More than 50% of New York Citys public schools now have gardens

October 17, 2017 by  
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There’s a food revolution brewing in over half of New York City’s public schools, and it’s not slowing down. Thanks to the local nonprofit GrowNYC , The Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, and Grow to Learn , five boroughs have been established to set up sustainable gardens in public schools. There are now at least 700 gardens across the city, and teachers are witnessing a myriad of changes in the kids who are spending more time outdoors and less time in a “traditional” classroom setting. From container gardens to bottle planters in the classrooms, teachers and the kids are getting creative to grow produce at their schools. Arielle Hartman, School Gardens Coordinator with GrowNYC, said, “I’ve seen teachers grow plants in soda bottles and old shoes or in projector carts with fluorescent lights.” Some of the most popular vegetables and fruit that are being grown include tomatoes , cucumbers, lettuce, eggplant, mint, collard greens, and herbs. At some schools, grapes and strawberries are cultivated, as well. The benefits of school gardening extend beyond the children learning about where their food comes from — which is an important lesson. For many kids, the gardens exist as a place of respite and contemplation. Rodale’s Organic Life reports, “Schools are using these green spaces not only as teaching tools and hands-on laboratories for math and science, they’ve also become arenas for social and emotional growth, particularly for students who may not do well in the traditional classroom environment, as well as serving as a respite for teachers and administrators.” As a result of improved emotional well-being among the student body, teachers are witnessing a reduction in behavioral issues . Julie Walsh, Assistant Director at GrowNYC, said, “Behavioral issues are dramatically reduced when kids are exposed to nature and to this kind of real sensory and experimental learning that the natural world offers.” Research presented at the 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition supports this observation. It noted that green schoolyards — which are bursting with nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables — provide children, families and their communities a “healthy environment ” for relaxation and play. Related: The Garden School is a New Green-Roofed Learning Facility for China Walsh says that by partnering with agencies, such as the Parks Department and the Department of Education, the challenge of introducing gardens into schools was made much easier. “Historically, one of the challenges for successful and sustainable school garden models has been a lack of coordination,” said Walsh. “If you try to do this in a vacuum, you run into bureaucratic impediments. By partnering […], we’re able to help schools run the gauntlet with these agencies so they don’t run into obstacles.” Other schools can easily implement a garden by partnering with the Grow to Learn program. Registered schools can attend free workshops that cover a number of relevant topics, and schools are eligible to receive free garden materials, access to an online resource library and garden network and the tools to apply for mini-grant funding to start or expand a school garden. The future of school gardens is only limited by the creativity of the teachers, parents, administrators, and students. As long as all involved are willing to work together, public school gardens can flourish across the entire city — and perhaps, the entire nation. GrowNYC , + Grow to Learn Via Rodale’s Organic Life Images via  Pinterest , Arielle Hartman, Grow to Learn, Pixabay

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More than 50% of New York Citys public schools now have gardens

A luscious open-air ‘urban forest’ tops this formerly abandoned penthouse

October 17, 2017 by  
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Parisian firm Matteo Cainer Architects just unveiled plans to convert an old abandoned apartment into a beautiful solar-powered penthouse filled with natural light and pockets of lush green vegetation. The renovation of the 1,400 square-meter space – referred to as “La Forêt Urbaine” – includes a lush open-air urban forest that echoes the many surrounding parks below. Located on a central Paris street with striking 360-degree views of the city’s landmarks, the original apartment, which had been empty for some 30 years, was broken up into two floors with several rooms. To create an open layout, the renovation began by tearing down walls and reconfiguring the living space . Related: Explore Andrew Franz’s Greenery-Covered West Village Penthouse Addition and Townhouse Renovation Several sustainable features were used to reduce the project’s carbon footprint. Solar panels were installed on the rooftop’s veranda and the living space was installed with in-floor heating and cooling. The various windows allow the homeowners to take advantage of natural ventilation in order to reduce energy use year-round. In an attempt to bring in the surrounding green space to the home, multiple garden pockets were installed within and around the living spaces, which are clad in glazed walls. The result is a beautiful open floor plan filled with greenery and natural light . Of course, at the heart of the project, is the expansive rooftop garden with spectacular city views. The landscape design really shines here, with different sections being distinguished by their uses by sculptured bushes and trees. The large area includes an outdoor dining area, a lounge space with a fire place and even an open-air cinema. A glass veranda houses an enclosed large entertainment area and a gym, both installed with several hanging gardens. + Matteo Cainer Architects Images via Matteo Cainer Architects

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A luscious open-air ‘urban forest’ tops this formerly abandoned penthouse

Meet the 7-Year-Old Who Started a Recycling Company

February 13, 2017 by  
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If you haven’t already heard of Ryan Hickman and his recycling company, it’s time to get this 7-year-old on your radar. His environmental journey all began a few years ago, when young Ryan visited a local recycling facility with his father….

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Meet the 7-Year-Old Who Started a Recycling Company

Inspiring Arkansas mom built a house for her kids using YouTube tutorials

February 1, 2017 by  
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After fleeing her second abusive marriage in 2007, Cara Brookins needed four walls that made her feel safe. But she didn’t have the money to buy the kind of sanctuary she felt her four children, then aged 2 to 17, deserved. Driving past a tornado-ravaged house on the way to a cabin she had rented outside Little Rock, Arkansas, Brookins had a flash of inspiration. “You don’t often get the opportunity to see the interior workings of a house, but looking at these two-by-fours and these nails, it just looked so simple,” she told CBS News . “I thought, ‘I could put this wall back up if I really tried. Maybe I should just start from scratch.’”

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Inspiring Arkansas mom built a house for her kids using YouTube tutorials

Army Corps ordered to approve Dakota Access Pipeline

February 1, 2017 by  
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It seems like President Donald Trump is determined to get his way on the Dakota Access Pipeline . Senator John Hoeven and Congressmen Kevin Cramer, both of North Dakota , said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will give the final approval necessary to move forward with the oil pipeline after an order from the acting secretary of the Army. But the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says the move is illegal, and they’re not backing down without a fight. Hoeven said acting secretary Robert Speer informed Vice President Mike Pence and him of the impending approval. He said in a statement the pipeline would be constructed with safety features to provide protection for the Standing Rock Sioux. Related: 8 ways to help the water protectors at the Standing Rock Reservation But the tribe says there’s an environmental study going on that must be finished before the Army can grant the easement, and they’re planning to resist. In a statement posted on Facebook they said, “We stand ready to fight this battle against corporate interest superseding government procedure and the health and well-being of millions of Americans.” You can make your voice heard as well. The Army is currently gathering information for the environmental impact statement which includes a “public scoping phase.” Members of the public are invited to share their concerns with the Army until February 20, 2017. You can mail your comments to Mr. Gib Owen, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, 108 Army Pentagon, Washington DC 20310-0108. You can also email Owen at gib.a.owen.civ@mail.mil. The Army requests you include your name, return address, and “NOI Comments, Dakota Access Pipeline” on the first page of your letter, or if you’re sending an email, put “NOI Comments, Dakota Access Pipeline” as your subject. More details can be found here . There are still hundreds of people camping near the proposed pipeline route in North Dakota. Reuters reported at one point there were over 10,000 people in the camp; veterans and activists stood alongside Native Americans. Law enforcement has made over 600 arrests. Indigenous Environmental Network organizer Dallas Goldtooth said on Twitter Cramer was ” trying to incite violence ” by stating the Army gave their approval before it’s official. Via Reuters Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Army Corps ordered to approve Dakota Access Pipeline

5 Tips for Hosting a Child’s Birthday Party Without Plastic

January 26, 2017 by  
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I believe that many people truly want to be more eco-friendly, but the how of it — the nitty-gritty details — eludes them. So when I talk about throwing a plastic-free, low-waste, eco-friendly birthday party for your kid, it may sound like a great…

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5 Tips for Hosting a Child’s Birthday Party Without Plastic

16-year-old activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez wins 2016 Children’s Climate Prize

November 29, 2016 by  
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The 16-year-old environmental activist Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh Martinez is no stranger to Inhabitat. Known for suing the government for inaction on climate change and calling for an end to fossil fuel use , Martinez just received important international recognition for his tireless work. Last week in Sweden, he accepted the new Children’s Climate Prize , which comes with a generous financial reward. Swedish renewable energy company Telge Energi awarded Martinez the prize, which is given to a kid between 10 and 16 who is working to help the environment . Telge Energi described Martinez as an “extraordinarily powerful voice in the climate debate worldwide.” The jury who chose Martinez praised his willingness to take on big interests such as the fossil fuel industry , and commended him for inspiring others to use their voices too, no matter their age. Related: 16-year-old activist demands US gov end fossil fuel use by 2026 The jury said, “Through his passion and love for climate issues, this year’s winner has already, at a young age, had an enormous impact on many people, from children and youth to people with power, to make decisions shaping the future of our planet. With a unique skill of connecting activism with political talent, he has demonstrated both passion and courage, not avoiding controversial issues such as calling for a ban on fracking in his own home state Colorado. By doing so, he has challenged strong political and economic powers. As a hip-hop artist with a clear message he has demonstrated the power of linking culture with environmental issues as a way to mobilize engagement and action.” For winning the prize, Martinez received 50,000 Swedish Krona, which is about $6,000, along with a medal. The award ceremony occurred in Sweden last week, commemorating the Children’s Climate Conference that took place last year just before COP21. Martinez has made his voice heard through avenues as diverse as legal action to hip hop, and he’s the director of Earth Guardians , a youth organization comprised of musicians and artists who want the world to be a better place. + Children’s Climate Prize + Earth Guardians + Telge Energi Images via Telge Energi

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16-year-old activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez wins 2016 Children’s Climate Prize

Solar-powered Miami Science Barge teaches kids about sustainability

October 21, 2016 by  
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The Miami Science Barge’s aim is to educate children and the public on the environment and innovation ” to build a sustainable Miami .” Once aboard the science barge, visitors can check out the solar panels that power the barge, an aquaculture hatchery, and hydroponic systems. Related: Miami’s New Science Museum to Feature an Incredible 500,000 Gallon Gulf Stream Aquarium K-12 students can learn about science and sustainable technology outdoors on field trips at the Miami Science Barge. The Miami Science Barge’s curriculum highlights “the science behind renewable energy systems, the chemistry of growing food, sustainable food production, and methods of dealing with finite resources.” 140 people can come aboard the science barge, which also hosts cocktail hours, networking events, lectures, and parties. The general public is welcomed to check out the barge each weekend, from 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturdays and Sundays. The Miami Science Barge got its start with help from CappSci , a foundation aiming to apply science to global challenges, and from $298,633 the science barge team received in 2015 from winning the first Knight Cities Challenge , a competition that offers funding for people innovating to make cities better places. The Knight Cities Challenge is currently accepting entries for their third challenge. They accept applications from anyone who has a plan to make one of the 26 different communities in which the Knight Foundation invests a better place to live. They will be giving out up to $5 million to winners from the communities. You can find out more and enter your idea on their website ; the third challenge closes November 3. + Miami Science Barge + Knight Cities Challenge + CappSci Images courtesy of Miami Science Barge and Miami Science Barge Facebook

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Solar-powered Miami Science Barge teaches kids about sustainability

Leonardo DiCaprio eyes Captain Planet revival with a contemporary twist

October 19, 2016 by  
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Leonardo DiCaprio may have found his next project to help the planet: a movie starring 90’s cartoon environmental superhero Captain Planet . Captain Planet and the Planeteers ended in late 1992, but it seems DiCaprio thinks the themes from the old TV show are relevant today. There’s a twist: sources told The Hollywood Reporter we might see Captain Planet in a new light, as a ” washed-up has-been .” DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way Productions and Paramount are reportedly attempting to obtain the rights for the TV series. DiCaprio would be a producer on the film – no word yet on whether or not he would play one of the characters. Jono Matt and Glenn Powell’s names have been floated to pen the screenplay. Related: Leonardo DiCaprio could be headed to Mars with SpaceX The original Captain Planet TV series followed the adventures of five children possessing magic rings that, when used together, could summon the environmental superhero. Sources told The Hollywood Reporter a DiCaprio Captain Planet film would be set after the timeline of the TV series. Instead of the hero taking “pollution down to zero,” Captain Planet could be portrayed as a ” washed-up has-been who needs the kids more than they need him .” Actor David Coburn, who voiced Captain Planet, has said he’d love to be involved with a Captain Planet movie. He told The Hollywood Reporter , “There’s nobody better to play Captain Planet than Leo. Well there’s me, then there’s Leo. But if it can’t be me, if Captain Planet can’t be a 51-year-old Jew, then Leo’s a good second choice.” Even though the TV show ended decades ago, Captain Planet is still making his mark through the Captain Planet Foundation , an active organization that works to inspire kids to become ” agents of environmental change ” through clubs, programs, and events. Via The Hollywood Reporter Images via Leonardo DiCaprio Facebook and Captain Planet Facebook

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Leonardo DiCaprio eyes Captain Planet revival with a contemporary twist

Inflatable Second Dome transforms from small bubble to huge event venue in minutes

October 19, 2016 by  
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Photo by Iwan Baan The Second Dome was commissioned by creative workspace provider Second Home as a space where families of East London can gather and attend film screenings, design workshops and other community activities. The Second Dome can be quickly installed to accommodate different activities and span large areas. With a thickness of less than a millimeter, the pneumatic structure responds to wind and pressure and requires little energy for fabrication or assembly. Related: Tent Made From Inflated Airbags is a Prefab Pneumatic Gallery Founders Forum 2016, a community organization for global entrepreneurs , also commissioned the Second Dome for a series of events centered around innovation and design, with speakers David Adjaye and iPod co-creator and Nest founder Tony Fadell. + DOSIS Via Archdaily

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Inflatable Second Dome transforms from small bubble to huge event venue in minutes

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