Category Archives: Education

21 Small Indoor Plants for Apartment Living

Houseplants are a tried and true way to bring vibrant color to your home and to bring nature inside. Not to mention, plants are a great way to purify the air in your home.

Big and beautiful philodendrons and majesty palms are perfect for adding the finishing touch to any room and for filling in empty corners and walls. However, huge plants like that aren’t always the best for tiny apartments and less-than-spacious homes. Thankfully, there are plenty of choices for small indoor plants that can help provide the right touch of green without taking up a large chunk of your room!

Small plants, like succulents and air plants, are perfect for adding greenery to your desk or your nightstand. Slightly bigger plants like peace lilies can take up some floor space, but they won’t overwhelm any corner of the room with lush leaves or big roots.

The best part about most small potted plants is that they can fit almost anywhere in your home. You can even get creative! Think about adding some cute plants in unexpected places like near your bathroom window, in a hanging planter or even on your wall with a space-saving vertical wall garden!

21 Small Indoor Plants to Spruce Up Your Space

To help you get started, we rounded up our favorite small indoor plants and included a few tips for styling them in a small space. Take a look and see which ones you can apply to your own space.

1. Air Plant

Air plants are interesting plants since they don’t need soil to survive. These are great if you’re looking for a small plant and don’t want to deal with pots or soil. If you choose to house your air plant in a terrarium, make sure it has an opening so it gets plenty of circulation.

air plant tillandisa small indoor plant

2. Aloe Vera

Did you know that aloe vera plants are a part of the succulent family? Just like their relatives, they enjoy the sun and prefer that their soil is completely dry between waterings. These small potted plants are handy to keep around if you have any minor burns, like a sunburn. Take a look at our list of medicinal plants to see what other plants you should keep around your home.

aloe vera small indoor plants

3. Anthurium

Smaller anthuriums are perfect for adding a bright pop of color to any room in the house without taking up too much space. They can tolerate all types of light, but will grow best with bright, indirect light.

anthurium small indoor plants

4. Asparagus Fern

Contrary to its name, the asparagus fern is actually a part of the lily (liliaceae) family. If possible, give this plant some breathing room on either side so its leaves can fan out. It will add a beautiful splash of green on any shelf or table.

small indoor plants asparagus fern

5. Baby Toes

These cute plants also hail from the succulent family. Their name derives from their small stature and resemblance to an infant’s toes. Baby toes are perfect conversation starters due to their unusual look.

small indoor plants baby toes

6. Cast-Iron Plant

Cast-iron plants are hardy plants that can withstand a range of light and soil conditions. They’re the plant to choose if you’re willing to give up a little floor space in exchange for a nearly indestructible plant.

small indoor plants cast iron plant

7. Chinese Money Plant

These cute plants are known for their beautiful round leaves and how for how difficult they are to obtain. Chinese money plants are also called missionary plants. This is because Norwegian Missionary Agnar Espergen took cuttings home with him in the 1940s and shared them with his loved ones. This is how the plant eventually spread throughout the world. These plants are easy to propagate, so the easiest way to acquire your own is to find a friend or online exchange willing to help y

small indoor plants chinese money plant

8. Echeveria

The echeveria is one of the most common types of succulents. Little plants like these are more commonly found at office and home desks due to their easy care and small size. A common cause of death, however, is overwatering. Make sure to let your plants’ soil dry completely before giving them another drink.

small indoor plants echeveria

9. Jade Plant

Jade plants are most known for their thick, oval-shaped leaves. Jade plants can live for years as long as they are given the proper care. To keep your plant’s leaves nice and shiny, wipe them down every once in a while to combat dust build up. This will keep the leaves glossy and increase its ability to absorb sunlight.

small indoor plants jade plant

10. Kalanchoe

Kalanchoes are a variety of flowering plants that are known for their beautiful blooms. Place them near a window so that they have plenty of energy to flower. The kalanchoe is also from the succulent family, so it prefers to have dry, well-drained soil.

kalanchoe small indoor plants

11. Lithops

Many refer to lithops as “living stones,” since these plants closely resemble pebbles and small stones. Like succulents, these small plants can survive in hot temperatures and little water. Lithops are great for showing off to guests due to their deceiving appearance!

small indoor plants lithops

12. Lucky Bamboo

These small plants can grow in both soil and in water. If you choose to grow your lucky bamboo in water, make sure you replace the water every 7 to 10 days and use filtered water if possible. If you plant it in soil, make sure to water it when the first inch of its soil starts to feel dry.

lucky bamboo small indoor plants

13. Oxalis

This specific oxalis variety is also referred to as “purple shamrocks” or “false shamrocks.” It earned its name because of its resemblance to the Irish shamrock that is more commonly known as the three-leafed clover. In addition to its name, its also known for its photophilic nature. This means that both its flowers and leaves open and close in response to light.

oxalis small indoor plants

14. Peace Lily

Peace lilies are one of the best houseplants you can have in your home due to their variety of sizes, attractive appearance and ability to clean the air. Peace lilies can also thrive under fluorescent light, so they’re perfect for rooms that have little to no natural light. Take a look at our peace lily care guide to learn how to help them thrive.

peace lily small indoor plants

15. Peperomia

Peperomia leaves grow in tight clusters, making them ideal choices for small shelves or desks. Their thick leaves can hold water and allow them to endure periods of time without hydration. They can also survive under fluorescent light, but grow best with bright, indirect sunlight.

small indoor plants peperomia

16. Polka Dot Plant

Polka dot plants are colorful plants that provide an unexpected dash of color to any shelf or tabletop. These small plants are commonly known for their pink color, but they have more recently become available in other colors (like red and white). Although it prefers indirect sunlight, some direct sunlight during the day is okay for your plant if it isn’t very colorful yet. Just remember to bring it back out of the direct sunlight to avoid scorched leaves.

polka dot plants small indoor plants

17. Pothos

Pothos plants are vine plants that can easily dress up a bookcase or a plain wall with their trailing leaves. They are another popular plant that purifies the air. Their classy appearance and air-purifying abilities make them a good choice for a home office or living room. Take a look at our pothos plant care guide to learn more in-depth information about their care guidelines.

pothos small indoor plants

18. Rubber Tree

Rubber trees are indoor plants that can pull any room together with their large leaves and vibrant color. Rubber trees can potentially grow up to ten feet tall. To keep them at a smaller height, prune the branches and leaves regularly. New branches can sprout from these prunings if you tend to them.

rubber tree small indoor plants

19. Snake Plant

Snake plants are easy to care for and are also useful for purifying the air. These plants grow vertically, so they’re ideal for tight corners that are in need of some greenery. Snake plants can grow in a variety of light conditions, but thrive best in indirect sunlight. Since they originate from the desert, they can also withstand long periods of time without water. You should let their soil dry between waterings. Take a look at our snake plant care guide to learn more in-depth information about snake plants.

snake plant small indoor plants

20. Spider Plant

These plants have a lot of long, skinny leaves that poke out from their pots. Spider plants make interesting hanging plants thanks to their dangling leaves. The spider plant’s other nicknames include the “airplane plant” and the “ribbon plant” — thanks to its iconic foliage.

spider plant small indoor plants

21. String of Pearls

The string of pearls plant is an increasingly popular plant with a unique appearance. Its pearl-like foliage hangs over its container and makes an eye-catching piece of decor for all of your guests. This cute plant is yet another member of the succulent family and thus requires lots of light and little water.

string of pearls small indoor plants
Source: 21 small indoor plants for apartment living

Earth Hour Classroom Activities and Resources

Earth Hour Classroom Activities and Resources

Earth Hour Classroom Activities and Resources
 

Our actions on climate change will shape the future for our children. It is important to discuss and educate our students about climate change, and how to look after our planet! As Earth Hour comes around again for another year, it provides a great opportunity to spend some time discussing issues of sustainability and why Earth Hour is so important.

What is Earth Hour?

Earth Hour is a worldwide movement for the planet organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)The event is held annually to encourage individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 pm.

Although Earth Hour is not during school time – it is still a great opportunity to talk about why it is needed and to encourage your students to go home with this important message!

To help you engage your students in worthwhile conversations, we’ve collated some excellent resources and activities for Earth Hour 2018.


Global Warming Video for Kids

Show your students this gorgeous video about climate change:

Talk with your students about the things they can do to help save the planet and then talk about Earth Hour.


Classroom Display Activity for Earth Hour

“We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands”

Create a display in your classroom using the heart from the Earth Day template.

  1. Students colour in the heart-shaped Earth and cut it out.
  2. They then trace their hands on coloured paper and stick each hand on either side of the heart.

Such a cute way to make it look like the whole world is in their hands!

Encourage your students to write what their pledge to the Earth will be and stick these on your Earth Hour classroom display.

Printable Earth Hour and Sustainability Posters

Use our printable sustainability education posters to display around your classroom. Although Earth Hour is primarily to focus on using less electricity, it’s a fantastic time to educate and hold discussions with your students about the importance of a variety good sustainability practises.


Earth Hour Classroom Activities

Use these gorgeous templates to consolidate your students’ knowledge of how they can help the environment.

Environmental Awareness Flip Book

This Environmental Awareness Flip Book helps your students understand what is good and bad for the environment.

Students will love creating this gorgeous flip book and sorting images of everyday things into what will make the earth happy and what will make the earth sad.

Environmental Awareness Flip Book

They can then colour the images in their new flip book.

Environmental Awareness Flip Book

My Promise to the Earth Activity

In this cute activity, students make a promise to the earth by coming up with four different pledges of what they are going to do to save their environment.

This a great activity to discuss different habits that they can change that will help save the planet.

My Promise to the Earth Student Template

How to use this resource:

  1. Download the My Promise to the Earth Student Template.
  2. Trim the extra section off the left-hand side of the template where it states ‘cut’.
  3. Fold the template along the horizontal fold line.
  4. Cut along the three small vertical dotted lines to create four different flaps.
  5. Students pick four pictures that are linked to their own personal promises and stick each picture on the front of each flip section.
  6. Students write what they promise to do under each of the flaps.
  7. Students can then decorate and stick in their workbooks.

Pictures to assist students in creating four promises to the earth include

  • turning the lights off
  • recycling
  • growing plants
  • riding bikes
  • not composting
  • picking up litter.

 

Source- earth hour classroom activities and resources

Plastic Waste Piles Up as China’s Ban Goes Into Effect

What will the U.S. do now with the plastic China won’t take?

 

PHOTOS COURTESY OF RECOLOGY

 BY KATHERINE WEI | FEB 3 2018

If you were at Dolores Park in San Francisco last weekend enjoying a bottle of water, chances are the bottle ended up at Pier 96 not long after you tossed it into a recycling bin. That’s where much of the city’s discarded recycling waste piles up—in giant bales of neatly bound cardboard and plastic scrap, sitting in an empty parking lot just off the pier. The cardboard bales will be shipped off to China in a shipping container for recycling. The plastic water bottles and other scrap will continue to sit there, however, waiting for another country willing to take them.

That’s because China has decided to crack down on the quality of plastic scrap imported from overseas—the yang la-ji, a crass, blanket term government officials have been calling imported scrap. It translates literally to “foreign trash.”

In July 2017, China filed a notice with the World Trade Organization announcing its decision to stop importing 24 types of foreign waste and to dramatically tighten its standards for impurities in scrap bales. In the official notice, China’s Ministry of Environment Protection said, “We found that large amounts of dirty wastes or even hazardous wastes are mixed in the solid waste that can be used as raw materials. This has polluted China’s environment seriously.”

Before the announcement, China allowed 5 percent of impurities in imported bales of plastic. The new, 0.5-percent threshold has proven impossible for U.S. facilities in the short-term, leaving recycling operators scrambling for alternatives.

“We worked hard to make sure our bales contain less than 5 percent of impurities, and sometimes lower than 4,” said Robert Reed, who is part of the team that runs Recology San Francisco near Pier 96.

The ban went into effect in 2018, with a transitional period of five months for its scrap trade partners. WTO members that rely heavily on China’s role in the international waste trade protested in meetings following the announcement; the United States, the E.U., Japan, Australia, and Canada all asked for a longer transitional period of up to five years.

China is already carrying out the ban anyway, which has caused a flurry of panic through the international waste trade. “China practically gave us no time to adjust, no time to transition,” said Adina Adler, a senior official at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. It takes at least two months for a scrap shipment to go from the United States to China; the last bales that the U.S. was able to get out of the country without facing rejection at China’s ports were shipped from September to October, making the ban effective three months after the announcement.

The lack of instructions from China also didn’t help. There is scrap piling up in storage facilities on the West Coast, waiting to be redirected to domestic or foreign facilities, or waiting indefinitely for the regulations to relax. This in turn is taking a toll on the facilities’ budgets; some have informed local residents that they are no longer taking in plastic items and that plastic has been going to landfill instead, according to Adler.

In the official notice China filed with the WTO, the banned types of scrap include “plastics waste from living sources, vanadium slag, unsorted waste paper, and waste textile materials.” But no further explanation was given, and there were no clear examples for exporting facilities on what they are allowed to ship and what they aren’t. The government has also announced a plan to completely ban plastic waste imports in 2019.

China became the world’s main solid waste importer in the 1980s, when it needed cheap raw materials to feed its growing economy. But in recent years, the government has pointed to environmental damage caused by the trade and unwonted smuggling of illegal scraps. China hasn’t made clear exactly what it means by environmental damage. However, one of the heaviest polluted regions in China, Guiyu, a small town in the Guangdong Province, is said to take in the most electronic waste in the world. Once primarily reliant on rice-planting before 1995, the coastal village had transformed into a huge e-waste processing hub by 2013 for economic reasons. Rice no longer grew because the water and air became severely polluted from burning plastic.

In 2013, officials launched the Green Fence campaign, which prohibited unsorted shipments of recyclables from overseas. In March 2017, China also launched the National Sword initiative, a project that led to detailed investigations at nine major ports known for the daily incoming cargo of foreign scrap.

“In periods of development in the past, parts of imported solid waste have served (China) to some extent, but as China advances economically and socially, we see problems exposed in importing solid waste for raw materials,” said Guo Jiang, the head of the environment protection ministry’s Department of International Cooperation. “Especially the yang la-ji. Everyone has something negative to say about it.”

The United States in particular has been hit hard by the ban, thanks to a lack of domestic plastic processing facilities nationwide. There hasn’t been a new recycling plant built in the U.S. since 2003. Meanwhile, Americans throw away an average of 35 billion plastic bottles every year. Up to 40 percent of U.S. scrap exports used to go to China. What happens next?

For now, your bottle and its plastic companions are going to Vietnam or Malaysia. Scrap exports from September 2017 through January 2018, compared to the same period of time in 2016, shows a 95 percent increase of scrap paper going to Vietnam, and a 138 percent increase in plastic scrap going to Malaysia. For that same period, there was a 17.8 percent drop in plastic scrap export from the United States to China.

“We are working very hard with the city of San Francisco and our customers to meet China’s new standards, but after November 2017, our plastic bales have been redirected to Southeast Asia,” said Reed, who hopes that the Chinese government will relax its new regulations.

Inside China, the scrap industry is also seeing fissures after the government crackdown. China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection investigated 1,800 recycling facilities last year to see if they followed environmental laws regarding imported scrap, but over half were found to be violating said laws. “These companies either went out of business or lost their import licenses temporarily,” said Adler. This also contributed to the chaos in the global scrap trade, because these licenses not only gave the facilities permission to import foreign scrap, they also determined how much each facility is allowed to import. Once taken away, the losses are huge.

Even more companies were denied licenses this year, said Steve Wong, the owner of the plastic recycling company Fukutomi in Hong Kong. “The number of the first batch of import permits granted in 2018 was released at the end of December. The number is down by nearly 95 percent in comparison to last year,” said Wong.

There is still no official plan on how to deal with the excess scrap piling up in places like San Francisco’s Pier 96, but recyclers are trying to identify domestic options rather than going overseas. “There are resources in the U.S. and Canada that people are starting to scout out now,” said Adler.

Wong agrees. “The amount Southeast Asian countries are taking is small compared to what the U.S. is used to exporting. I’m planning to open a facility in the U.S. to help combat the problem.”

 

Source: Plastic Waste Piles Up as China’s Ban Goes Into Effect

जनैपूर्णिमा (Janai Purnima)

फोटो : trekkingmart

प्रत्येक वर्ष श्रावण शुक्ल पूर्णिमाका दिनमा मनाइने ऋषितर्पणी, रक्षाबन्धन एवम् जनै पूर्णिमा बिहिबार मनाइँदैछ ।

सत्ययुगमा दानवद्वारा लखेटिएका देवगणलाई गुरु बृहस्पतिले रक्षा विधान तयार गरी जेले गर्दा अत्यन्त बलशाली दानवराज बली बाँधिए, त्यसैले म तिमीलाई बाँध्छु, यसले तिमी सुरक्षित बन, विचलित नहोऊ भनी डोरो बाँधेर जोगाएका थिए भन्ने पौराणिक मान्यताका आधारमा चलेकोे रक्षाबन्धनको परम्परा आज पनि प्रचलित छ ।

यसैकारण रक्षाबन्धन गर्ने बेलामा गुरु पुरोहितहरुले ‘येन बद्धो बलिराजा दानवेन्द्रो महाबल तेन त्वां प्रतिबध्नामी रक्षेमा चलमाचल’ भनी रक्षासूत्र, रक्षाबन्धन अथवा डोरो बाँध्ने वैदिक परम्परा रहको नेपाल पञ्चाङ्ग निर्णायक समितिका अध्यक्ष प्रा डा रामचन्द्र गौतमले बताए ।

मानव रक्षाका लागि जप, तप र पूजा गरी मन्त्रिएको रक्षाबन्धन अर्थात् डोरो वैदिक परम्पराको मन्त्रोच्चारण गर्दै ब्राह्मण पुरोहितहरुले यजमानको नाडीमा बाँधिदिने गरिन्छ ।

आजकै दिन तागाधारीहरुले आफ्नो जनै (यज्ञोपवित) फेर्छन् । यसका लागि बुधबारदेखिनै कपाल मुण्डन गरी एक छाकमात्र खाएर चोखोनीतो गरी बसिन्छ । यसरी व्रत बसेका तागाधारीहरुले आज बिहानै पोखरी, ताल, तलाउ, नदी र कुण्डमा गई गाईको गोबर, खरानी, दत्तिउन र सप्तमृत्तिका लगाएर स्नान गर्दछन् ।

स्नानपछि जौ तिल र कुशद्वारा ऋषिहरुलाई तर्पण गरी वैदिक रुद्राभिषेक पद्धतिबाट मन्त्रिएको नयाँ जनै (यज्ञोपवित) फेरिन्छ । ऋषिलाई तर्पण गर्ने भएकाले आजको दिनलाई ऋषितर्पणी पनि भन्ने गरिएको छ । आजै मन्त्रिएको जनै फेर्ने गरिएकाले नै श्रावण शुक्ल पूर्णिमालाई जनैपूर्णिमा पनि भनिन्छ ।

वैदिक गुरु परम्पराअनुसार यज्ञोपवित अर्थात् जनैलाई ब्रह्मसूत्र अथवा ज्ञानको धागोसमेत भनिन्छ ।

जनैका दुई शिखामध्ये एउटा शिखामा रहने तीन डोरालाई ब्रह्मा, विष्णु र महेश्वरको प्रतीकका रुपमा पुजिन्छ । अर्को डोराको तीनवटा शिखालाई भने कर्म, उपासना र ज्ञानको त्रियोगका रुपमा मानिन्छ ।

यस किसिमको महत्व भएकाले नै आज बिहानै यजमानहरु आफ्ना गुरु पुरोहितकहाँ गई यज्ञोपवित मन्त्रने गर्दछन् । आजकै दिन मन्त्रेको जनै वर्षभरिका धार्मिक कर्ममा प्रयोग गरिनुका साथै फेर्नलाई समेत उपयोग गरिन्छ । कुनै पनि धार्मिक कर्म गर्दा र जुठो, सूतकबाट चोखिँदा आजकै दिन मन्त्रिएको यज्ञोपवित फेरेर शुद्ध भइन्छ भन्ने वैदिक मान्यता छ ।

आजकै दिन शरीर शुद्ध गरी देवता, सप्तऋषि र पितृलाई पनि तर्पण गरिने भएकाले नै ऋषि तर्पणीसमेत भन्ने गरिएको हो । आजको दिन सप्तऋषिहरु काश्यप, अत्रि, भारद्वाज, गौतम, जमदग्नि, वशिष्ठ र विश्वमित्रलाई तर्पण दिने गरिन्छ ।

आजका दिन एघारथरिका गेडागुडी मिसाई भिजाएर टुसा उमारेर क्वाँटी बनाई खाइन्छ । यसरी क्वाँटी बनाई खानाले शरीरमा रोग नलाग्ने, पेट सफा हुने र वर्षायामभर खेतीपातीको काम गर्दा शरीरमा लागेको चिसो निकाली भित्रदेखि नै तापको सञ्चार गर्छ भन्ने मान्यता छ ।

नेपालको तराई क्षेत्रमा भने आजकै दिन दिदीबहिनीले दाजुभाइलाई राखी बाँधेर मनाइन्छ । यसबाट दिदीबहिनी र दाजुभाइका बीचमा प्रेम सम्बन्ध बढ्छ भन्ने सामाजिक मान्यता छ ।

आजको दिन काठमाडाँैको पशुपति र मणिचूड, रसुवाको गोसाइँकुण्ड, ललितपुरको कुम्भेश्वर, सिन्धुपाल्चोकको पाँचपोखरी, धनुषाको जनकपुरधाम, धनुषसागर र गङ्गासागर, जुम्लाको दानसाधु एवम् नवलपरासीको त्रिवेणीधामलगायतका ताल, पोखरी र कुण्डमा मेला लाग्छ ।

नेवारी समुदायले भने श्रावण शुक्ल पूर्णिमालाई गुँपुन्ही भनी मनाउने गर्दछन् । विशेषगरी क्वाँटी खाने परम्परा नेवारी समुदायको यसै पर्वबाट आएको हो भन्ने तर्क पनि एकथरि संस्कृतिविद्को छ । आजका दिन नेवारी समुदायका मानिसले घण्टाकर्ण राक्षसलाई समाप्त पार्न योगदान गरी मानवीयतालाई बचाउन सहयोग गरेको विश्वासमा भ्यागुतालाई पूजा गर्छन् ।

बौद्ध दर्शनलाई अँगाल्ने बौद्ध धर्मावलम्बीले भने आजको दिनलाई भगवान् गौतमबुद्धले कामशक्तिमाथि विजय प्राप्त गरेको सम्झनाको दिनका रुपमा मनाउने गर्दछन् । बौद्ध धर्मग्रन्थ ललितविस्तरमा यससम्बन्धी विस्तृत रुपमा व्याख्या गरिएको छ । यसैका कारण आज स्वयम्भूमा पनि विशेष मेला लाग्ने गर्दछ । रासस

Source: आज जनैपूर्णिमा, यसरी सुरु भयो रक्षाबन्धनको परम्परा

Live Sustainably Everyday- Make Everyday an Environment Day

World Environment Day is just around the corner. While different organisations, educational institutions and community groups are undertaking various activities to mark this day, why don’t we take this as an opportunity to reflect upon our own lifestyles and see the impact of our actions to the environment as well as our well-being.

Waste is one of the biggest problems the world is facing at the moment and there has never been a better time to think and rethink about our consumption pattern and disposal
behaviour. According to the World Bank’s report What a Waste: A Global Review of Solid Waste Management ,globally we are producing1.3 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste every year and are expected to increase to approximately 2.2 billion tonnes per year by 2025. Similarly according to a recent report by UNEP and the World Resources Institute (WRI), about one-third of all food produced worldwide, worth around US$1 trillion, gets lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems.

Australians are the second biggest producer of waste and needless to say hundreds of tonnes of waste are dumped into landfill sites every year. In addition, most people these days think that landfill is the ultimate destination for most of the waste we produce, where as it should only be taken as a last resort.

The modern lifestyle and technological advancement is leading to not only increase in volume of waste we produce but also producing different composition of waste which is making the waste issue more big and challenging than ever. Disposal of different types of waste ranging from green waste, hazardous waste, e- waste and other household waste in the landfill is not only taking up bigger chunk of our valuable land which could have alternatively been used for other productive causes, but it is also causing severe and irreversible impacts in the environment, socio-economy and health. Wastes dumped in the landfill accounts for air pollution, water pollution and land quality at the same time methane gas produced during the decomposition of organic waste is one of the potent green house gas which is 23 times stronger than carbon dioxide.

If we really want to make our impact in reducing the waste or managing it, we need to reduce the production of waste at source. One of the successful and practical mantra that we have been hearing and to some extent practicing is 3 R Principle- Reduce Reuse and Re cycle.

Reduce mean avoiding the production of waste at source. Avoid the things that we can do without. Reuse is about using items over and over for a longer period.
Recycling is re-processing the item into a new raw material so that
it can be used in a new product–for example grinding up plastic bottles to make fibre. While recycling is helping us in a great way by keeping our waste from going to landfill; a huge quantity of waste could be reduced and reused before it goes to recycling.

What are the benefits of reducing and reusing waste?

1. Keeps materials out of landfill.
2. Helps to preserve the “embodied energy” that was originally used to manufacture
an item.
3. Reduces the pressure on raw material, energy and water.
4. Creates less air and water pollution than making a new item or recycling one.
5. Reduces overall production of waste.
6. Reuse often creates an affordability of goods that are often of better quality .

So what can we do to reduce waste going to landfill?

Here are 10 different ways that will help to reduce and reuse waste:
1. Change consumption pattern: Ask your self do you need or want that product. Only buy what you need
2. Buy quality products what would last long
3. Burrow thing from neighbours, friends and family
4. Rent it rather than buying if you are using for a short term
5. Covert your food waste into rich fertiliser though composting or wormfarming
6. Donate your unwanted items to charity organisation or give away to your friend and family
7. Buy and sell second-hand at flea markets and garage sales.
8. Maintain your goods, it will last longer
9. Repair the items such as electronics or furniture
10.Upcycle the items you don’t want and expand the life of your preloved goods

These simple actions can easily be incorporated in our everyday life at a no or vey low cost. All we need is a little bit of passion and commitment to change ourselves and create change. Every single action multiplied by thousands will certainly make a difference. So why don’t we start from ourselves and from today. And make every day an environment day.

A very happy environment day 2016 to all of you!

Happy International Composting Awareness Week 2016!

Half of the waste we put in our rubbish bin consists of food or garden waste. These organic waste get dumped into landfill where they decompose in the absence of oxygen producing potent greenhouse gas such as methane. The leachate produced by these organic waste also results in depletion of ground water quality.   By composting our food scraps we are not only diverting the huge amount of waste going to the landfill but also reducing carbon pollution.

Composting is a natural process by which the organic waste get decomposed into nutrition rich compost by the action of bacteria. In order to work effectively, composting requires the right blend of air, moisture and carbon & nitrogen balanced materials. Little bit of extra TLC (Tender. Love and Care) will work wonders.

Alternatively we can also get our food waste converted into the top quality compost by through worm farming. Worms munch on organic waste and produce casting which are high quality compost . Worm farming is the best way to manage organic waste within the small space and with no smell.

Here is a simple and easy step by step guide on worm farming and composting:

Slide1

Slide2

Slide3

Slide4

Slide5

Slide6

Slide7

 

Slide8

Slide9

Slide10

Slide11

Slide12

Slide13

Slide14

Happy composting and do share your experiences 🙂

 

 

5 Permaculture Principles To Help You Start A Garden

Did you know Permaculture was theoretically developed by two Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren during the 1970s?

It’s one of Australia’s intellectual exports with a global network of practitioners and teachers.

Haven’t heard of Permaculture?

Permaculture is a set of principles that result in designing sustainable and productive systems. Systems for living, architecture, food production, land management and community.

Permaculture mimics patterns that occur in nature, to make these systems energy efficient, low cost and with high yielding results.

Recently, I joined a 2-day intensive course to learn about how to grow backyard veggies with Michael Hewins from Milkwood.

Michael’s methods of food cultivation are deeply based on Permaculture principles.

I got in touch with Milkwood to find out more on how Permaculture principles can help you start a garden, sustainably and harmoniously with nature.

If you don’t have a backyard space for a garden, you can even start a courtyard or balcony garden, which can still be productive while helping you to maintain your connection to nature. Another gardening option is taking part in a community garden, getting your own plot, and doing your gardening there.

Here are 5 Permaculture principles to help you start a garden

1. Catch and Store Energy – “Make hay while the sun shines”

By developing systems that collect resources when they are abundant, we can use them in times of need.

Try this: Planting for your site – figure out where the sun falls and doesn’t, and when. The sunnier spots are always the best place for veggies to reach their peak of flavour and nutrition.

2. Produce No Waste – “Waste not, want not”

By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.

Try this: Nutrient cycling, which means employing methods that help you close the loop and feed your garden at the same time. Ideas include worms, bokashi buckets, compost e.t.c.

3. Integrate Rather Than Segregate – “Many hands make light work”

By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.

Try this: Companion planting is a technique that can be used to stimulate plant growth and productivity, increase resilience to pests and diseases, hide your plants from pests or mask their scent to make them harder for pests to find, and attract beneficial insects which act as pollinators, such as bees, or attract beneficial predatory insects that will eat pest insects, such as ladybirds, lacewings and hoverflies.

4. Use Small and Slow Solutions – “Slow and steady wins the race”

Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and produce more sustainable outcomes.

Try this: Propagating your own seedlings! Not only will it save you money but you become self-reliant when you grow your own seeds for food.

5. Use Edges and Value the Marginal – “Don’t think you are on the right track just because it’s a well-beaten path”

The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.

Try this: If you wanted to emphasise the Edge Effect Principle, you would perhaps lean toward curved edge garden beds, mandala design garden beds, or just use a large number of smaller rectangular beds.

These 5 principles are originally based from David Holmgren’s 12 principles of permaculture design.

Why is growing your own food important?

Growing your own instills a true sense of the value of food. It’s also a great way to reduce carbon pollution emissions that occur in the food supply chain, areas including transport, processing and food waste.

You can maximise the use of home-produced compost & ‘worm juice’ from your worm farm as fertiliser, rather using than artificial ones, and chemicals such as insecticides and herbicides.

Growing your own also makes a surprisingly powerful statement about reducing our reliance on others for basic sustenance.

So are you ready to start growing seriously great vegetables in your backyard?

Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below 🙂

Source: http://www.1m5 permaculture principles help you start garden

By: Bronte Hogarth