Start the New Year with low waste plan
ONE of the burning issues confronting the metropolis right now is waste disposal. While the law requires citizens and local government units to segregate waste, it seems this isn’t enough to address the garbage problem that’s full to the brim. This issue needs to be addressed quickly before everything gets out of hand. Change is needed badly.
The good citizen knows that the best approach would be to start change within oneself. And when it comes to the problem at hand, the good citizen would pledge not just to segregate trash, but to produce less trash by living a prudent lifestyle and shun a wasteful one.
It doesn’t end there, of course. The good citizen gathers recyclable products and heads to recycling centers nearby or keeps them for seasonal recycling markets. Among the many acceptable wastes that can be traded for cash are plastic bottles, tin and aluminum cans, paper scraps, metal items, and other non-hazardous stuff.
And then there are better approaches: upcycling and repurposing. Though there are slight differences, both practices are essentially about reusing something for better use, if not a wide variety of other purposes. Old materials can be turned into art pieces, furniture, accessories, even wearables.
But at the very basic level, the good citizen can upcycle material such as packaging that’s otherwise just thrown away into something more useful. Upcycling and repurposing aren’t new concepts, but they certainly are getting traction among good citizens of the world.
Here’s a look at some basic items in your home and some practical ways of of upcycling or repurposing them without breaking a sweat and benefit from the practice:
A good hobby to start is growing your own crops and veggies, and you don’t need to spend a fortune on seedling trays. That’s because you can use egg trays to grow tomatoes, bell peppers, basil, lettuce, pechay and other leafy greens before transplanting them.
Mandaue City has implemented an ordinance banning plastic bags, so groceries or small retail items are packed in brown paper bags, which are biodegradable. Instead of just throwing all these paper bags, you can extend their use with some simple ideas. Ideally, paper bags as arts and craft material is the way to go, but if not, well, paper bags make good protective “matting” for utensils or household containers. Also, cut up paper bags can be used as food sheets using the clean inner side.
Root crops cut in half can be grown inside water-filled mason jars, before they’re transplanted to an adequate amount of rich soil. See how fast potatoes and sweet potatoes grow and develop roots through the clear glass jars.
The barbecue stick is quite versatile, and among its many uses are as support for root crops grown in mason jars or to prop up fruit-bearing plants such as tomatoes and bell peppers.
Yes, you can upcycle certain food scraps by growing a small garden out of them. For tomatoes, you can dry the seeds and plant in egg trays, then transplant when you see true leaves. Similarly for scallions, you can cut the green part and leave one-and-a-half inch of stem, then transplant when leaves have sprouted. As for onions, the root part can be dipped and grown in water.
Not only do you have your upcycled seedling trays, you also have egg shells that can be used for a couple of things. One is you can use half an egg shell as marker for what kind of seeds are planted on your egg tray. The remaining calcium-rich egg shells can be crushed and tilled to the soil as fertilizer when you transplant your seedlings.