‘Too much’ would be an understatement when referring to the amount of plastic waste the Earth carries at present. Humans produce roughly 300 million tons on an annual basis — each taking 10-1,000 years to decompose.
Our garden gurus now encourage every green-fingered Brit to take on a plastic-free challenge in their gardens.
7 Ways to Reduce Plastic Use in the Garden
From pots and fertiliser packaging to netting and fleece, we can’t deny that this modern synthetic material called plastic is extremely useful in the garden.
But as responsible gardeners, we should do our best to minimise our plastic consumption. And if you lack ideas in doing so, these simple ways will be more than useful.
1. Use clay pots instead of plastic
Despite being slightly more fragile, clay pots compared to plastic can decompose easily once disposed of.
This type can also give your garden a classier look since they appear a lot more natural than synthetic plant pots.
2. Create your own compost heap
When you make your own compost in the garden, you will not need to buy potting compost from stores which come in huge plastic bags.
However, if this idea sounds inconvenient, you can avail bulk orders of compost from local builders’ merchants or garden centres. This way you can partially reduce plastic waste via the magic of the surface-area-to-volume ratio.
3. Use wooden plant labels
For being water-proof, gardeners often use plastic and laminated labels to identify plants in the garden. But, popsicle sticks or small pieces of wood can serve the same purpose.
Aside from creating a more natural look, you can also sand the names off if you want to re-use these wooden labels.
4. Create your own weed killers and bug repellents
Most pesticides and weed killers we use in the garden come in plastic bags and bottles. Little do we know is that we can make some at home to save the planet and a penny!
Some organic and chemical-free garden sprays can simply be made out of the things we see at home: cooking oil, garlic, vinegar, and even boiling water!
5. Use a metal watering can
Metal watering cans, aside from being more environment-friendly, can mean fewer expenses since they last longer than plastic. Synthetic options can go brittle and eventually snap.
6. Create your own seed starters
Seedling pots do not always need to be made of plastic. Some of the most common things we see at home can serve the same purpose — toilet rolls, citrus peels, milk cartons, or even egg shells.
7. Use metal or wooden tools
Despite being a little more expensive, opt for wooden or metal tools the next time you buy your garden equipment. They are more durable than plastic, so you will not need to throw them away often in the long run.