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March/April Craft from Trash and Tip


Recycled Seed Starters

Spring is coming but for most of us it won’t be another few weeks until we can get outside to plant. Instead, we can start our vegetables, herbs and flowers now by starting our seeds indoors. You don’t need any fancy starter kits or seed starting pots rather you can use recyclable items you have around the house.

What you need:

Recycled items: yogurt cups, toilet paper tubes, plastic lettuce or fruit containers, newspaper, egg shells, egg carton, baby food jars, milk cartons, cans, and more.

What you do:

Be sure all recycled items are empty and clean with no soap residue. If your container has a bottom poke holes for drainage. Fill with soil, plant seeds, water and place in a sunny area.

  • Newspaper can be folded to make seed pots – search on the Internet for folding instructions.
  • Toilet paper tubes can be cut in half or as deep as needed for seed growth. Place them on a tray before filling with soil. Or make four cuts in the roll, 1/3 of the way up, fold in the bottom like you would to close a box before filling with soil.
  • Eggs can be carefully cracked and eaten. Then use egg shell to hold soil. The eggs can be placed back in the egg carton while growing.
  • For other items, be creative! Cut, shape and design the item for planting needs.

For most paper choices and egg shells they can be planted right in the ground to decompose. Sometimes the paper just need to be torn a bit to speed decomposition and allow roots to reach soil.


Recycle your old newspapers, egg cartons, and toilet paper tubes as they will all help seeds get off to a good start. Don’t worry about planting the paper as it will break down over time and the plants roots will grow through the paper. If you buy plants at the store in plastic containers, remember to check to recycle number to see if you can recycle with your curbside program. Numbers 1-5 and 7 can be recycled in your curbside recycling program. Or ask your local garden store if they will recycle garden pots, cellpacks, trays, and plant labels. Also, the Chicago Botanic Gardens has a recycling Plant Container Recycling Drive in June for these items with numbers 2, 4, 5. For more information see their website

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You are here: Home Education Early Childhood Creative Corner March/April Craft from Trash and Tip