Diving into the Gene Pool

Just a science nerd with a passion for diving and fitness

Posts tagged earth day

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North Carolina decided to make Earth Day a gross, rainy, and chilly day so no playing outside for me. 

Instead I decided to follow through on my random plan to make a terrarium!

It didn’t turn out anything like I had planned but overall i’m pretty happy with the end result. I would like to make buy a desert terrarium similar to the one in my earlier post at some point. The Walmart garden center was lacking in it’s selection of desert foliage and by lacking I mean they had none. 

So here goes my little Sunday afternoon D.I.Y. terrarium project. My only goal was to make it NOT look like a middle school science fair project. The verdict is still out on whether I succeeded or not.  

Base layer of rocks. I didn’t buy enough so I had to improvise a little bit. 

I have a random collection of rocks from my various travels that have been sitting on my bookshelf so they got repurposed. I don’t remember where I picked up most of them but included are some petrified wood/rocks and some small pieces of the Grand Canyon from my cross country trips.  

I went out in the wood behind our place and found some moss which they say to put as a layer between the rocks and soil. This plan backfired as it had a lot of NC red mud in it and just got all turned up when I tried to bury the plants.

I ultimately scratched the moss idea and just did rocks and soil. This is also around the time where I almost threw in the towel (literally).

Here ya go…the end result!

The orange/red thing up front is some lichen I found outside when I was hunting for moss. It is apparently called British Soldiers because it looks like the uniforms the soldiers wore during the revolutionary war. Pretty cool!  

The plants I included:

Dwarf Celosia - the one with the fuzzy maroon center

Fern of unknown variety - on the far right

Dusty Miller - the white/pale green thing in the back

I was really hoping the pretty blue glass/rocks would be more prevalent but they should serve their purpose (drainage).  

Here to hoping I can keep this little sucker alive for more than 2 weeks!



Filed under earth day planet terrarium garden moss lichen fern

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Why You Should Use A Reusable Grocery Bag

An article on the importance of switching to reusable grocery bags caught my attention while I was scanning the news during my lunch hour.  

I constantly struggle with this one because it doesn’t seem like retailers are trying to help make the transition any easier. I have been carrying around reusable totes off and on for about 7-8 years now. When my parents moved to Switzerland in 2003 we got turned onto the idea of using reusable grocery bags. In Europe most stores charge you a small fee for plastic bags. Although the fee is fairly negligible (5-10 cents) they strongly encourage the use of reusable bags and frown upon people using the plastic bags that they charge for.  

This was one of my new years resolutions that I of course didn’t write down but rather just made a mental note to become better about.  

  • I ask for no bag if I am only purchasing one or two small things (particularly gas stations, retailers, etc.)
  • I pull out a few of my handy envirosax that I keep stashed in my purse and have them on the ready for grocery shopping. Most of the time the cashier at Walmart gives me a look like “seriously, you are holding up the line” but I push past that.  
  • I offer to bag the groceries myself and just start tossing things in, breaking all of the rules as far as what things are technically supposed to be packed together.  
  • I used to keep a bunch of those $.99 cloth bags in my trunk but I NEVER seemed to remember to actually bring them INTO the store with me. Keeping the little rolled up bags in my purse ensures that I almost always have them on hand.  
  • I am slowly starting to integrate these bags into mall and other retail shopping.  
I especially like Envirosax because they don’t require a small bag to hold them instead they roll up and fasten closed. I’ve used a few others and I could either never get it back into it’s pouch (same reason I was never any good as sleeping bag rolling as a child) or I would lose the little pouch. I am now borderline obsessed with them and although I had a good number I recently ‘splurged’ on the Groupon deal that they had and picked up 4 more. Even Abbey cat likes the new bags!
Then of course I see that they released the Marina and Surfrider series and I am trying to find an excuse to buy just a few more of these pretty little totes.  
My motivation is that “It’s estimated that 1 million birds and thousands of turtles and other sea animals die each year after ingesting discarded plastic bags.” The cashier giving me a dirty look and the tiny amount of additional effort and time it takes to bring a reusable bag for groceries is definitely worth it!  
More scary/interesting facts about plastic bags on their website and consider liking the Facebook page No more plastic bags please hosted by a friend of mine.  

Note: I am not associated with or supported by Envirosax, I’m just a really big fan!


Filed under envirosax grocery bag recycle reuse earth day plastic bags environment