Celebrate Earth Day with a couple do-it-yourself projects that recycle items from around your home and backyard.
Plastic Bottler Herb Planters
With its smart use of recyclables, this modular, self-watering garden is green in every sense of the word. Put a few on your kitchen windowsill to help kids cultivate their gardening skills and perhaps try a few new flavors!
What you need:
- Sturdy 1-liter plastic bottles with caps
- Utility knife
- Label remover or vegetable oil
- Potting soil
- Herb seeds
- For each planter, mark a line 5 inches from the bottle’s base. An adult should the puncture the bottle at the mark with a utility knife, then use scissors to cut all the way around the bottle. Remove the label, using the label remover or vegetable oil to get rid of any extra adhesive.
- With the cap in place, invert the bottle’s top portion and insert it into the base. Fill it partway with soil. Plant seeds, add 1Ž2 inch of soil and press gently.
- Lift out the soil-filled top portion and remove the cap. Add about an inch of water to the planter’s base, enough to cover the lip of the inverted bottle top when you replace it. Give the seedling some more water to help it get established, then place it in a sunny spot.
Pinecone Bird Feeder
What you need:
- Flat baking tray
- A good-sized pine cone (best if it’s 5” or larger, with plenty of space between bristles)
- Smooth peanut butter
- Blunt table knife
- Table covering—this activity can get messy!
- Cover your work surface with newspaper or plastic. Pour some birdseed into the baking tray and set it in the middle of the table for later.
- Tie a 12” piece of string to the top of the pinecone.
- Use a blunt knife to spread peanut butter into all the nooks and crannies of the pinecone. Completely cover the pinecone.
- Roll it firmly in the dish of birdseed so that the pinecone is covered as much as possible with the seeds.
- Hang it from a nearby tree. Birds usually take a few days to locate new food…but when they find it, it will be a bird bonanza out there!
- When this pinecone is pecked clean, make another!
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