Microplastics in the soil are making us sick, now what?

How to take the plastic out of the garden this Earth Day

SAN ANTONIO – Microplastics in the soil are making us sick, now what?

Here’s how to take the plastic out of the garden this Earth Day:

Microplastics are making us sick — how?

When microplastics break down into our soil, they release toxic chemicals. They end up in our food, water and even in the air we breathe.

This year’s theme for Earth Day is “Planet vs. Plastics.”

Here are some alternative ways to keep plastics out of the garden, and out of our soil:

  • Say “no” to turf: Your lawn kind of sucks? Don’t want it? Don’t replace it with turf — that’s a lot of plastic in the soil. Plus, it gets really hot and harbors a lot of bacteria. You can replace it with native plant beds and mulch.
  • No plastic or fabric liners: When making a flower bed or using mulch, never line it with plastic or even fabric (which can have tiny bits of plastic in it). It will make a mess later and it chokes the health of your soil.
  • Mulch mulch mulch: Mulch naturally fights weeds and feeds the soil with micronutrients. If you have a weed, just pull it. Never use pesticides or herbicides as they are bad for your health and the environment. You can find native mulch at Rainbow Gardens, and many more alternatives.
  • Replace your plastic pots: Plastic pots are easy, but let’s replace them with terracotta, clay or even coco baskets, which are lined with coconut fibers and are 100% biodegradable.
  • Seed start pots: Jiffy seed starting pots are 100% biodegradable and are made of Peet moss and wood pulp, meaning you can put this entire pot into the soil once the seedling is ready.
  • Compost! Another way to cut more plastic out is to make your own fertilizer, which is the same thing as compost. Take your old food scraps, dig a hole that’s about one foot deep, bury them and cover them with leaves or mulch. Then, let nature do its thing. That’s all. You don’t need to build anything fancy, and if it’s buried, then critters won’t get into it. If you want to make a bin that’s aesthetically pleasing or a little more anti-pest for under $40, click here.

About the Author

Sarah Acosta is a weekend Good Morning San Antonio anchor and a general assignments reporter at KSAT12. She joined the news team in April 2018 as a morning reporter for GMSA and is a native South Texan.

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