and avoid having to buy new material just to cut it down into 6 or 7 inch pieces.
- —Guest MaUGBbGkRoE
Recycle Bird Food
- I throw away nothing! When my parrots are done eating, their food goes out to feed some other birds.
Recycling Aluminum Cans
- I use aluminum cans as filler in the bottom of large flower pots. They are lighter than rocks and broken clay planters. They also keep your plant roots from sitting in water if you get a lot of rain or the kids think it's grand to water Nana's plants!
- —Guest barbarapstewart
Recycle Egg Crates
- I always buy the cage free eggs and they come in a plastic egg crate that has three pieces. I began saving them this year and am currently using them for my seed planting. I put a hole in the bottom of the egg holding part and use the top part as the tray in which to hold them. You can also use them as little green houses, do not put holes in the bottom, use the inner part as a tray and use the top part as the cover, it works great and the top part is just big enough to get seedlings to a great re-planting height. It also saves money as I did not have to buy trays this year and was able to start plants early with the green house type, but using them either way is good.
- —Guest Maura
Recycle Preen Jugs
- I have two of the Preen jugs, one I use to spread the Preen, the other, I washed out well with soap & water, then use to spread wild flower seed mixed with sand. Works great for spreading any seeds!
- —Guest Margo
More Recycling Ideas
- I tear up old tee shirts into strips and use these to tie up grapes, kiwi, and other plants including the trees I am espaliering. It has enough give that these ties don't strangle the plants. We grind up all of the neighborhood tree trimmings for mulch. We give away excess plants started for the garden and strawberry plants, rather than waste them. We also gather up unused vegetable seeds and see that they are donated to community gardens, schools etc. I solarize all of the nursery containers the neighbors want to get rid of and then use them the following year. We plant extra vegetables for the elderly etc.
- —Guest Charlie
Recycling in House, Yard and Garden
- We also re-cycle every thing that we can think of. When we cook we have two bowls, one for trash and one for recycle. For veggies, fish, coffee grounds etc. I put it in the blender and liquify it, put it on one of the gardens, 1 herb and 2 veggie. Water it in and turn the soil once a year. Works great for fast composting. Yard recycle, I built a sod wall about 2 1/2 feet tall and put all the grass, bush and flower clippings in the pile. Water it and put a box of Rid-X on it and turn once every month. At year's end, spread it around and start over.
- —Guest Mr_Science
Recycling Cat Litter
- A prior respondent wondered how to recycle cat litter. That fits right in with what I wanted to say, because I do recycle cat litter. After I remove the feces, I spread the cat litter around the perimeter of the garden. My idea is that the cat urine in the litter can act as a sort of repellent (against rabbits, in this case). I got the idea from seeing how "predator urine" (from foxes, etc.) is sold as a commercial pest repellent. I don't know if the urine-soaked cat litter is a successful pest repellent or not, but I figure it can't hurt.
- —Guest Tony Mitterwald
Plastic Bottle Lids
- Lids can't be recycled curbside yet and I hate to throw them away. I'm trying to use them in the garden. I use them as feet for the pots I have around. We have a huge problem with slugs here and if I can get air under the pots it helps. It also helps with the rings pots usually leave on my patio. This is the first year I'm also trying to use them as a filler for the bottom of big pots. In theory, because the lids are so light I'm thinking they will make the pot be less heavy than if I used pieces if broken pots or just filled with dirt. We'll see how that goes! I use the lids from milk jugs, shampoo bottles, juice bottles etc. I hate to see them go into the landfill and if I can re-purpose them then we all win!
Recycling in Garden
- I have planted a veggie garden for the first time in many years. I have an old iron single bed headboard that you have inspired me to go ahead and use as a trellis for beans.
- We compost, too. But we also created a no-dig 27' circular garden last year. We layer it off-season with ready compost, grass trimming, leaves, etc. What I'd like to know how to recycle, if possible, is used clumping cat litter. As "fill dirt" it's terrible. It's my primary ongoing source of weekly trash.
- —Guest Nica
Green With Envy
- When items break or wear out I re-purpose them. On my deck is a round BBQ'r that has the lid propped open & painted yellow, with the tub still shiny black & the support system painted yellow and the handles bright red that is now planted with pansies. It has wheels & I move it wherever or whenever needed. My fertilizer spreader has now become a perennial flower pot. Broken rakes make a good trellis in large pots.
- —Guest Ruth Smith
Compost Allows for Recycling in Yard
- I keep veggie and fruit scraps (whatever is left -- I eat almost all of it), I mix them with leaves and grass clippings. I compost it all in the back of my garden and use it as a fertilizer. The best trick however, is to recycle the grounds of that 'great coffee'. I distribute it over my rose bushes and get spectacular results!
- —Guest Elsa Cuba
Don't Let Lettuce Ties End Up in Trash
- You know the ties that are used to hold bunches of lettuce together at the supermarket? Whether it's the twist-tie type or the velcro type, I always recycle them. I find them very handy to have around for whenever I need to secure vines.
- —Guest Peter Gast