The Zero Waste movement is growing in speed and popularity. Many people who wish to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle aim to produce their own food in the most sustainable way possible. For too long, society has been relying on disposable goods. Finally, people are committing to responsibility over convenience.
The more individuals that choose to implement zero waste practices in their garden, the better. While zero waste gardening may seem overwhelming to get started, it’s not hard to do. In this article, we’ll go over a few tips that can help your garden flourish, without the waste.
Zero waste gardening tips
If you genuinely want to be zero waste in your garden, then make your own compost instead of buying it in plastic sacks. It isn’t very sustainable to rely solely on importing organic matter. Turn to your everyday household waste for a solution.
Food scraps, yard prunings, and lawn clippings are a resource. With these elements, you can enhance soil fertility and reduce all around waste.
– Create a compost pile
If you have some room around your yard or garden area, create a compost pile for your yard waste and lawn trimmings. Be patient, as your add more yard clippings it will turn into fertile garden soil.
– Bokashi compost your food waste
Food waste is packed with nutrients that your garden can use to thrive. Instead of throwing this in the trash, turn it into valuable compost for your garden. Bokashi composting is a fast and easy way to compost your food waste. Read more about how to get started with bokashi composting.
2. Regrow your food scraps
Before you add your vegetable scraps and cuttings to your compost, did you know that some of them can be given a chance for a second life. There are several vegetables that you can regrow from a cutting or a food scrap.
Here are a few vegetables that regrow well:
- Green onions are the easiest and most popular vegetables to regrow. They already have the roots attached. This means all you have to do is cut them and leave them in a glass of water.
- Romaine lettuce also will regrow when you leave the stump in a bowl half full of water, and once you start to see many leaves, you can put it in soil. This works for Bok Choy and cabbage as well.
- Celery also regrows well. You simply place the base of the celery in a bowl of water and leave it in the sun. When it gets thicker and sprouts leaves, transfer it to a pot of soil.
- Potatoes often sprout when we forget about them for too long. Once you start seeing sprouts, you can place it in soil with the dented “eyes” sticking up.
3. Buy quality tools
One essential aspect that many often overlook regarding a zero-waste lifestyle is the initial investment. It’s worth purchasing decent quality tools for your gardening hobby. If you get the cheapest ones, they may break and then, they become waste.
You don’t necessarily have to purchase brand new. Be a smart shopper and read customer and brand reviews such as those through Easy Digging. You should also keep an eye out for good second-hand tools that may be for sale in your community.
If your tools break, get them repaired before you throw them out and replace them. Many of the higher quality tools come with warranties and guarantees.
There are many things around your home that you can reuse for a productive garden. If you’re growing seedlings, you’ll need some trays. Instead of buying new plastic ones, recycle your egg cartons, yogurt containers, or other small recyclables.
If you buy plants in plastic containers, never throw the pots away. Keep old plastic pieces and reuse them when you have to transfer crops in the future. When you remove a plant from one of these pots, wash it out, so it’s clean and fresh for a new tenant.
You should reclaim bricks, stone, and other salvaged materials for landscape edging and raising garden beds. Not everyone will have these things on hand. If this is the case, you can contact local construction companies for resources that would otherwise be trashed.
5. Reduce water waste
Another significant investment when it comes to gardening is water. That said, watering is essential to any garden. If you’re trying to be zero waste in this hobby, you want to make sure you’re not using too much. You can have a rainwater collector, or you can use grey water.
Grey water comes from baths, sinks, washing machines, and kitchen appliances. This water is relatively clean, and you can recycle it for your growing needs. There are grey water systems that divert it from these appliances for you to use in your garden.
One of the most efficient ways to conserve water is to grow only plants that are native to your microclimate. These regional plants are adapted to the local temperature and rainfall. Another way to save water is to mulch soil. This will retain moisture and ensure that water isn’t evaporated by the sun before it gets absorbed into the ground.
You can also reuse your cooking water. Whenever you boil vegetables, keep it instead of throwing it out! Of course, you should let it cool before you use it to water your garden. The water will soak in the nutrients from the boiled veggies, which will boost its effect on your plants.
6. Use natural fertilizers
Having a zero-waste garden means you shouldn’t buy fertilizers and feed in plastic bottles. Many of these store-bought products also have chemicals and harmful additives that you won’t want to use for your plants. Luckily, there are many effective natural fertilizers that are efficient and safe.
– Epsom Salts
Magnesium sulfate, also known as Epsom salts, is exceptionally beneficial for your garden. By adding Epsom salts, your seeds will germinate faster, and your plants will produce more flowers. Put some in your water, and it will boost your plant’s chlorophyll production and deter pests.
The best thing about this potent natural fertilizer is that you can buy it in bulk. Check your natural food store to see if you can fill up your own containers and pay per weight.
– Tea Leaves
Tea is a nutrient-rich beverage. When you’re done steeping your afternoon cup, save your leftovers to mix into the soil. The used tea leaves will make your plant’s soil more fertile, and they’ll grow happy and healthy.
– Banana Tea
Bananas have high levels of potassium which makes them good for health and that of our plants as well. Instead of throwing away your banana peels, soak them in a jar full of water for a week. This will create something known as banana tea.
The water will absorb all of the nutrients from the fruit and makes for great house plants. Throw the peels in your compost pile, and use your water to feed the plants.
Protect Mother Nature and reap all of the wealth that she has to offer. Implementing zero waste practices in your garden is easier than you may think. Environmental responsibility is more important now than ever before in our lifetime, and we all can play a role in protecting the future of our planet.
Other posts you might like to read:
Top 3 ways to reduce food waste
Gardening with nature: How to be one with your garden
Zero waste is definitely my goal but how do you get away from all the packaging of everything?
Agreed, it can be hard to avoid packaging. Where possible buy in bulk to reduce packaging and choose recyclable packaging wherever possible. As consumers, we can ask companies for more sustainable options and alternatives. For example, Bokashi Living reduces plastic packaging by providing bokashi bran in bulk and shipping our 6 bag offering in paper, if requested.