Greengineering majors reuse water bottles as planters


Photo by Wendy Li

The Newtonite

by Sophia Zhou
What started out as merely an idea for a team of Major 1 Greengineering students has grown, quite literally, into a project aimed to raise awareness of the harmful effects of plastic on the environment.
The team created plastic planters to house various plants including chives, micro greens, russian kale, chia sprouts, basil which are displayed in windows across from the greengineering classroom. The planters have a simple plastic water bottle design. The body of the bottle holds the plants and the top is flipped over to create a stable base.
“It’s a project that brings awareness to the damage of plastic to the environment. We’re using a handful of water bottles to create life and make use out of waste,” said sophomore Joelle Sugianto, a member of the team, “We put the planters up about a week ago, and they’ll probably be up for another month or so.” Afterwards, the students plan on eating or composting the herbs.
According to Sugianto, the team found the project online at the beginning of the year and thought it looked interesting so they decided to give it try. They didn’t have a purpose for the project at first, but it eventually came to be about raising awareness of the harmful effects of plastic.
In addition to Sugianto, the team also includes junior Sarah Vernovsky and sophomore Ben Borhegyi.
The trio plans to reuse the planters in the future and hope to expand the project and create more for display in the spring, said Sugianto. They will also soon begin a new project to create a material out of mycelium as a substitute for polystyrene. According to Vernovsky, mycelium, the vegetative part of mushrooms, can be “rolled” into a biodegradable material that is much better for the environment than polystyrene.