Category Archives: Waste

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

Happy Environment Day 2015 World..!!

Art of Green Living

Happy World Environment Day

World Environment day is celebrated on 5 June every year to raise global awareness to take positive environmental action  and reduce negative impact to protect the planet earth. People organise various programs globally to mark this day. Ideally, we should be grateful to environment every day  and should curtail any actions that have adverse impact on the environment and not limit our action to only one day of the year. However on this special day, we take this opportunity to thank and honour environment for all the privileges it has provided to us all. The theme for this year is “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care” in short  “live sustainably”. Due to urbanisation and modern lifestyle, people are consuming more products than ever and subsequently creating more waste. In order to meet the growing demand of ever increasing population, we are not only exploiting our valuable natural resources but…

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Live Sustainably Everyday- Make Everyday an Environment Day

Art of Green Living

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…

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10 ways to be sustainable at university

Simple and great ways to be sustainable at university

CCCU Sustainability

Planning on going to university this September? You might be thinking that staying sustainable while studying is impossible.

However, this is not the case… here are 10 easy ways you can keep green throughout your everyday life at uni!

1) Get yourself a reusable bag.

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Since the introduction of the 5p charge plastic bag purchases have dropped by more than 85%. So why waste 5p on a flimsy carrier bag that might just about get your shopping home in one piece when you could buy a one off reusable bag.

2) Remember to recycle!

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Student properties generate a lot of waste and it can be very difficult to remind everyone in your house what can and what can’t be recycled. But if you do your bit that’s better than nothing.

3) Buy a reusable coffee mug for those tired mornings.

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Most university students need a coffee to get them through the…

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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

If You Want To Change How You Feel, Start With What You Do

It only takes a few minutes of TV to hear promises of a thinner waistline, a better internet deal, a sexier drink choice, or an improved relationship. Ads bombard us all day on our phones and computers, always luring us to something. They hit us through comparison of another’s better car, newer technology, or more comfortable […]

via If You Want To Change How You Feel, Start With What You Do — Lindsay Williams, MA, LPC

Plastic Free July! Are you ready to take the challenge?

Plastic constitutes 10 % of the total waste we generate. It is estimated that 10-20 million tonns of plastic end up in ocean every year. The use of single use plastic is growing like never before. Items like plastic bags, take away containers, plastic bottles and plastic cutleries are some of the many items that we use just for few minutes but last forever.

The Plastic Free July challenge was started to raise awareness about the single use disposable plastic and encourage people to think and do something about this.

Why is plastic a problem?

Once produced it takes forever for plastic to degrade. Instead it breaks down into smaller pieces causing severe problems to animals and human health. The production of plastic uses around eight percent of the world’s oil production. It is estimated that worldwide 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed every year. More than one million bags are used every minute.

Plastic items thrown into public bins on the street, in the park or picnic area might accidently escape the bins and may end up in streets, open spaces or water ways causing threats to human and animal health.

Plastic Free July 2017n.pdf

What can we do?

Here are few practical yet simple ways we can easily help reduce the amount of plastics entering the waste stream.

  • Let’s avoid plastic especially single use plastic and plastic packaging as much as possible. Ask yourself if you really need to buy it. Choose alternatives like cardboard paper, glass, metal and wood over plastic.
  • Reduce everyday plastics, such as replace sandwich bags with reusable lunch box and glad wraps with container with lids or bees wax wrap.
  • Buy in bulk and opt for refill and use reusable containers.
  • Refuse single use plastics especially straw, cutlery, plates and cups.
  • Carry your own reusable bag and water bottle. Plastic bags and bottles constitute a huge portion of plastic waste.
  • If Recyclable, recycle all that cannot be avoided. Donate and giveaway the items you no longer use.
  • Collect unavoidable plastic packaging separately and take them to your nearest supermarket.
  • Spread the word. Talk to your family and friends about why it is important to reduce plastic in our lives and the impacts of plastic pollution.

Lastly but most importantly, don’t compare yourself with others. We all have different priorities in life and living it in a different way. Plan your life and to what you can. You don’t have to do everything at once. Start small and one at a time. You will find solution to the plastic in your own way. Just remember every single action when multiplied by many can make a significant difference.

Do share what you are doing to keep up with this challenge.