6 Ways to Reuse Waste for a More Sustainable Garden
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6 Ways to Reuse Waste for a More Sustainable Garden

When it comes to waste management, they say the best place to start making a difference is right in your own home, and that includes your garden. What you may consider trash and useless items in your yard can actually be turned to good advantage. 

The idea of recycling your waste is to put throw-away items — e.g. plastic, ice lolly sticks, light bulbs, and old CDs — to good use fora more sustainable gardening. 

In a bid to reduce waste and help the environment, our garden experts have compiled six ways to reuse throw-away items.

6 Ways to Reuse Waste for a More Sustainable Garden

It is never a bad thing to re-use old items at home, especially in the garden, and there are so many creative ways to give these items a second use. Let’s get started!



Plastic bottles make great planters, including trendy vertical gardens and self-watering planters. Not only that but they also make good watering cans, and could even be cleaned and stuffed with plastic wrappers to create eco-bricks.

Cut off the bottom of clear plastic bottles and use them as an alternative for cloches to protect your seedlings against the harsh winds, slugs and snails. Once the plants are touching the sides, remove the bottle immediately.

Tip: Remove the caps so the plants can breathe without excess moisture and build-up heat. On the other hand, plastic bins with lids can also be used to make propagation boxes.



Go to your kitchen and see if you can find some empty glass jars. Whether it’s an old jam container or a coffee jar, they all can be reused or repurposed in a variety of ways.

In particular, we’re going to use them for your garden. Glass bottles and jars can be used as alternatives for:

  • sleeker self-watering planters;
  • slow-release irrigation in garden beds;
  • holders for rooting clippings. 

You could also reuse them for kitchen products like homebrewed apple cider, pickles, preserves, and more! But before that, make sure they’re all cleaned out beforehand.

Here are some simple steps on how to sanitize your glass jars using vinegar.

  • Fill the bottle or jar one-third of the way with vinegar.
  • Then fill the rest with hot water.
  • Let it stand for ten minutes.
  • Lastly, empty and rinse until vinegar odour dissipates.

Food Packaging


Instead of throwing used packaging from milk, bags of coffee and tea, or even rice, reuse them to store your seedling collections or the next batch of beans from your garden. Easy-peasy!

Ice-Lolly Sticks


Who would have thought that small things like this can actually be put to good use? Save your kids’ lolly sticks and use them as customised markers for your garden or seedlings. 

Prepare your permanent marker and reusable cloth. Then apply a few drops of a solution of warm water and sea salt to the ends of your lollipop sticks. After that, use the reusable cloth to rub off any remaining stickiness. 

Let the sticks dry outside for at least an hour, then label them with a permanent marker, and use them to mark plants in your garden. There you have it!

Light Bulbs


Once the electrical components are removed, light bulbs make the perfect home for air plants and water-saving succulents.

After cleaning out your light bulb, ready your potting soil and small potting pebbles, and start planting in it.

Tip: If you’ve never tinkered with a light bulb before, you can watch YouTube tutorials.

Aside from light bulbs, there are great plant pot alternatives you can reuse to reduce your expenses and help the environment thrive at the same time. Read here: 6

Plant Pot Alternatives You Can Find At Home.

Old CDs and DVDs


Did you know that old CDs and DVDs can be an excellent use as bird-scarers? Birds are often deterred from landing on garden vegetables if their vision is distracted.

A shiny, reflective CD hanging near the garden provides the right movement and distraction needed to keep them away! You can make bird-scarers by threading your old CDs with strings or fishing wire.

Then attach it off the branches of nearby trees, or to a washing-line across areas of your vegetable garden.


Doing our bit to save the planet has never been more important, and it’s true what they say – every little helps. Before you throw out your old stuff, such as CDs and food packaging, see if you can find another use for it outside. 

Most things can be upcycled or reused in the garden if you think creatively enough.

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