Creative Ideas to Reuse Waste Part 1

The effortless task of transferring plant-based matter to the garbage feels routine. We are conditioned to believe kitchen scraps do not have a secondary purpose; yet, taking just a few minutes with fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers can result in growing a viable plant and, quite possibly, food. Yes, you can get more than your money’s worth! 

Regenerating Vegetables from Scraps

The list is lengthy. From root crops like carrots, beets, onions and potatoes to leafy greens, such as lettuce, cabbage, Bok Choi and herbs, all you need is a sturdy container, water and a few toothpicks.  

Sweet Potato: When a potato reaches past edibility, you can use two skewers, suspending the lower half in a shallow water container. After a few days, roots will form; it’s advisable to cut them back, encouraging a healthy root system. Supported by a trellis, plant in direct sunlight, spacing roughly 15 feet apart. One plant provides approximately 10 sweet potatoes. 

Allium Family Plants: Onions, leeks, garlic, shallots and scallions will quickly grow roots if the bulb’s base remains in a shallow water dish. Witnesses will notice a green material growing from the bulb. Consider transplanting to a pot or garden, offering direct sunlight and frequent water until roots are established. 

Root Crops: Retain the tops of carrots and turnips, placing them in water. In a matter of days, you’ll notice new growth.  

Herbs: Herb cuttings, roughly four inches long, will develop roots forming a new plant in days. Make sure leaves remain above the water line.  

Amazing Uses of Orange Peels

Rather than toss out the peels, put them on a cookie sheet and back at 200 degrees for 30 minutes; then, grind them into a chunky powder. Pour one teaspoon into a tea infuser or create a facial wash by making a paste combining honey, orange peel powder and drops of water. The result relieves dry, itchy skin, leaving the skin feeling fresh. 

Watermelon Rinds are Edible! 

An ideal solution for digestive health is watermelon rinds, containing a good source of fiber, amino acids and minerals, such as magnesium and potassium. In addition, combining watermelon with skins slows sugar absorption while managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels; therefore, consider using organic rinds to a stir-fry or smoothie recipe.  

Directions: Use a potato peeler to remove the outer layer; then, bake for 20 minutes at 200 degrees. Afterward, grind the chunks into a powder to drink hot or cold, or sprinkle into soups or stews.   

Watermelon Rind Smoothie Recipe: In a strong blender, add one cup watermelon flesh, one cup watermelon rind, one cup frozen strawberries, one tablespoon honey and one teaspoon lemon juice. If chunks appear among the liquid, use a strainer.  

Pineapple Skins are a Superfood

The enzyme bromelain is found in pineapple meat and the skin. Its properties aid digestion, works as an inflammatory throughout the body, fights joint pain and boosts the immune system, fertility and healthy red blood cells.  

If you cannot use the skins right away, consider freezing.  

A Pineapple Tea Recipe: After washing the skins, add two cinnamon sticks, cloves, one peeled knob of ginger and four quarts of water to a saucepan. Cover. Simmer on low heat for 25 minutes; then, turn off the heat and allow to steep for an additional 25 minutes. Strain. Serve hot or cold.  

Pineapple Stock Recipe: Increase the flavor and nutrients of your chicken or beef stocks by including two cups of chopped rinds. Afterward, strain.  

Recycle Wilting Roses

A beautiful flower as elegant as a rose does not have to wilt or die; instead, remove the bottom half leaves, the flower and cut the stem at a 45-degree angle; then, make a small cut between the slit. Raw honey or aloe vera gel are two natural rooting hormones. After one dip, place your rose stem into a pre-made hole. Water when the soil appears dry. Once leaves appear, transplant to a permanent location.  

The uses do not conclude with plant-based matter; next month, part two will contain multiple ways to save money on personal hygiene products, household cleaning supplies and more!  

 

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