They keep bread as fresh as the day it was baked, that strong onion doesn’t smell up the whole refrigerator inside one, and your wet bathing suit doesn’t soak everything else in your beach bag because of this simple plastic bag. While we all know we should be using fewer of them and reusing and recycling the ones we do get, the humble plastic bag is an extremely useful thing. Here are a couple of ways to reuse them that capitalizes on their ability to create a moisture barrier.
Clear plastic bags make perfect miniature greenhouses. One use for such a mini-greenhouse is starting seeds indoors. Sow your seeds in flats or pots, give them a good soak, and then slip the whole lot into a large plastic bag. Set it on that sunny windowsill and walk away. Moisture may evaporate from the soil, but it will be trapped by the bag, creating a perfectly humid environment for germination. If you are like me, you will probably open the bag every few days to see what’s coming up. If the soil seems to be drying out, just give it a little more water and close up the bag again. Once the seeds have sprouted, you can still keep up the greenhouse effect until they are large enough to transplant. Bamboo skewers stuck in the corners will keep the bag elevated above the young sprouts.
If vacation plans take you away from your houseplants for longer than they like to go without a drink, the bag trick can again be useful. Those flimsy dry cleaning bags that are hard to find another use for make the perfect greenhouse for them. Water the plant well and let it drain, set the pot in the bag and gather the top over the plant. Fasten with a twist-tie and you are good to go.
So before you toss (or recycle if you can) those extra plastic bags, use them another time to keep your plants happy in their own personal greenhouse.