Grow Your Own Produce to Reduce Packaging Waste

Have you ever been at the grocery store getting fruits, vegetables, or herbs and thought to yourself, “I could grow this at home.” Well, you can! Growing your own produce at home is a great way to save money and reduce packaging waste. It’s not uncommon to find strawberries, tomatoes, and basil in plastic containers, or grapes and apples in plastic bags. Some produce is even individually wrapped in plastic, like cucumbers. Here are a few tasty fruits, vegetables, and herbs that you can try growing at home to avoid the excess packaging!


Papayas are not only delicious, they are also the perfect fruit to grow here in Hawaii! The fruit grows best where the year-round temperature averages between 70° and 90°F. Papaya trees are often medium-sized, making them perfect for a home garden.



Mango trees get much bigger than papaya trees, but one will do great in a big yard! Mango trees are deep-rooted and are best adapted to hot and dry areas that receive less than 60 inches of rain each year. Growing these in your own backyard sure beats buying them at the store!


Banana trees need plenty of water, sun and food to thrive. Plant your banana tree in a spot that gets a full, or at least a half, day of sun. If it seems like your tree hasn’t been growing for a few months, don’t give up just yet! They often spend their energy on developing roots before growing big leaves. Just remember, good things come to those who wait!



Many of us get our tomatoes from the grocery store, but we could be saving so much money and reducing waste by growing them at home! Tomatoes are great for salads, sauces, soups, and pastas. Their versatility makes them a great crop to have in your garden. There are many varieties of tomatoes, so before you plant one, make sure you figure out which one is best for you!



Arugula is a terrific leafy green that makes a delicious salad. Arugula grows quickly and does well in full sun. Its seeds will germinate in about a week, and you can begin harvesting the leaves when they are two to three inches long.



The cucumber is another crop that is perfect for growing in Hawaii. They’re great for salads and refreshing snacks! Cucumbers do best in tropical climates and require fertile soil. Be careful though, as pests love cucumbers too!



Green Onions
Did you know that you can use the bottoms of your store-bought green onions to grow your own? Just stick the white bulbs with roots in some water and put them near a sunny window. The green onions will grow back, and you can harvest them as needed!



Fresh basil is a terrific addition to so many dishes, and growing it at home is easy, convenient, and cheap! You can plant basil from seeds, or you can purchase two to three-inch starters from a nursery or home improvement stores. This plant flourishes in hot and sunny weather, so it can grow well in Hawaii all year round.



Rosemary is a popular herb and has an aroma like no other! Rosemary is a shrub that can grow up to several feet and does best in warm and humid areas. The plant does grow quickly, so keep it in check with regular pruning.


Sources: Harvest to Table, Empress of Dirt, Crop Knowledge Master, Seaview Farms, Personal Touch Landscape, Almanac, Homestead in Hawaii, She grows food, Hawaii Home Garden