Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Time to Save Your Eggshells by MCR Maria K.

As an avid gardener and Master Composter Recycler (class of 2007), I’ve learned a lot of wonderful garden tips that have helped to reduce the work of our City’s waste collectors. Here’s a small and simple trick, one of my favourites, that I employ every year, all year long, and it’s really easy!

There’s an ice cream pail under my kitchen sink, all year, for eggshells. Why? Because they are an excellent mineral resource and slug discourager. I don’t even bother to wash them because I find they dry out in the pail. When my pail gets full, I take a potato masher and mash them down so that I can add more. By spring planting, I usually have a pail or two that are at least three-quarters full. (My family likes eggs, what can I say?)

Eggshells have nice sharp edges, so I use them pretty liberally wherever I plant lettuce and other veggies that slugs consider tender vittles. Basically, I plant the seeds in the soil, and cover the seed bed with eggshells, and the plants find their way through, no problem. In a few weeks, it looks quite pretty, eggshells with greens.

Tomato plants, in particular, really appreciate the calcium from mashed eggshells. I try to keep some on hand at all times and use a few hand-fulls wherever I see slug trails in my yard. You could say my slug population has really decreased over the last ten years!

And here’s a little bonus tip: When you get your hair cut, ask for the trimmings. Turns out hair is a nice source of slow-release nitrogen – another favourite snack of most plants.

Why give away eggshells and hair clippings (pet fur, too) when they are great resources for growing things?

Even if you’re not a gardener, chances are that you know someone who is. Offering them your eggshells is a great conversation starter about waste reduction. Why not try it?

Visit K. is an MCR who is all about living simply, reducing consumption and waste, gardening, and feeding the soil we depend on for good food. She has more Simple Suggestions at


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