Gardening can curb plastic pollution
By Maria Price
Instead of reading, writing, and arithmetic, the R’s of modern life are reduce, reuse, recycle, and reuse.
According to the UN, the amount of plastic we produce each year weighs around 300 million tonnes, almost the weight of all humans combined, writes Tenley Haraldson for Puracy.com.
Plastic has been found all over the world, even in the Arctic and Antarctica. We can help minimize the plastic waste that ends up in landfills and oceans by choosing eco-friendly refill packs for things like soaps, detergents and cleaning products. Buying products in disposable bottles constantly creates more waste. Keep household cleaners in glass bottles. Buy reusable water bottles and personalize them. A million bottles of water are purchased every minute – think of the amount of waste that ensues. When you go to the grocery store or farmer’s market, pack a reusable tote bag for your purchases.
One of the best ways to reduce plastic is to grow a vegetable garden.
Pictured are vegetables I picked from my garden. If I had bought them at a grocery store, I would have a bunch of miscellaneous plastics used for packaging. Tomatoes are usually packed in rigid plastic, cucumbers in shrink-wrapped cellophane. Herbs can also be packed in rigid plastic containers. Peppers and beans were also reportedly placed in plastic bags. These vegetables would yield a few nights worth of dinners, but multiply that by weeks and months of plastic. Eliminate all that packaging by growing your own.
Cook more often at home with what you grow in your garden. Try canning and freezing vegetables. Canning uses recyclable glass jars that can be used over and over again.
There are many ways to prepare homemade vegetables. Try a Thai cucumber salad. Cut a large cucumber in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut into small pieces. Mix 1 small red chilli, 1 thinly sliced green chilli, 1 finely chopped shallot, 2 tsp finely chopped lime zest, 1 1/2 tbsp lime juice, 2 tsp fish sauce , 1 teaspoon of palm sugar. Pour over the cucumbers and add 2 tablespoons of chopped peanuts and parsley.