Create a showcase for your plants by using a roller skate as a base for the plant container. Plant summer grasses in galoshes or an old boot. An old child’s wagon or wheelbarrow makes a great mobile plant container, and a vintage bird cage can be planted and hung from a front porch for a wonderful old-fashioned look.
Buckets, soda bottles and plastic containers make excellent potting sources for small plants. Make sure the containers have proper drainage and adequate amounts of sunlight and water. Old wooden boxes, metal buckets, washtubs and hollowed-out gourds all make unique planters, and are a great way to reuse and recycle items. Cut into short pieces, metal and vinyl mini-blinds make great plant markers. Clean nylon hose is useful for tying plants to trellises or fences. Cut the bottom off a milk jug and use to protect small plants from frost.
Tires were banned from Missouri landfills in 1990. However, there are still thousands of tires that end up in illegal dumps – these dumps provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other vermin. One creative use for old tires is as planters in your garden. After very carefully cutting off one side wall on a large tire, gardeners can place the tire in their garden and fill it with soil, manure or compost. The tires retain a bit more heat to aid in growing, and when used as a raised bed they warm faster. Raised gardens can increase spring soil temperatures by 8 to 13° F over nearby soil temperatures at ground level.
Composting information can be found in the Solid Waste Management Program’s Homeowners’ Composting Guide. For additional environmentally-friendly tips, please visit Green Tips.
You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, which is traditionally the “greenest” day of the year. For a truly green St. Patrick’s Day gift, give friends and family a potted shamrock. They make a wonderful indoor houseplant and are believed to bring good luck.
Missourians planning to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a party can leave a green stamp on their event by purchasing reusable decorations, rather than ones that are designed to be thrown away at the end of the day. If planning a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage and a steaming bowl of potatoes, be sure to compost the leftover cabbage and potato peels and purchase locally grown and packaged beef when possible. For more information about composting and recycling, visit Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
If you prefer to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at one of the many parades or events held throughout Missouri, consider walking or bicycling if nearby, taking a bus or picking up friends along the way. Carpooling and using mass transit are great ways to go green by reducing energy use and saving green in your wallet.
For additional environmentally-friendly tips, please visit the department’s Green Tips.
Green Tips – Fall Season Composting
Fall is a wonderful time to visit the local farmers’ market for pumpkins, squash, apples and other seasonal favorites. Locally grown produce is usually grown within a 100-mile radius, and purchasing locally saves valuable energy as well as helping the local economy. While some pumpkins can be used for pies, other pumpkins, gourds and melons may be cut up and composted once the season is over. Fall is the perfect time to start your own compost pile at home. Yard trimmings, vegetative food waste including fruit and vegetable peels, egg shells, and coffee grounds and filters can all be placed in a compost bin.
For more information check the program’s information on composting or starting a compost pile.
The fall holiday season is a good time to be green by remembering a few simple steps.
For more information, visit Green Tips.
Locate recycling facilities in your area
or visit the program’s Solid Waste Web site.
The first thing a summer griller must decide is gas or charcoal? Try to choose cleaner burning propane for gas grills. However, if charcoal is your preference look for lump brands. Some lump brands are made from sustainable forest timber. If the fire needs a little help getting started, use a chimney starter rather than lighter fluid to get it going. This cuts down on chemicals released into the air.
When it comes to choosing what to place on your grill, visit your local farmer’s markets for fresh produce. By purchasing locally, energy is saved by not transporting the produce from great distances. If possible, look for locally raised and processed meat to further reduce energy consumption. Locally grown is usually within 100 mile radius.
When setting the table, purchase reusable products such as flatware, silverware and cloth napkins. For a unique look, use bandanas for napkins and old quilts for tablecloths. If this isn’t possible, use paper plates and napkins with recycled content and plastic cups that are biodegradable and can be composted. For the children’s table, a Frisbee covered in wax paper makes a great plate, which can be turned over and used for fun after the meal is finished. After dinner, try to compost as much of the food scraps as possible, and enjoy the outdoor weather, no air-conditioning required.
Composting information can be found in the Solid Waste Management Program’s Homeowners’ Composting Guide.
For additional environmentally-friendly tips, please visit the program’s Green Tips.