Manga publishing is a huge business, valued at hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide, but what happens when the books are no longer wanted? They’re sent to secondhand bookstores, passed down under they’re tattered and worn, recycled and turned to pulp… But Koshi Kawachi, a Tokyo-based artist whose works often feature water and recycling themes, has come up with a fun and eclectic way to give the old comics a burst of new life. His concept is quite simple: place an old comic upright in a dish in a sunny, airy spot, sprinkle some seeds over it, water them, and wait for sprouts to peek out from between the printed pages. Radishes, buckwheat, broccoli, rocket, basil, and many others will work—and of course, so would any book or comic. You might balk at the idea of sacrificing of a perfectly good book—but you can always use a hated one, perhaps one with a particularly weak storyline that you can (literally) breathe some fresh life into it. Paper is potentially a good fertiliser, and if the nitrogen content of pulp could be boosted and the ink made more environmentally-friendly, then Kawachi’s idea could open up imaginative possibilities for book recycling and indoor farming.
Did you know that you can convert old wine and liquor bottles into self watering planters for a little window garden? Be careful when cutting glass, score one single circle around the bottle, then alternate between hot and cold water on the upper portion until it literally pops right off. Always wear eye protection as glass is unpredictable and tends to shatter, sometimes even if you do everything properly. Don’t forget to sand the edges down when you’re done so you won’t have to worry about future accidents.
Please note that those are strings hanging down from the dirt, they function as wicks to keep the moisture level in the dirt in the optimal range. As the soil and the top of the strings dry out, more water gets sucked up through the string just like in the xylem of the plants themselves.