Here is a quick collection of tips and tricks (one might even go so far as to say DIYs) for eco-conscious gardening. Not only is using recycled items to plant with great for the environment, but it’s also incredible for the budget. ♻️😄🍀✨
If you’ve ever taken on a construction project, you may have spare cinder blocks. If not, they’re easily obtainable from building material reuse centers like Construction Junction if you live in Pittsburgh, or you could probably snag a few from any construction effort (just don’t tell anyone I suggested it). If these options don’t suit you, this isn’t technically recycling anymore, but you can get them from local hardware stores for under $1. Anyways, it turns out that cinder blocks are great for containing and separating plants. Not only are they either cheap or free, but they already have two compartments for separating plants, have good drainage capabilities, and are easily customizable with paints. In my experience, clusters of cinder blocks make especially great homes for herb colonies.
Here‘s a beautiful article that shows several different ways to arrange cinder block gardens.
Another abundant resource that happens to be great for gardening is plastic bottles. Both 500 mL (16.9 fl oz) and 2 L bottles work.
For smaller, 500 mL bottles, I’ve previously turned them into a vertical, self-irrigating string of planters. While years ago, this project was very tedious and would likely have benefitted from me giving it several goes. This is especially true since I didn’t have much experience working with the circle drill bits I was using and my plastic bottles seemed to have been made of especially flimsy plastic. I still managed to come out with something functional and that I was happy with, so I’m sure it would be even nicer with more practice. This is the general blueprint I used for my planter:
I’ve never tried using 2 L bottles for planting, but I’m sure they can be used in a similar self-irrigating setup as above, or they could probably just be stacked and used as traditional pots with the addition of holes on their sides.