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Plant expert shares clever hack to build mini greenhouses in your home for free: 'You should start seeing roots develop'

"Perfect propagation stations."

“Perfect propagation stations.”

Photo Credit: @sustainabilitymattersva / Instagram

Plastic clamshell containers can be a bit of a nuisance when ordering takeout. But one Instagram user is taking to the platform to show gardeners how they can give their old takeout containers new life. 

The scoop

Sustainability Matters (@sustainabilitymattersva), a non-profit, shared a video of this hack on their Instagram page. 

The narrator of the video instructed that all users have to do is clean their takeout containers with soap and water and add in soil. Then, they showed how to take a cutting from a plant and place it into the soil. 

Once the soil has been adequately watered, you can close the lid on the container to create a greenhouse effect and capture warm air inside. The video described that these "perfect propagation stations" should be left in a sunny spot, noting that users should "start seeing roots develop" within a few weeks. 

How it's helping

This hack is one way of giving your plastic takeout containers a second chance. Many municipalities cannot recycle these containers, so the best way to reduce your dependence on them is to find ways to give them utility — outside of storing your salad, of course. 

Individuals without green thumbs can also find new ways to recycle their takeout containers. One of the best ways to do this is to use them to organize cosmetics and beauty products in your home. 

If you want to avoid these plastic containers altogether, there are options for that too. DeliverZero is one company that partners with restaurants to offer reusable containers. Users can give these containers, washed and cleaned, back to their driver when they order takeout next. 

Other users have recommended that individuals bring reusable containers with them when they go out to a restaurant so they don't have to stuff their leftover pasta into a plastic container to take home. Plus, you can bring a container that's easy to reheat in the microwave rather than a styrofoam container that you have to take food out of anyway.  

What everyone's saying

Users were impressed by this hack and what it could mean for their home gardens. 

"Love this," one user wrote. 

Another user shared how they were going to try this "mini greenhouse" hack for starting lettuce seeds.

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