Finding New Green Uses for Old Things

August 25, 2009

As I mentioned in the last post, Nicaraguans often find many creative ways to reuse old or broken items. Part of this resourcefulness is in response to the lack of an organized trash collection in rural areas. In a rural community in Nicaragua, people must dispose of their own trash, which in many cases, means burning trash. Nicaraguans are also pretty creative when it comes to reusing old things because they don’t have much extra money to go and buy something new–most people in the countryside grow their own food and often don’t have a lot of harvest left over that they can sell. As a result, Nicaraguans try to make whatever they need out of materials at hand, which often means recycling a broken item into something else.

What do you think of these recylced items?

5 gallon water bottle = hanging flower pot

5 gallon water bottle = hanging flower pot

Here we have an old cooking pot, a milk jug and an old bucket, all now with flowers!

Here we have an old cooking pot, a milk jug and an old bucket, all now with flowers!

Which do you prefer, soda or flowers?

Which do you prefer, soda or flowers?

What are these garden pots made out of?

What are these garden pots made out of?

What did this garden pot used to be?

What did this garden pot used to be?

What were these pots made from?

What were these pots made from?

An old paint can made a nice home for this garden plant.

An old paint can made a nice home for this garden plant.

An old tire serves as the base for this hanging orchid pot.

An old tire serves as the base for this hanging orchid pot.

Nicaraguans often reuse old car and bus tires. Adults can turn the tires inside out to make large planters for vegetables and herbs, or even basins to collect water!

Can you see the baby bell pepper?

Can you see the baby bell pepper?

This family uses an inside-out tire to collect water for bathing and washing clothes.

This family uses an inside-out tire to collect water for bathing and washing clothes.

What kinds of new things could you make out of some of the old items in your trash or recycling cans? Share your ideas here!

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3 Responses to “Finding New Green Uses for Old Things”

  1. Emily Muirhead Troop 1350 said

    I think recycling is very, very important. It keeps trash out of our environment. I realy like the recycled plant pots. They are a kind of recycled art We do the same thing at our house. We have plants growing in old coffee pots, teapots, buckets and watering cans. We even have a pineapple plant growing in a a banana shipping crate.

  2. Elizabeth Thorn said

    I liked all the ideas on plants. I thought it was all very pretty and I will be making a plant hanger out of recycled stuff.

  3. de connick said

    We are doing a water project with the new Journey book.We are learning how to save water. I saw all the pictures of your village. Your village has a lot of trees. de

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