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The Next Frontier of Urban Gardening: Your Bottle Top?

| Friday May 6th, 2011 | 0 Comments


With the fast rise in gas and food prices, more people are likely beginning to investigate other, cheaper, closer to home options to get their food needs met. Some of them hopefully not involving fast food!

For some, that may mean trying out the increasing number of farmer’s markets. Others it may mean gardening, whether on their own or as part of a community garden. And still still others, it may entail bottle caps.

Come again?As spotted in Springwise, Japan’s Merry Farm is a brilliant way to both reduce waste and give a simple, low barrier to entry into the world of gardening: It includes seeds and just the right amount and type of soil to be used in the numerous bottle tops you likely have around the house. Pack soil and seed. Moisten. Grow.

While the amount and type of plants grown via this method won’t feed a family food, it will in other ways:

  • Teach kids the value and creative possibilities of reuse of everyday items.
  • Demystify gardening, making it something children (and their parents) will continue to do.
  • Demonstrate that gardening need not require living in rural or suburban areas, that it’s possible just about anywhere.

Merry Farm’s idea is easily replicable anywhere in the world, serving as an educational and environmental project, using the most ubiquitous thing kids see every day: the top of whatever the day’s current trendy drink is.

Readers: What low tech, low barrier to entry innovations are you seeing out there, that could help children and/or adults more easily live sustainable, locally focused lives?


Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. He creates interest in, conversations about, and business for green (and greening) companies, via social media marketing.


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