In the Garden: Using the Empties for more than just review and trash

In the past year or so, I’ve seen a lot of YouTube videos regarding ’empties’. For those unfamiliar with this, an empties video is essentially a person keeping all of the empty containers from the products (skincare, bath, makeup, and so forth) that they use and then once they have collected enough, they make a video going back over the containers to talk over their experience with the product and if they would buy it again.

For some it seems to be a final review of the product because they only made a first impressions video and for others it seems to be a way for them to commit to emptying a container rather than allowing product to go bad.

I like both of these ideas actually as at the end of a product’s use a person can really get a sense of if that product is worth repurchasing and I hate letting products go to waste. Incidentally, that is why I haven’t posted a moisturizer review in a little while. I had a couple of open products I liked and wanted to use up before I opened any more. There will be more skin care reviews coming soon as my last open jar is almost empty.

So I started collecting my empties thinking that I would challenge myself to finish some products before greedily opening new ones and thus give myself a more in depth feeling for many of them.

The problem is that I am a gardener.

And at this time of year, my thoughts start to slide in that direction automatically as I order seeds and begin to grow them into plants capable of surviving outside after the last frost.

I don’t know what people typically do with their empties once their video is uploaded. I suspect the trash or recycling bin. I put my empties in a small bin under my sink while collecting them. Well, technically to the side of my sink as it is a pedestal. So I see it every day. And I kept looking at them and various ideas started to circle in my head. As I get ready to start my early seeds in my green house a couple of ideas solidified.

And so today you get more of a DIY project than anything else. While I pulled both the Dermelect and the Farmacy containers from my empties bin, both products I would happily repurchase bu the way, my project concentrated on the Farmacy jar.

The jar is plastic and has a double walled bottom and a screw on lid. Simply put, I peeled off the label and washed the container really well so that no product remained inside and no glue remained from the label. Then I turned it upside down and used a dremel to drill a few holes in the bottom of the jar.

As a warning if you are doing this, the double bottom means there is a slight jerk in the drill between the first and second layers of bottom. There is just enough space between the two layers that you feel the drill bit drop. It isn’t a big deal just something to keep in mind so you don’t drop the drill.

Once I had drainage holes in the bottom I took the lid and drilled a hole in either side of the jar lid so that excess moisture could drain instead of sitting and becoming stagnant.

I then glued the lid to the bottom of the jar, open side facing the bottom of the container so the flat surface is against the wood of the window sill when I set the small planter out in the sun. The holes in the bottom of the jar allow for drainage and the lid on the bottom makes sure that any over watering doesn’t hit the window sill. It is like one of those plastic shields that you put under house plants.

The lid glued to the bottom of the jar. It is perfect because the lid is smaller than the bottom of the container and so makes a pleasing shape when glued together.

Then as I had a can of gold spray paint in the shed, I spray painted the whole thing gold and let it dry. Once dry, I planted a slow growing succulent inside. When it flowers, the flowers are a bright almost fuschia pink with yellow gold centers so I think it will look good in the gold painted pot.

I’m fairly certain this isn’t where most empties videos lead and I’m pretty sure this isn’t what Farmacy intended for their containers, but it did turn out fairly well. The product inside was excellent and one I will definitely repurchase. I will probably also empty that container and turn it into another planter. Maybe black next time to contrast with the gold. And possibly with something long and slender growing in it rather than a short and wide variety of succulent.

While the container served its original purpose well, it is sturdy enough to have a new life and I personally feel better about not just chucking it in the recycling bin when it is empty. And yes, I have a plan for the empty tubes as well. I just need to wait until there are enough of them to pull it off.

But that is a project for somewhere down the road.


Quick reminder, the Annual Smashwords Read an E-book Week Sale is still going on (March 1-7). My books are 50% off with some even being free. You can find them buy clicking this link or go to the main page to look for other new authors here.


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