After catching and cleaning a couple of rainbow trout, I decided I wasn't going to cook them right away. I hunted around for a Tupperware container that was long enough to freeze them with the heads on (cooking with the heads on gives better flavor). No luck.
|freezing a couple of trout in an upcycled plastic milk container|
I cleaned out a milk container and cut off the top. Then I added the trout and filled the container with water. The trout fit perfectly. Completely submerged, they'll keep fresh with no "freezer burn."
Milk containers are made from High-Density Polyethlyne (HDPE), or Type 2 plastic. HDPE is safe when frozen. Look for the HDPE label on the container.
After I cook these trout, I'll probably reuse the container for gardening. Fill it with soil and it's an instant planter with a handle. Or, cut out a bit more plastic and it becomes a scoop. This works great for removing gravel from fishtanks.
My perception of plastic has changed since I upcycled those HDPE 55 gallon blue barrels into two barrelponics systems. Now, when I see a used plastic container, I ask myself, "What can I make with it?"
It is our collective challenge to prevent waste in all aspects of food production and to conserve our natural resources in the process. Aquaponics is resourceful gardening, helping to close energy loops by recycling the water in recirculating systems. Soil-based gardening requires up to 90% more water, as it cannot be reused after it soaks into soil.
Upcycling helps to keep plastic out of our landfills and oceans. It conserves energy used in production, as well as energy needed for the recycling process. This flow chart explains the process of plastic consumption, from Recycling vs. Upcycling: What is the difference?