Zero Waste Gardening: Tips For Choosing Seeds and Plants

Those who want to live a greener way of life will discover that gardening is one of the best routes to take. Growing your own food will help you to move away from a reliance on the wasteful food industry and take back some control for the waste you generate. But even when growing your own, it can still be tricky to truly become zero waste. Seeds often come in plastic packaging, and plants often come complete with plastic pots. Here are some tips for choosing seeds and plants that should help you to move towards a truly zero waste lifestyle:

Pumpkin seedsLimiting Consumption

The first stage in moving towards a zero waste garden is limiting the number of items that you have to buy in the first place. The more self-sufficient you can be, the less you will have to rely on others to reduce packaging. Why rely on others to make ecologically sound decisions? By limiting your consumption, you can begin to regain some control over the waste that enters and leaves your home.

When it comes to seeds, collecting your own is a fantastic first step. Collecting seeds from the plants that you grow to replant the following season will obviously reduce the number of new seeds that you have to buy.

Even those new to gardening may be able to collect seeds from the gardens of family, friends or neighbours. Often, you can source a wide range of seeds for free.

The same is true of plants, which can be propagated. Learning how to take cuttings or propagate plants by division can give you access to a wide range of plants without the need to go out and buy new ones.

SeedsSourcing Zero Waste Seeds

Of course, you may still sometimes have to, or wish to, buy seeds. When you do, it is a good idea to seek out suppliers who will deliver seeds in paper packaging rather than in plastic. Paper packets can be popped on the compost heap, while plastic ones cannot always be recycled. There are a number of companies offering plastic free seeds online, and paper seed packets can also often be found in a range of garden centres.

Biodegradable plant potsSourcing Plants Without Plastic Pots or Packaging

If you do need or want to go out and buy new plants, it can be a challenge to find options that do not come in plastic pots. However, some plant nurseries and garden centres are now switching to biodegradable plugs and pots. It is worthwhile trying to find somewhere that has made this change if you can. If you cannot, why not have a word with your local nursery or garden centre to suggest that they too make the effort to go 'zero waste'?

As mentioned above, growing plants from seed, and propagating your own plants, will also reduce the number of plants that you need to buy and help you to avoid building up a massive collection of plastic plant pots.