PARIS, April 26 — From using natural materials to making your own flowerpots, in a new book, German author and biologist Elke Schwarzershares shares tips and tricks on how green-thumbed readers can take care of their garden without using too much plastic.
Plastic is everywhere: in stores, in hospitals, in schools, at home. And the environmental impact of the waste of this material is today only too well known.
But if you thought gardens and green spaces were a haven from plastic, think again.
Even if you’re careful not to buy gardening supplies in plastic packaging, there’s a good chance that plastic will still end up in your garden.
However, “it’s easier to ditch plastics in the garden than in the house,” says Elke Schwarzer, biologist, blogger and author of the book. A plastic-free garden (A garden without plastic), published on April 20 in France by Éditions du Rouergue.
The book offers 150 sustainable alternatives to plastic to help you maintain your garden in a more sustainable way. Here’s a look at three of the author’s top tips.
Buy (our source) your plants in bulk
Elke Schwarzer is a nature lover and has been managing her small urban garden in northern Germany since 2003.
Despite its small size, it is home to many wild plants that she also uses in her cooking. She prefers to source her supplies from local nurseries or plant exchanges.
“At the weekly market, plants are also often sold without pots, in newspaper. I also found perennials and countless flower bulbs thrown haphazardly in the forest or hidden in the bushes near the community gardens,” the blogger explains.
Make your own pots
“The attic and the cellar are often Ali Baba’s caverns of ideas, just waiting to come out into the light and into the garden”, explains Elke Schwarzer. An alternative to traditional plastic pots is to reuse all sorts of old objects, provided there is a system to allow the water to drain.
An old coffee maker, saucepans, a pot, a metal box… anything goes. You can also make seedling pots using old egg cartons or by wrapping newspaper around a wooden cylinder as a mould.
“With bicycle rims you can make flower bed borders by cutting them in half, or if you attach them to the wall they can be used to support climbing plants. walks around the city, because the space available for plants is limited and the inhabitants are very creative.
In Amsterdam, for example, there are canisters, letterboxes or old metal trash cans on every street corner, lovingly filled with plants of all colors and sizes,” notes the biologist.
Work the wood
Whether it’s for your garden furniture, your flower beds or a compost bin, almost anything can be made of wood, the most common material used in gardens before plastics became widespread, explains Elke Schwarzer.
To ensure the durability of the material, the author recommends using strong European woods such as larch, pine, oak or chestnut. — Studio ETX