by Rebecca Rockefeller
Ever come across one of those clear plastic boxes used to package fresh greens and bakery goods at your local grocery store? As part of my family’s shift to no-new-plastic zero waste living, we’ve found other ways to get our greens and grains. These plastic boxes are not currently recyclable here, and even if they were, their downcycling would likely require the input of virgin plastic feedstock.
But we’re always ready to snag a few of these boxes from our neighbors’ trash cans. We wash them out, add a few ventilation holes or slits if desired, and pop them over tender seedlings. Each one becomes a mini greenhouse/cold frame for the plants it covers, offering heat and a bit of protection from slugs, birds, rambunctious dogs, and other threats to baby plants. When our plants outgrow them, we stack the empty boxes on our garden bench and save them for the next round. It’s a great way to delay their trip to our landfill while pressing them into the service of local food production.