Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Seed Starting and Reuse of Plastic Mesh Bags

Pretty Plastic Poison

I suppose this could qualify as another Green, Broke & Living in Kits Recycling Tip, so here comes the banner:

Do you ever find yourself wondering what to do with those plastic mesh bags that contain peanuts, onions or limes? Sometimes it's exceedingly difficult to avoid purchasing them (which is always the best way to go about it!), and if you're at all like me, you cringe at the idea of chucking it into the trash.

I'm going to turn these into an art project

I usually would throw a miscellaneous plastic throw-away like that directly into the recycling bin (barring the inspiration to reuse it for another purpose first!). I don't care if Metro Vancouver can't recycle it - I think it should make an appearance at the recycling depot all the same, if only as a reminder that it should be recyclable!

Snip off strips of that empty mesh onion bag to line your reused pots with!

I think I've posted before about how I often reuse these mesh bags to store tulip and other spring flower bulbs in my closet (I hang them in a dark, cool and dry place - works great!). But there's another great use that I wanted to remind you of, and that's as a liner for seedling pots.

You know how all the soil falls out the bottom of the pots through the drainage holes? Well you can't very well plug those up - drainage is crucial! So the next best thing is to put a 'screen' over the holes so that water can come out, but most of the soil stays in.

And seeing as it's the end of February (almost - leap year, don't you know!), it's perfect timing for a seed-starting repurposing reminder! I just sowed a bunch of tomatoes, peppers, tomatillo and some window box flowers this week, along with all the peas I had left. I can't wait for spring!

So there you have it - another way to get more mileage out of that disgusting, petroleum-based poison we call "plastic", before sending it through the waste-management system. Sigh. I'm sure it could almost all be recycled, but in our capitalistic society, if no one's willing to buy the used plastic off of our city, then nothing more is going to happen to it. It's just going to sit and sit and sit in our landfills for generations and then some.

But aren't those toxic bright colours fun? Why not make the most out of it and turn it into something else (if you have kids, a doll-sized hammock?). Maybe by the time you're finished with your objet d'art, there will be a market for it as a recycled commodity. One can dream, yes?

If you don't do art (shame - what a pity! Give it a go sometime in the privacy of your own home; you might like it!), consider donating your clean plastic scraps to Urban Source on Main Street (remember the old Imagination Market?!).

Check out the Plastic Manners blog if you haven't already. Her latest post on 21 Feb 2012 is truly inspirational. Plastic has nothing on nature!

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