Is this Recycling or Upcycling?

I, with my simple vocabulary range, will just call it re-using. How about that?
Yes, I have found some of those discarded plastic containers of great use and they can be used multiple times too. Be it the Paris Agreement or Global Warming concerns, it is just my nano contribution to slowing down the flow to the recycling plant.

Watering bottle

Apart from the general hose-watering, I use this method to water slow and deep in areas which do not get rained on – keeps my Daikon & Carrots happy.  🙂

Feeding liquid seaweed fertilizer this way gets it right where it’s needed. No spraying around causing soil-splatter on leaves.

These bottles have been in my possession and used for over 2 years yet they are still in very good condition.

To start seeds in winter, even the not-so-chilly Florida winter, I would still need a greenhouse-of-sort. I don’t have seeding lights, warm mats and other expensive stuff avid gardeners use. I use supermarkets’ salad containers which I call green-boxes.

My seeding “boxes” – (R) is box with lid 4″ high & (L) is box over box 8″ high.

You can start with boxes in their original form – box & lid, but as the seedlings get taller, the lid can be peeled off (for next use, again as lids ) and another box can be used as cover giving the plants growing space. These boxes are 4″ high so with 2 boxes together (see pic above; left item) seedlings can happily stay there longer.

Then comes the transparent water bottles. Ah yes, I use them as “rooting bottles”. That’s where cuttings grow their roots which I can closely monitor.

Pandan rooting in bottle.

Young Pandan plants which have been separated from their mother plant(s) are left in water to re-root.

When specially rooting them to send to friends by mail, I use a transparent water bottle – make a hole in the cap for drainage and cut off the bottle’s bottom. This allows me to carefully monitor the roots’ growth so that I do not send a plant with immature roots which has to survive the days of darkness in a package (plus being tossed around and losing their feel of gravity).

See the roots?

I do this for curry-leaf plants (Murraya Koeniggi) as well.

I’m just finding it practical to pick items discarded, for a practical/secondary means of usage, rather than spend precious money buying something that will give the same result. Am I frugal? Perhaps. A penny-pincher? Not at all, I would gladly pay more for an air-ticket of a shorter-time flight;  a pair of good running shoes or a pint of good old English bitter!

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2 responses to “Is this Recycling or Upcycling?

  1. I’m never sure about the use of the term ‘upcycling’ either. Reuse is perfect. Love these ideas. I’ve also found the use of plastic cartons and bottles great for use as propagators and slug repellent devices. Condensation inside them minimises the need for extra watering. I don’t regard it as penny pinching. Where do those pennies go in the end? And what is the true cost of buying the consumer gadgets to aid propagation?

    Liked by 1 person

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