How Pinterest, Nickelodeon, and Home Depot are helping me help the environment

It’s Earth Day! Yayyy!!!

Making the best impact you possibly can on the environment is not a trend anymore, it’s critical. While I’m no gardening aficionado, I’m committed to the environment – trees, air, sustainability and clean water. Being clean water conscious and energy efficient should be a world priority.

With the latest 2017 natural disaster being Louisiana and the two manmade disasters––Flint Michigan and  Standing Rock ––taking an active role in showing gratitude to your environment is more important now than ever.

In the mid to late 90’s community clean up and care were trends and excellent corporate social responsibility. Nickelodeon hosted The Big Help, Jerry McGuirea national campaign driven by American pop culture sweethearts, to clean up parks and towns like nobody’s business for one week.  It was so cool for us kids to clean up alongside Rugrats or All That casts. And yes at nine years old, I actually went. (I believe my mom has my autographed T-shirt somewhere.) I was a Nickelodeon fanatic– Legends of the Hidden Temple, Figure It Out, Wild and Crazy Kids––you name it, I tuned in live as much as childly possible.

Perhaps that’s why nearly a decade later, what companies and cities are doing for the environment, gains my absolute loyalty and further inspires me to be an active participant.

Here are a couple businesses doing good for the earth

1.) The New York Times building in Times Square is energy efficient. The ceramic rod casing allows for energy efficient lighting and air conditioning. Check it out: here

2.) Drexel University‘s award-winning Lebow Hall has a green roof, high-efficiency mechanical equipment, daylight sensors to control artificial lighting and water saving toilets.

3.) All the B Corporations out there donating time and resources to nonprofits! (Nellie’s Eggs, Seventh Generation, and Patagonia to name a few)

4.) And last but not least, me!

No i’m kidding. I’m not a business mogul yet, but I do have an eco-friendly garden, thanks to repurposing wooden pallets in my little North Jersey backyard.

With city living being tight, making the most of what you have can actually go a long way.

Being a grad student in the United States is tough right now, and I have found that even trying to garden is a huge relief and challenging at the same time. I don’t have a lot of money, want to cut down on waste, engage my artsy creative side, and practice what I preach. Why not start the spiritual journey of gardening?

I bought some spinach and oriental poppy seeds in January and started one of several attempts to grow them.

On a budget, you can splurge on a few things from Home Depot -small pots (.97), one big pot ($6), small starter trays of flowers ($2-$4 ea.), a bag of decent soil ($4) and a rose bush or lavender plant ($9).  Roughly less than $30. Shave off one flower tray or bush and you’re closer to $20. Lavender is more of a medicinal recommendation but take few dollars and try your thumbs. Tend to it daily, no later than a week after purchase, and look for changes or if the soil is wet/dry enough. Also, be sure to read the seed packets to know how much sun is appropriate.

Lastly, keep your eyes peeled for simple opportunities to repurpose. From left over Folgers coffee containers, banana peels, or other peoples’ wood disposals – reduce, reuse recycle!

Here’s what to gather over the course of a month (qty.):

(2-3) Different sized wood pallets (you will see them everywhere and unless they’re piled up next to a dumpster, I always ask when I can)

(4 – 8) Bricks It literally started with me finding a regular red brick in the middle of the street or dumped along rivers, but can buy them at Home Depot for .97. Use the bricks to lifted your pallet garden off the ground.

(1) Christmas Tree from 2016 – seriously everyone should cut up their Christmas Trees and build a garden or reuse the branches to put inside your garden bed as a base. I believe Christmas Trees are considered organic matter.

(2) Bags of decent dirt I highly recommend Vigoro ($3.77), Miracle-Gro dries out fast in my experience

(2) Bags of rocks or clear flat gems from dollar tree to create drainage. Seriously $2.13 goes a long way. (If you can use real sand that’s more advisable)

(4) Planks of wood from someone’s house in NJ (looks like it came from a swing set or treehouse) – Although it was out for trash, I still asked.

(3) Home Depot terra cotta pots or plastic pots (Get one medium-large one to start)

(3) Poland Spring water containers – they serve as very primitive rain water catchers which I then use to water my plants. Did you know filtered rain water is better to drink than tap? True story.

(1) Thin gardening gloves from dollar tree or wherever

(2-4) Solar lights from dollar tree (optional decoration)

(1) Iron Bookshelf  my dad threw out months ago

Happy Earth Day!

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Ever wonder what those arrows on every single piece of plastic in your house means? Find out: http://naturalsociety.com/recycling-symbols-numbers-plastic-bottles-meaning/

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