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Garden Recycling - Plastic Containers 2

Posted on May 24, 2016 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)



For those who were wondering if my plastic container garden was ever completed, wonder no more. Over this past long weekend, the weather warmed up and I found the time to repot into my recycled plastic containers. It was surprising to see how quickly the plants resettled in. Once the plants are sturdy enough, I will repot them up permanently in my larger metal garden containers - old kettles and pails. With more warmer weather on the way, it won't be long.




This year I've planted sage, tomato, flat-leaf parsley, oregano, thyme, chives, some garlic, rosemary, and mint from seed. All of these were started off in empty eggshells 'pots', then each one placed back into egg cartons. If my egg cartons had been those paper ones, I would have simpled planted the seeds into the carton compartments but mine are clear plastic and I like to reuse these over and over again. I stored the carton 'incubators' under the kitchen sink cupboard - a nice dark and cosy place for seedlings to sprout. Once the seedlings had grew a few inches, I transplanted the little fellows into plastic milk containers (the ones I used for the pizza gardens last year).


Note that before transplanting, I gently crush each eggshell and then place each in the new container. Even though the eggshells will soften in the new pots, it's still a good idea to crush them as it allows the seedling roots to quickly reach out and settle in new soil. Because it was too cold to put these outside, I placed the plastic containers in front of a sunny window near the heating ducts. When it was warm enough outdoors, I moved the containers onto to their bamboo perch.



This is such a simple way for anyone to garden. The kids that live in my apartment building are already working on this year's balcony gardens (I gave each one my surplus seedling plants) and were, again this year, eager to see the results. Note you don't have to use plastic containers - waxed milk containers work just as well. So do tin cans. If you are using tin cans, remember to put something under each can to prevent rust showing up on your patio or balcony. An old saucer or plastic lids work well.


Also you don't have to start off your seedlings in eggshells - egg cartons (as I mentioned above), newspapers or cardboard toilet rolls work just as well. Use what you have and get the kids involved. As with the eggshells, you should make tears in the toilet roll pots and open up the bottom as cardboard takes a long time to disintegrate and this can stunt the seedling roots. Newspaper on the other hand falls apart quickly.


Enjoy your gardening!


Garden Recycling - Plastic Containers 1

Posted on May 11, 2016 at 7:55 AM Comments comments (0)

I'm getting so impatient to start my little balcony garden. I've managed to start chives, garlic, and thyme plants this year and have kept these nice and warm under my kitchen sink. Now it's time to get them outside. However, here in Ottawa it's still a little too cool to put out my plants. My plastic milk containers, all in a row, are ready to be filled. 



I slipped a bamboo rod throw the handles of each container to hold them in place and then added two over-the-door hooks to secure the rod to my balcony railing. I love this time of gardening as it saves me lots of room on my long, but very narrow, balcony. And it's portable, too, so I can move it when the plants need more sunshine. Once the plants are too big for the containers, I will transplant them into bigger garden pots. 




This photo shows how you can turn a regular plastic milk (or fruit juice) container into a sweet container. It's the perfect way to start your little ones gardening, too, as the handle on the container makes it easy for little ones to carry these portable gardens. Great school project too!

Earth Day Project - Plastic Jar Recycling

Posted on April 18, 2016 at 2:15 AM Comments comments (0)



In my second Earth Day project, I've recycled plastic jars into sippy cups for kids. Yes, I know, you can purchase Mason (or canning) jars versions at about $4.99 each (then you have to buy the sippy lid!). If you're a DIYer, there are oodles of online tutorials to make these glass versions as well.

 

However, I wanted to be sure that the little guy and his pals had more kid-friendly sippy cups - light-weight, unspillable, and unbreakable if accidentally dropped. So I thought I'd repurpose my empty (and clean) stack of PET plastic jars that originally contained organic mayonaise into my version of a kid's sippy drinks cup.



How to Make a Plastic Sippy Cup:


All you need are three things: a PET plastic jar, a milk or juice carton, and a metal canning jar ring. You can buy these rings at any hardware or food supply shop. I got mine at Home Hardware for $5.99 for a pack of 12. Note: Save the original lid of the plastic jar to use as a cookie cutter!


To make: First roughly cut out the cap/spout part of a fruit or milk carton, then using the canning jar ring for the template cut the cutout into a round shape so that it fits inside the ring. That's it. Your kids can add their names to the jars and/or decorate them with felt pens.


Fill the sippy cup with your kid's favourite beverage and plunk in a straw. When the cap is put on, it makes the sippy cup unspillable. Not bad, eh!


Recycling Plastic Bottle Caps

Posted on August 24, 2015 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)


Plastic bottle caps- what can you do with them?

   

Well, I for one, use them as the tires for the milk/juice carton trucks and little toy car racers that I make for the little guy. However, today, I stumbled across an artist who also uses plastic bottle caps but raises them to a whole new level.

Meet Dan de D. Munch, a French Parisian artist, who considers bottle caps a serious art medium and, to prove it, he has created a whole plethora of 'toys' just by using these ho-hum caps who until recently were not recycable!


The caterpillar is just one of his many, many ideas. It begs the question - why buy your kids toys when you can create them at home using this totally recyclable material? To view his way with plastic bottle caps, copy and paste the following into your search engine box:

https/sites.google.com/site/dandemunch

For some reason, I can't make it linkable.

I'm off to find some more plastic bottle caps!

Recycling Plastic Bread Tabs into Gift Tags

Posted on February 20, 2015 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Having to stay home and in bed most of the time because of my back injury, I'm finding that I'm limited by what I can do. No more dashing down to my storage unit to rummage through boxes for something I need; no more reaching up in the closet to bring down a few items; no more bending down to grab something that's fallen. My little guy's birthday is in March and I had already assembled his gifts - I normally send a box full of wrapped gifts to be opened over a period of days (although my daughter, his mom, tells me they never wait that long). All I needed to do was wrap up the gifts and get a kind neighbour to post the box. The gift wrap wasn't a problem as it was already close at hand but finding gift tags for each of the gifts needed some creative thinking.




Enter the lowly plastic bread tab. I found a dozen of so in the bottom of my bread box. To turn these into gift tags, I cut out small pieces of gift wrap and bits of cardboard recycled from a tea package box and trimmed these trimmed to the same width as a bread tab. Then I glued each one to the bread tab. A little note on the back of each - something witty like "Don't Open Yet!" - and I was done. Cost? Zero! (And they can be reused over and over - just peel off the cardboard paper bit and replace with a new one!) 

New Year New Start

Posted on January 11, 2014 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Over the past few days I've been clearing out my closets and storage area with the aim of downsizing the stuff I haven't looked at or used over the past year. Some of these are already posted on my Etsy shop and on UsedOttawa and Kijji. All the money that I make from selling my stuff goes into my grandson's college fund (he's only 3 but, hey, the sooner you start saving, the better).


Unlike the hoarders you see on those reality TV shows, I really don't have a lot of stuff. I find having too much weighs me down mentally so normally when I get something new, my philosophy is to get rid of something that's not being used. It usually works. My problem is that I can see possibilities in almost anything for the purposes of recycling, reusing, or upcycling so it can be a tough process. I'm off loading the what's left of my Tiffany glassware (via my Etsy shop), my cherished vintage canning jars (mantra - I don't need them, I don't need them, I don't need them, etc.) via Kijji and Used Ottawa for starters.



I did use my canning jars for storage but these took up a lot of room as I could not stack them. Now instead of storing craft stuff in my lovely canning jars, I'm using clear plastic containers my neighbours pass on to me. Before the canning jars, I kept my little bits and pieces in boxes but could never find anything without having to open up every box (labels always mysteriously disappeared). Keeping them in jars made finding stuff easier. Now the plastic containers will serve the same purpose - they are also stackable, lightweight, almost non-destructible, and I don't have to worry about broken glass if these get dropped.



Also, I'll be reusing any jam, pickle, mustard, etc. jars from the grocery store (emptied, of course!). Aren't the stylized Union Jack lids of these jars cute. They came on condiment jars I purchased at Marks and Spenser's food court in Edinburgh and, after finishing off the contents, now serve as containers for my office supplies.


How are you getting organized for the new year or are you?