These Boots Are Made For Growing

While subbing in a grade four class yesterday, the students showed me their bean plants that they were growing in the windowsill.  The plants were flourishing and were planted in the most interesting way!  Using an empty pop bottle, they had cut the bottle in half using the bottom to hold water, and the top to hold the soil.  The top of the bottle (lid still on with a hole big enough to pull a strip of fabric through was cut into it) was turned upside down and filled with soil.  They filled the top with soil and planted their bean seeds. A piece of fabric was pulled half way through the bottle cap and used to absorb water that kept the soil wet.  I took a couple of pictures to show you a better idea!  I am going to use this idea for herbs in my window sill or use bigger plastic milk containers for tomato plants in my sun porch.  This is an excellent idea for those of use the tend to neglect waterering our plants! 

This handy recycling of everyday items got me thinking of other uses of the items that we tend to garbage when they can be put to good use:


If you are anything like my husband and have a thousand pair of socks with holes or missing partners, here are some ideas to put those old socks to use before throwing them to in the trash:
  • Mitts. Ideal for general weeding or planting seeds.
  • Knee Pads to protect knees and clothing, cut the feet off odd socks and use them as knee pads.
  • Tie up strips to tie your plants to posts to keep them from falling over.
  • Composting. If they’re made from natural fiber, soak them in water and then bury them under plants in the garden
  • Swiffer Pad Replacements. Use old socks as a Swiffer dry mop replacement instead of buying new pads.
  • Fill them with potpourri and stuff them in drawers to keep clothes smelling fresh
  • I use them to clean my bathroom!  My husband loves that!


Here are more ideas for reusing plastic bottles that are handy for campers, kids, artists, and even athletes:
Coffee Maker -A quick method out in the wilderness or camping; Cut the bottle into two pieces. Turn the top upside down so it is a funnel. Hold the funnel in place, and then place a coffee filter inside. Put ground coffee on the filter and pour hot water over the filter. It’s the cheapest coffee maker you’ll ever find!
Motion Ocean Bottle  If you’re the creative type, then you can fill the bottle with half water/half oil. Add some food coloring, glitter and anything else shiny that is small enough to fit, and be amazed at how cool it can look.
Ready-to-Use Ice Packs  Fill the bottle about 2/3 full and freeze. You can use it to heal a sore ankle after a run in the park, or fill it up with a warm drink so it can be cold in a few minutes.
Paint Trays ‘ Cut out the bottom of the bottle and use it as a paint tray. It’s easy to wash and convenient to carry.

How about those odds and ends we have laying around our house that would normally be thrown away without giving it much thought; check out these cool ideas

An old garden hose – make a soaker hose – poke holes throughout, seal off other end, lay in garden; bucket handle,
CD’s – one-of-a-kind drink coasters (paint, cover with paper, etc).

How about a wind chimes of old skeleton keys, hinges, doorknobs and such.

You can make a dandy bird bath out of an old pedestal sink

An old pillow case can be fashioned into a clothes pin holder!

Take a look the items you are throwing away and see if you can put them to good use.  Get your friends and kids in on being Earth friendly and not only recycle but reuse!

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