Although we all know by now how bad plastic bottles are for the planet, plenty of us still find ourselves buying them when we’re away from home and thirsty. Next time you find yourself with an empty one, consider washing it out and using it to create your very own in-home hydroponic veggie garden.
Petomato is a $15 product that its creators liken to the Chia Pet or Pet Rock. It’s a brilliantly simple concept: you remove the original twist-off cap, fill the bottle with water, then twist on the Petomato top. A small cavity in the lid has a place for a few seeds. You plant the seeds, cover them in sand, moisten, and wait a few days until your seeds sprout.
Because the plants are meant to be grown indoors, you have to pollinate them yourself, which is as easy as using a finger or paintbrush to swirl around the pollen in the flowers. As the plant grows, its roots extend down into the water.
Currently, the Petomato is available in cherry tomato, wild strawberry, mint, Italian parsley, sweet basil, and habañero pepper varieties. The weird but adorable website gives plenty of advice on raising and maintaining your “pet” plants. The product seems like a total win on all fronts: it keeps plastic bottles out of landfills, lets you grow fresh food at home, and can teach kids (and adults) about the fascinating world of hydroponic gardening.