by Tammy Taylor~
I. Hate. Plastic. Now in our area of NE Texas, plastic bags are not recyclable. Actually from what I hear, even much of the plastic bags that are sent for recycling end up in the landfill anyway. There’s just not enough demand for the recycled material from plastic bags. I personally think recycling is only a tool, not the answer anyway. To me, the answer is PRE-cycling – or eliminating as much waste as possible in the first place.
Let’s take a bag of potatoes for example. Buying individual potatoes is the way to go for environmental reasons of course. But our tiny budget and the limited shopping avenues we have available out here in the boonies means we have to take what we can get. Sometimes that involves a bag of potatoes. Now that bag is purposely made with holes to allow the potatoes to breathe. So I can’t even reuse them for dividing servings of Cook-Once, Eat-Twice entrees for the freezer. But when they’re empty they still don’t go to the trash. Nope, I’ve got another use for them. You know my battle cry: Use Whatcha Got!
I take the bag and lay it out straight and fold it in half longways, then again, then again until I’m left with a strip that’s only about 1.5″ wide. Now I take my scissors and cut straight across. When I unfold each piece I’ve cut, what I’m left with is a plastic loop.
I use those loops in my garden to tie vines to their trellis. The plastic stretches just a little, especially in the hot Texas sun. So I’m not afraid that the ties will be too restrictive over the season and perhaps damage my plants. If a tie needs to be larger I simply chain several of my strips together.
I’ve used this method to tie my tomatoes to their cage. I’ve also chained several together to tie large sunflower stalks to the fence so the wind doesn’t blow the top-heavy plants to the ground. And I’ve even used these strips to tie a tiny transplanted tree to a stake to keep rabbits from nibbling it to the ground before it gets the chance to fend for itself.
Hey, the way I see it, if I’m gonna have to bring plastic into our home I’m going to make sure it’s used as much as possible before throwing it away! These repurposed plastic plant ties fit the bill for me. Use Whatcha Got!
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