Internet, This Is What the Green Movement Looks Like
So, listen. This is how you save the planet one tofu tray at a time. First, you need to enjoy tofu. I love the stuff. Where once I turned my carnivorous nose up at it, now I relish it with glee (and peanuts and sesame dipping sauce). I like yogurt and salsa too. And just by liking those foods, I can do something about the fact that this country loves it some plastic packaging but knows fuck all about what to do about it when it’s used.
Here’s my solution to our problem of what to do with plastic that can’t be recycled where we live: grow stuff in it. Seriously. It takes a couple of minutes and a drill. And that means that you don’t have to throw away another container ever again. And it means tomatoes in July.
Here’s how it works. First, eat some salsa (or yogurt, or tofu, or margarine, or anything else that comes in a plastic tub). Secondly, eat something raw that has seeds in it. Here are some suggestions: Cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers. Save the seeds. Here’s how to save the seeds: don’t eat them. Flowers are cool too! You don’t need to grow something edible to use this method.
Next, get yourself a drill. I would suggest another method for poking holes in the tubs, but I have tried them, and with little success. Now, I’m no engineer, so if someone out there in Internet-land can manage to poke holes through plastic without destroying the integrity of the plastic, well, then, you, sir, are a better man than I.
Take that drill and drill a bunch of 1/8 holes through the bottom of your plastic tub. You are creating drainage holes here, people, so five or so will do it. Space them equally apart. Next, fill your plastic container with dirt. Potting soil is best, but, hell, take a scoop of the front yard and see what comes up. Then, stick your saved seeds into your soil. The rule is this: bury your seeds in the soil about as deeply as they are long. In other words, small seeds go in very shallow, and the bigger seeds (cucumber seeds, for example) go in deeper. Use the lids of your plastic tubs as TRAYS for underneath your pots, or, for yogurt cups without lids, cram two yogurt cups into one tofu tray! Now, water your seeds in your plastic tubs. The lids will catch any water that drains from the holes you just drilled.
Okay, now, depending on where you live, the next steps are up to you. If you live in the gray Northwest like I do, buy yourself a long, narrow plot of land with a huge smelly house and greenhouse on it with your almost husband and two friends and stick your pots in there. Okay, okay, so you don’t want to live with your friends. I get it. Then do this: cover your pots with little pieces of plastic wrap (Saran works well, or, you can go one step further to reducing waste on your planet by cutting up old produce bags into squares). Secure the plastic wrap with rubber bands. Where do you get the rubber bands, you ask? From around the bases of broccoli and asparagus and scallions, from the supermarket, of course. (I would suggest you buy these vegetables, take them home, eat them, and THEN use the rubber bands. I don’t want the riot police showing up at my house claiming I am an instrument of anarchy because I instigated the theft of hundreds of produce rubber bands).
Stick those pots in a warm place and water them every day. Depending on the seeds, they will germinate within a week to several weeks and viola! Once their little green heads pop up out of the soil, you can permanently remove the plastic wrap. You can plant the stuff outdoors, or, keep them in containers indoors (you’ll want to move out of the yogurt cup soon enough).
Here’s the thing about plastic: it lasts FOR FREAKIN EVER. So, the best thing about this is that next year, no drilling! You just use those suckers over and over and over again. And, in 50 years, when your kids can’t remember a time when water didn’t cost money and come in jugs, and when we’re still arguing over whether we should call sticking the last freakin’ cockroach on earth on the endangered species act a result of “global warming” or “climate change”, you can say you did something to save a very small piece of earth.
(And, I realize, plant identification people, that those little green sprouts are NOT tomatoes… I got all excited and then realized that what i had sprouted were weeds… or something resembling lettuce or radish. The tomatoes are coming. I swear. )