So many kitchen and cleaning products ending up in landfill at the end of their lives, just think of all those sponges, scourers and rubber gloves that add to our waste problems! Here’s 5 eco ways to use old kitchen products in your garden.
1. Use sponges in plant pots to help stop them drying out in the warmer months
Cut up your sponges into small pieces and place them into the compost when you’re planting up your tubs and hanging baskets. These will act as sponges and will help hold moisture in the soil. Perfect for this current heat wave as well as throughout the summer and will help when you’re on holiday. Make sure you choose an eco sponge as this will also break down meaning no micro plastics will find their way into the soil and eco system.
2. Use the natural pesticides from chilli peppers
Next time you use a hot chilli in your cooking, don’t throw away the tips or any seeds you don’t want. Simply fill your re-usable spray bottle with water, add the seeds and chilli remains, leave for 24 hours for it to infuse and it will create a potent pesticide that will help to protect your plants from bugs and flies without using harmful chemicals.
3. Reuse rubber gloves to make scary props for birds
When your kitchen gloves get worn, use them in the garden! Either for general gardening to keep your hands clean or when they’re not even suitable for gardening, create your own bird scarers. Take some natural twine and tie the arm holes onto the canes, allowing the fingers to flap in the wind at your feathered friends.
4. Use copper scourers as slug stoppers
Use copper to protect your plants from slugs and snails without using nasty chemicals. They hate the metal as it gives them a small, harmless electric shock when they come into contact with it. You don't even need to buy the expensive copper tape for your pots and plants, simply unravel your copper pan scourer when it’s no longer useful and this will have the same effect.
5. Add your food waste into your soil
If you don’t have a compost heap or composter, don’t worry as some household waste can have benefits when added straight into the soil. Banana skins act as an insecticide and also a natural fertiliser for many types of plants. Nut shells and egg shells help to aerate the soil, which is essential for those who have heavy clay and coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen so make a great addition to the soil, especially for a veg patch. You can also use old wine corks as a way to retain moisture into the top of your olive tree pots.