Category Archives: Upcycling

Creative Ideas: Upcycling Plastic Crates to a Garden Cloche

Upcycling vs. Recycling

For some reason I’d always assumed (ass-U-me) that anything we ‘reused’, rather than throw in the garbage, was  recycling; apparently not. Upcycling is reusing an item, such as the plastic crate pictured below, and creatively using it for something else. While recycling is taking items made of plastic, metal, paper etc. to the recycling areas. The items are reprocessed and manufactured either into the same, or new product.

Upcycling is being creative by using what we have. Recycling reduces waste (otherwise dumped in landfill sites), and  reprocessed.

Upcyclng Plastic Crates

We often see this type of plastic crate dumped in or beside the garbage bins. (We don’t have the luxury of house-to-house refuge collection we use communal facilites.) So using my creative spirit I collect discarded items, such as these humble crates, and put them to use in my garden.

The weather has been very cold at night with temperatures as low as 1C. We’ve also had heavy rain showers for weeks so I decided my baby vegetable plants needed protection from the elements.

With this in mind I decided to make some mini garden cloches.

Materials

1. Two plastic crates
2. Clear plastic sheets (I reused a large plastic bag which protected my new mattress when it was delivered)
3. 4 sticks. I used bamboo canes.
4. String

Plastic crate

Plastic crate

The plastic crates used for this project have an insert in each corner. You can of course utilize other types of crates and just be creative  how you attach the supports.

Plastic crate - corner holes

Plastic crate – corner holes

Cut 4 sticks the same size and insert. This will form the base of the cloche.

Cut four sticks of equal size to insert in holes

Cut four sticks of equal size to insert in holes

Cover top of crate with plastic sheet

Cover top of crate with plastic sheet

Cover the top of the crate with plastic and secure with string. I allowed extra plastic on one side of the crate for extra protection if needed.

Cover crate with clear plastic

Cover crate with clear plastic

Align the sticks with corner recesses in top plastic crate and voilá! One upcycled garden cloche.

connect the two plastic crates with sticks

connect the two plastic crates with sticks

Pull down the extra plastic flap as and when needed

Mini cloche from recycled plastic crates and heavy duty plastic bag

Mini cloche from recycled plastic crates and heavy duty plastic bag

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Base of cloche

Base of cloche

The yellow peppers were too tender to be planted in the vegetable garden so thank goodness for the mini greenhouse.

Almost there!

Almost there!

At night I pull down the plastic flap for extra protection.

Voila! Piglet's Clothe made from plastic crates, heavy duty plastic bag and four pieces of cane.

Voila! Piglet’s mini greenhouse made from plastic crates, a heavy duty plastic bag and four pieces of cane.

My garden cloche may not be ‘twee’ but it works perfectly well.

Related Post: Recycling water in the home
Reference re upcycling: EJ Environment Journal

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Recycling water in the home

Recycling Water

Recycling Water

Recycling in the home is one of my passions, so before disposing of anything from egg boxes and string to plastic bottles and containers I now ask myself “How can I reuse this item – either in its current form or in an alternative way?” It’s amazing how creative one can be!

Recycling and conserving water is my latest crusade.

Saving the planet aside, it’s surprising when you focus the mind just how much water you can actually recycle.

5 ways we recycle water

1. Recycle the backwash from the pool. At least 250 litres every 1-2 weeks. (Update: this is a chlorine pool, not salt water)

2. Run the first 5L of cold water from the hot water tap into a container. In our household we usually run off about 5L of water before the water is hot. This saves around 30L per week.

3. Recycle bath water to use on established trees and bushes (I only use natural soaps) 250L minimum per week.

4. Recycle water from washing vegetables prior to cooking. I use this on my herb garden 30L per week.

5. Recycle water from the dehumidifiers to water plants. These produce at least 10L per week!

I’d always recycled tap water, but recently while on a cost cutting and recycling mission it suddenly occurred to me, like a light bulb moment, that the backwash from the swimming pool could possibly be recycled to water my plants.

Research on the net revealed that when backwash is stored in a plastic storage tank or bottles the chlorine levels dissipate over a few days. We bottled and tested the backwash and no sign of any chlorine!

How do you recycle water?

Check out the “The National Geographic” Water Conservation Tips

This topic was inspired by Jake’s Sunday Post. This week’s theme is H20