Sustainable Living

Sustainable living can still be beautiful. It’s all about repurposing household items that most people throw out, by using them in new, creative ways. Glass jars that condiments come in can be washed and reused for homemade pesto or tapenade.

Another fun way to use ball jars is to display food, like layered desserts or salsas. Keep bugs and insects out by keeping the lids on your jars until you eat your treats. Whether your guests are sitting at a table or lounging in the grass, they’ll find it easy to eat out of these jars. Tie a bamboo spoon around the jar lid with string or twine for a functional but lovely presentation.

Ball jars are all the rage, but most people used to throw theirs out! I often use old jars for floral arrangements. Loose clippings from your yard arranged in several jars make a pretty tablescape. To create ambience, place small votive candles in additional ball jars for twinkling lights around your space.

I also love cute composting bins. They hold great fertilizer for your yard, and they’re easy on the eyes! This bin that I have goes with my rustic but industrial aesthetic, so I don’t mind having it in the house. Just put all of your leftovers (like apple cores, watermelon rinds, etc.) in the bin. When it’s full, take it to a large outdoor compost. Once the contents are all broken down, you can use them as an all-natural fertilizer for your plants and yard. Waste not, want not … you’ll have healthy flowers, too!


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  1. Mindy Lawrence

    I love this little compost container. I don’t have anything like it (an old stew pot) around here but I can look for something similar at Goodwill. I wonder what kind of paint is on this one?

  2. Karen Card

    I would love to know how to make and take care of an outside composter. I love gardening and could benefit greatly from this. Any info on this would be greatly appreciated.

  3. Mariann

    Karen Card, a compost bin can be as complicated and fancy as you like, to something as simple as a pile in the remote corner of your yard. It really depends on your preference. A quick search of the internet will help you get started. I started with the pile in the corner of the yard, just heaping all of our kitchen scraps on it, along with grass clippings, and leaves. Turning it with a shovel or a compost fork every now and then. Spraying it with water once in a while to keep the decomp going. As a rule I stick to anything that comes from the earth, can be added back to it. Egg shells, fruit peals, etc. I avoid meat and dairy products. We currently have five used pallets, screwed together as our composting unit. Still a pile…but a bit cleaner to look at! Good luck! you won’t be sorry!

  4. I have a compost pile. And it sttraed out just as that. A pile of veggie waste out in the woods, until Maggie decided that compost is yummy and sttraed dragging it all over the yard and bringing it up on my door mat. Now it is enclosed in chicken wire. I turn it over with a pitch fork once every few weeks and call it good. But now there are onions and pumpkins growing in it and I dont want to turn it over and kill them. And Maggie sometimes stands at the new compost fence and barks at the compost. I am not sure why!

  5. I will CERTAINLY agree that lava ash and rich compost tea are MAJOR keys to gionrwg very large vegetables Most people I know only go as far as regular potting soil, with plain water and maybe a store-bought fertilizer. But I come from the Mount Shasta area of northern California, where there is TONS of lava ash. People there who use rich compost tea grow GIANT gegetables, with NO Alaskan midnight sun. So this man is right.

  6. You don’t get giant veggies from just addnig nutrients. You need to also buy performance’ seeds that came from last years biggest healthiest crop, whose seeds came from the previous years biggest healthiest crop, and so on. For the normal gardener, everyone has a tree and grass in their yard. This system isn’t going to help your garden anymore than your own compost pile.

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