Introduction: Biodegradable Pots

Before you think about throwing out those cardboard boxes, newspaper ads and even that pile of leaves in your yard, be sure to read this instructable! You could turn your trash into biodegradable treasures!

It is easy for us to simply throw out trash and not think of all the possibilities you can make with it.

Step 1: Materials/Tools Needed

Step 2: Print the Pot Mold

Step 3: Water Pump Set Up

  1. Cut two pieces of vinyl tubing and attach them to the ends of the pump. Clamp the tubing into place.
  2. Attach the inlet tube to the top of the 3D printed mold and leave the discharge tube inside the plastic container. (this is where we will pour our slurry)

Step 4: Collect Your Trash

  1. Separate your trash by type.
  2. Cut your trash into smaller pieces. The idea is to be able to fit it into a large pot. No need to cut up the leaves (unless they are very large)
  3. In a large pot, place your cut up trash and soak with hot water.
    • Cardboard: soak for 20 min
    • Leaves: soak for 10 min
    • Paper: Soak for 10 min
  4. After soaking, remove some of the trash from the pot and place in a blender. (fill about half way)
  5. Add 2 cups of water from the pot to the mix.
  6. I found that the paper did not need any blending as it turned into pulp simply by soaking
  7. Mix your trash until you get a pulp like consistency
  8. An important note!! When blending the leaves, there was great success when mixing 3 part leaves and 1 part cardboard.
  9. Use a strainer when dealing with the paper pulp and rinse thoroughly to remove the ink.

Step 5: Time to Mold

  1. Pour your slurry into a large cup or mixing container.
  2. Turn on the water pump and insert the pot mold on to the slurry. Stir the pot mold in the slurry.
  3. When the mold has been completely covered with the slurry, remove the mold from the container.
  4. Manually compress the slurry onto the mold.
  5. Once the slurry is compact onto the mold, remove it from the mold. It is helpful to carefully twist the pot from the mold.
  6. Microwave your pot. This is step is optional and is helpful to speed up the process, you can also allow them to sun dry.
    • Cardboard: 2 min microwave
    • Paper: 3 min microwave
    • Leaves: 3 min microwave
    • These times can vary based on your microwave.

Step 6: Success

You have now turned your trash into a biodegradable starter pot!

Step 7: Future Upgrades and Ideas

  1. Add fertilizer/plant food/mycelium to mix to ensure better plant growth
  2. Customize PH based on plant need
  3. Adding holes to the bottom (can be done manually)
  4. Different mold for pyrotechnic hemispheres
  5. Pump enclosure

Trash to Treasure

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Trash to Treasure