"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Recycling and storing tip for dry goods

I received an e-mail from a friend of mine - it contained this brilliant idea. (sorry, I don't know who thought of this, so I can't give credit where credit is due).

At last a "USEFUL" idea!!!!!

The guy who first thought of this idea should be given an award for originality!!!

Now you don't have to grapple with rubber bands or knots that are tied too tightly.

How to seal a bag and make it air-tight!

Cut up a disposable water bottle and keep the neck and top, as in the photo above.

Insert the plastic bag through the neck and screw the top to seal.

The bottle is made to be air-tight, such that water will not leak, the secret lies with the top and screw!

This is a great idea to share. Good for us and the environment too.

It doesn't only need to be food in the kitchen that one keeps sealed in this way.

I have also used it to recycle the bags which our cereal arrives in, I trim the top of the bags neatly and use them, together with the recycled milk bottle tops, to hold my vegetable seed packets together - sorting them into four bags to follow the following crop rotation system:

1 potatoes (including tomatoes and capsicum);

2 miscellaneous ( sweetcorn, spinach, beetroot, marrow, pumpkins, lettuces);

3 root (carrot, parsnips, celery, fennel, onions and garlic);

4 legumes and brassica (peas, beans, cabbages, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, swedes and turnips.

That way, when I am ready to plant the next crop, I can just take the entire bag to the bed - open it up, and start sowing.

Couldn't be easier and keeps everything dry, neatly together and in one place, with no chance of the seeds spilling out of their open packets.

But, as I cut the top off the bottle and was about to throw the base of the container into our recycling bin it suddenly occured to me that I could use the base I had cut off as a plant container - all it needed was a couple of holes pierced into the base, for drainage, then a quick rinse out.

Voila! a ready made plant pot for a lemon tree grown from a pip! This container will also give me the added advantage of being able to see the roots - if I see too many then it's time to repot my growing tree :-)


  1. What a genius idea! Thank you for sharing this great tip!

  2. Im impressed! I throw out so many lemon pips every day. What a waste. Im going to save and plant them all. I dont know why I havent done this before. I think I thought it was really hard to grow a lemon tree. ;-D


  3. That is genius! You have to pay a deposit on bottles here so any I do buy get taken back to the supermarket again but I do have a small selection of water bottles left behind by anyone coming to visit who came through an airport and I will be very pleased to make use of them. The bottom parts could also be used as cloches for seedlings to protect them from slugs and provide a bit of cover (although I'm not sure if that would just roast everything in the heat where you are).

  4. This really is genius! I can't wait to give it a try and tell my sisters about this.

  5. The middle piece might also be good for something...maybe a ring protector for brassica seedlings?


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