Let’s start with the basic facts, going zero waste is not easy. Especially if you live in any kind of urban or suburban environment where single-use plastic items are next to impossible not to consume.
Think about it, every trip to the supermarket results in you bringing home plastic bags, plastic containers, and plastic packaging, some of which is non-recyclable, making it extremely difficult to cut single-use plastics out of your life.
Then you look at detergents, cleaning supplies and the like, and another problem presents itself. Many of the products will claim to be “eco-friendly,” but much of their friendliness is nothing more than greenwashing. Many products in this category will contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment, that can kill insects, plankton, and harm marine life.
One of my big pet peeves about the way our culture has developed is that when something breaks, we just throw it out, and get something new. We constantly buy, upgrade, and consume. So when a wooden dish rack we’ve had for ~3 years broke, we could have chucked it and bought a new one for ~$10 – 15, but instead, I decided to fix it. So how do you fix a wooden dish rack, and why even bother?
The reasons were as follows:
1. Don’t throw things out that don’t need to be thrown out.
2. Don’t buy things no matter how inexpensive to replace something easily fixable.
3. Save time by not going to the store to buy a new one, or, save packaging, carbon etc… by not having one shipped to us, and spending the 15 mins to look for the right dish rack on Amazon or some other e-commerce site.
4. Household items can be easily fixed in about the same amount of time it takes to order a new one.
A pretty unbiased Ditch the Dirt Book Review. A while ago I ordered the new book from titled Ditch The Dirt, written by Rob Laing, CEO of Farm.One which is also based here in New York. I’d heard about what they’re doing a while back through some friends in the venture community. Since then I have been following their progress and development as a company. So I was pretty excited to learn that we’d be getting a book on indoor farming from someone who’s had so much success in urban agriculture. My initial thoughts were that this book would help facilitate growing food at home, and it’s description on Amazon, pretty much states just that.
“Growing plants hydroponically―in water instead of soil―is easier thank you think. Ditch the Dirt will teach you the basics of hydroponic growing at home, including how to set up and take care of your garden, information on the most interesting edible plants, and delicious ways to use your harvest in your next meal.” (more…)
On December 4th 2017, or over 6 months ago, I ordered a Click and Grow Smart Garden 9 for reviewing it on this site, and to grow some fresh greens at home. When we first reviewed the product after 2 months and weren’t very excited about it. After tinkering with it, I do think it requires a second review.
When I first ordered the Click and Grow Smart Garden 9, I received three marketing emails in quick succession. One to get $25 off and refer a friend. One for a free Smart Garden 3 (received on the same day that I placed my order). The last marketing communication to buy another garden and some flowers to grow in said garden. (more…)
We’re really excited to join a CSA this summer. Our first CSA delivery won’t be ready for another week and already we can’t wait to taste our seasonal goodies. If you’re not familiar with the concept, here’s a brief overview of the what and why of joining a CSA.
CSA stands for community supported agriculture and is a concept that brings together local farmers with local customers. While specific CSAs vary, customers generally sign up for a weekly or biweekly supply of fresh, seasonal and local fruit and veggies, which may be supplemented by other products like eggs, meat, honey, spices, beer or milk. We’ll be picking up our CSA weekly at a chill local bar here in Brooklyn. (more…)
Why are peat bogs important? Let’s start off with some facts. Peat bogs are a massive carbon sink and aid in the storage of carbon, containing more locked away carbon that the world’s forests. Peat covers 2-3% of the earth’s surface making it relatively scarce. Forests for example cover 31%. Using peat as either fuel, or in gardening, releases carbon back into the atmosphere. Peat is not regarded as a renewable due to its extraction rate in industrialized countries. Estimates put peat bog mass harvested each year at 60 times less than the mass that accumulates. Using peat is not sustainable. (more…)
Apartment Farming. Growing indoors in an apartment, is growing in sub-optimal conditions. Commercial vertical farms crate optimal conditions for growth. They cool or heat their grow areas provide optimal nutrient delivery and lighting for whatever green it is they’re growing. Most of us however don’t have access to that.
Growing indoors doesn’t present the same luxury. We have to live where we grow and indoor temperatures can range from the 60’s during winter to the high 80’s and even 90’s in summer. AC doesn’t blow evenly and in cities steam pipes can make the insides of apartments feel like saunas. Brooklyn anyone? (more…)
Turns out we had a need to put together a LED grow shelf. Here’s how we did it. Would love feedback and comments. Growing edible plants indoors, on shelves, with LED lights, means you need space, but how much space is enough? Micro-greens are easy because you can stack them them on top of one another. However, what if you’re growing baby kale, or arugula at home? Well, we wanted to find out.
Growing plants take up space, and space is a major issue when considering growing greens in an urban apartment environment. So how do you go about allocating as much room as you can for your indoor greens farm without making too much of an impact on your living square footage? (more…)
We’ve had the Click and Grow for about two months now. It’s given us two small lettuces, and we have been picking here and there at mustard greens, basil and parsley. Two months in I think we have a pretty decent understanding of the device and it’s pros and cons. Best put, the Click and Grow is disappointing if you’re looking to grow food at home.If you want a system to grow plants or have a fun activity with the kids, then the Click and Grow could be for you. Onto the Click and Grow Review however.
Methodology: When reviewing this, or any other product, our first goals at GreenerPods is to see how well the device can help you grow your greens or food at home to make any measurable impact on nutrition and budget, followed by how seamlessly it blends into the home environment, and lastly how well it’s designed as a product. (more…)
Why is home grown food important? Why is growing food at home something that – for us – should be embraced in every household? The answer is complex and involves a number of factors. Nutrition, eating better, fresher, and healthy, it’s understanding to respect the food we put into our bodies and where it comes from. It’s taking an active part in that process, its also sustainability and decreasing our carbon footprints – just imagine the hundreds if not thousands of miles it took your “fresh” baby kale to travel to your supermarket, the plastic container it came in, it’s production and carbon output.
The point I’m trying to make here is, the agricultural supply chain is inherently more complex than how we perceive it most of the time.There are numerous elements we often forget to apply when considering our own eating habits. Additionally it allows a means for people to get the freshest greens and in turn nutrients available on their kitchen table with little to no work. Recently, a University of California, Davis study showed that vegetables can lose 15 to 55 percent of vitamin C, for instance, within a week. Spinach can lose 90 percent within the first 24 hours after harvest (see chart on page 4).Now what if that same spinach was picked fresh in your kitchen in February and tossed into a salad? That’s what we’re trying to accomplish here – in part.