5 ways to reduce and reuse waste in the garden!

Filed in Guest Posts by on June 6, 2013
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recycling and reducing waste in the garden The sun is shining and it looks like summer is on its way, so here are some reduce, reuse, recycle tips you can apply to your garden at home.

These tips are geared towards cutting transportation mileage, avoiding landfill and making productive use of items in and around your home, including waste!

Make compost

After six-to-24 months you won’t have to buy your compost from a garden centre or supermarket any more – eliminating plastic packaging and carbon mileage.

Your compost will be nutrient-rich, chemical-free, and won’t contribute dangerous methane emissions to the atmosphere that food waste in landfill does.

Even broken-up eggshells can be composted – all you need is a corner of the garden or a container. The RHS gives great advice on how to set up a bin-less compost heap.

Look after your tools!

Look after the ones you have and store them together properly in an accessible place.

Tools need cleaning before they are put away; metal ones should never be put away wet and will need a wipe over with an oily rag (try cooking oils) now and then to keep rust from corroding over time. Invest in a whetstone to sharpen edges. Learn how to sharpen garden shears properly and they will last a lot longer!

If you have to invest in new garden tools, buy the best quality, most robust you can afford (which will last longer) and choose metal and wood over plastics for extra eco-friendly Brownie points. 

Use de-icing salt or table salt on weeds

You can put your de-icing rock salt into action during the summer months by using it to rid your driveway, patio and paths of weeds.

Salt is a natural and highly effective weedkiller. Mix it with water to produce brine (or even vinegar, according to some recipes) and apply directly to weed roots with a watering can.

Pure white rock salt is best for this, or you could even use food-grade table salt. Take care not to use it close to plants you want to keep and be patient: it might take a few weeks for this chemical-free process to take full effect. 

Use broken crockery in plant pots

Broken plates, mugs and cups can make an ideal drainage system for outside potted plants and indoor ones too.

Be careful if they need more breaking up – put larger pieces between newspaper, carefully use a hammer to make them smaller and aim for shards of around half-to-one inch in diameter. Place these in the bottom of ceramic pots for the plastic inner to rest upon. The curve of mugs and cups make them more suitable for larger outdoor pots.

Collect and utilise grey water

It is possible, with care and diligence, to use washing up water to rehydrate your parched garden in the summer months – or any other time, for that matter.

Grey water is saved from baths, showers, hand basins, the kitchen sink and even washing machines, but caution and common sense must prevail: some chemicals might harm plants or change the alkalinity of your soil over time.

If you use genuine environmentally friendly cleaning products to wash yourself and your dishes with though, you’ll have nothing to worry about.

What about you? How do you reduce, reuse and recycle in the garden?

This post was sponsored by Icethaw Salt Supplies, which specialises in a wide range of natural de-icers, from traditional brown grit to premium white rock salt that leaves no residue.

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

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