It is always important to recycle what we can. Just as good, if not better, is reusing or re purposing what otherwise would become garbage. A big item in this category for me is using gallon plastic milk or water jugs in the garden. They are handy just to carry water to a plant in need, but my favorite way to use them as waterers is by turning them into drip waterers. Two years ago, those jugs are the only thing that got us through the worst drought in my lifetime.
In addition to using jugs as waterers, I like to use them for frost protection in early spring. One way is as makeshift wall-o-waters.
I fill up four or five jugs with water and surround a new seedling. The sun warms the water in the jugs during the day which provides the plant with warmth. Some of that heat is retained at night even, which helps the plant get through a cold night.
For even more protection from cold or frost, I cut the bottom out of the jugs and individually place them directly over the plants as cloches.
If I worry about too much heat building up, I leave the cap off.
That way, I can also peak inside without removing the jug.
I don't use any chemical fertilizers or pesticides, but occasionally I mix up some strong compost tea for added nutrition. Gallon jugs are also good to use for this.
On GardenDesk I recently posted how I just added an area in my yard for extra tomatoes that will need a large amount of liquid compost.
I'm sure there are many other uses for jugs in the garden, but these are the few that came to mind. I encourage you to re-use other items in the garden too. It is fun to be creative, help the environment and save money all at the same time. I'd love to hear how you re-purpose items in for use in your garden.