Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Return plastic pots to nursery (Change 120)

Ahhh.....Spring.  A time whenever everything turns green after a long cold, winter.  A time when flowers start to poke their little heads above the ground.  A time when the local nurseries go crazy.

The May long weekend signals planting time in Ottawa.  Our official last frost date is around May 19, so the long weekend traditionally sees hordes of people descend on garden centres and nurseries to purchase plants, veggies, trees and shrubs.

Our family was no exception.  Although we didn't actually go out on the long weekend, DH and the kids did make a short shopping trip while I was in Halifax.  They purchased tomatoes, shallots, beans, peppers, onion sets, potatoes and a few herbs.  I haven't had a chance to plant them yet, with the 30+ weather we've been having this week, but I hope to get them in the ground by the weekend.

Which brings me to my next environmental no-no:  the plastic pot.  Most of my new plants come in one of those little black or rust plastic pots.  Like most plastic things, they end up in the landfill when their one-time use is over.

 Many nurseries in the Ottawa area take them back, but in past years, I've been lazy.  It's just been too much effort to make a second trip out to return the pots for the few that I've had, so into the garbage they've gone.

This year, I plan to stop being lazy and return the pots, so they can be used at least one more time before their final destination.   The garden centres I frequent the most happen to be at two retail stores where I shop all the time, so I really don't have an excuse for not returning them.  

Next time I go to the grocery store, I'll pack my cloth bags and my little plastic pots.


  1. Hey Jen;

    Trying to post, again. Hoping it works this time.

    I used to forget to take my pots back all the time. I'd get half way to the nursery and realize they were sitting at the side of the house still. I suppose putting them in sight in the garage would have been a better suggestion.
    I started planting most of my annuals and some veggies from seed in peat pots and reusable plastic greenhouses at March Break. It was a great project to occupy the kids time and it was fun to follow the plant cycle until planting time. It all started when I realized that the little plastic 4 packs weren't recyclable.
    Over the past few years I had more luck finding peat pots or coconut pots in the nursery that I could just plant in the ground whole, but the larger shrubs and trees were always plastic.

  2. Kathy- I've managed to purchase some items in peat pots thsi year. As well, the City of Ottawa is now taking the pots back as part of their blue bin recycling program (as of last week). So worst case scenario, I can now recycle them, although I think I would still prefer to return them to the nursery for at least one more use.

  3. Me again - I've also tried growing some of our own stuff from seed, but didn't get the project started in time, so I don't think the wee plants have survived the transplanting process. :)