Here are some practical tips for gardening in an environmentally friendly way.
Avoid throwing away containers
Don’t throw out the flats, containers and plug trays in which plants are sold. Think instead of reusing them, or at least put them in the recycling.
Check with your municipality for materials that are accepted in the recycling bin. For example, in Québec, containers made of polystyrene (PS - Number 6 plastic) can only be recycled in designated locations. When possible, it is best to reduce waste at the source by avoiding purchasing plants sold in non-recyclable containers.
Reuse and be creative
Also reuse your containers. Wash them with a brush and soapy water. To dislodge deposits of mineral salts on clay pots, soak them in water to which vinegar has been added. Store that type of pot where it won’t freeze.
You can collect all kinds of containers to grow your plants. However, don't forget to drill holes at the bottom to allow for good drainage.
Reuse the potting soil
It’s not necessary to change the potting soil in your containers every year. You can generally reuse it for two or three years, improving it with some compost and new soil. However, if your plants have been sick or infested with insects, get rid of the old soil.