Do not throw away the plastic planters and garden containers used for plants and flowers you buy from the nursery. Landfills overflow with too much garbage and these planters and garden containers have other uses around the garden. From storage to contained planting, you can recycle all those containers.
Remove any dirt or disease by washing the planters and garden containers in a solution of warm soapy water with bleach. Standard dish soap with a 1/4 cup bleach works well to remove germs and bacteria. Allow the containers to dry before using.
Use the little garden containers to make a recipe holder for friends and family members. Cut a circle of cardboard just large enough to fit in the bottom of the container. Mix up a small batch of plaster of paris in a mixing bowl and fill the container almost to the top with the mixture. Insert a plastic fork in the plaster, along one edge of the container. Insert a small silk flower into the plaster as decoration. Allow the plaster to harden. Decorate the container with paint or decorative paper. Tie a small bow made from ribbon to the fork. Insert a favorite recipe card between the tines of the fork.
Create simple storage containers for screws and other small items out of larger planters or garden containers. Spray the container with exterior paint and allow to dry. Cut a circle of sturdy cardboard to fit in the bottom of the planter or garden container. Decorate the exterior of the container with a picture of what is inside. A larger piece of cardboard, cut into a circle, fits into the top of the container so you can create a lid to avoid spilling the contents.
Keep invasive plants from overtaking your garden beds by planting them in a recycled planter or garden container. Herbs tend to sprout everywhere once they are planted. Growing the herbs in a container keeps them where you want instead of all through the flower bed.
Offer a large collection of planters and garden containers to local nurseries and greenhouses. Gardening supplies are a big expense to these businesses. They appreciate the help when people bring back trays and large containers as long as the items are clean and undamaged.