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Go Green; Literally! Funky Upcycling and Recycling Ideas for Your Plant Pots

A trip to the nursery is possibly the most calming and refreshing experience. Walking around, choosing your plants and just being in the presence of nature’s bounty does some amazing things for your emotional health. I know I can hardly wait for my annual trip to the nursery!

 There is one downside, however. Plants are sold in plastic pots. When we come home we plant them in our gardens. What happens to all the plastic pots? Most recyclers do not accept planters as a recyclable as they are generally made of plastics that fall under codes 2, 5 and 6. So they get tossed into the trash and eventually end up in a landfill somewhere.

 We go to great lengths to make sure our recyclables reach the center on a regular basis. So much so that many of us even go the extra mile and drop off scrap metal at metal recycling plants. I know I do. Sims Metal Management is my go-to recycler for scrap metal. They have branches all over the U.S. and in 4 other continents as well! For plastics (especially planters) that are not accepted by the average recycler, you can try a Lowe's Store if you have one in your vicinity. And if you don’t, here are some whacky ideas for what you can do with your empty plastic pots with just a little bit of effort:

1. Simply reuse them!

Source: Florpagano.com

This is probably not the wackiest of ideas but it sure is practical and is the easiest to do. Plastic planters are great for starter plants. They can be repainted to match your garden décor and reused as sapling pots. They also make great permanent homes for bonsais! 

2. Give them back!

Did you ever think of that? Imagine the number of planters that a nursery needs on a daily basis. With plants being sold every day, they need a new set of planters coming in every now and again. But why not just reuse the old ones? Make a deal with the nursery to return the planters once you have transplanted the saplings. They will be more than happy to accept the planters (provided they are still in good condition) as it will prove immensely cost-effective for them.

3. Use them as planting assistants


Place a small plastic pot upside-down inside the pot that you intend to pot the plant in. Pour the soil into the pot. The soil will fill up the pot, leaving a nice hole in the center for you to place your new plant’s roots! 

4. Sort your hardware 


Seedling trays can be used for many purposes, especially to sort your hardware. You can place different nails, screws, nuts, bolts, etc. in separate sections of the tray. It is the best way to keep the tiny stuff organized!

5. Keep your wires untangled


Tangled chords, wires, lights, etc. are a menace. Once you start untangling them you just keep wishing you could cut through it with a pair of scissors. Well, guess what? You don’t have to worry about it anymore! Store your wires neatly coiled under an upside-down plastic pot. Pull out the wire from one of the holes as and when you need to use it.

The wackiest ideas are those that come to you when you aren’t even thinking that hard. So look around your house, take look at the pots and think of crazy ways to use them. Believe me, nothing is crazier than not making the effort to reuse and recycle plastics.


This holiday season, get creative!

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