Monday, April 13, 2020

Looking Under Logs During Covid 19

While our April 18th event at Blackstone Park has been cancelled, you can still have your own adventure! Here's a virtual trip of us looking under logs. I hope it inspires you to do the same! Please return all to their original state and leave no trash behind. Better yet, bring gloves and a bag to collect trash you find as you explore!

Friday, April 10, 2020

Repurposing My Life

Closing the Loop #429: The junk draw. 

I repurposed a party pack container to organize my junk draw. Oh what treasures did I find!  I've done so much organizing of late, I now have better places to store my candles and paper clips.  I keep twistie ties and elastics to close up packages like my frozen veggies or to hang herbs to dry from a line.  The silica packs keep my nature materials dry and safe from mold.

While I encourage you to buy food without packaging, in this current time of personal safety I understand if you're getting more packaged foods lately.  And while I don't want to encourage you to hoard the packaging, is there another life you could give it?

What about salad containers? We started mesclun greens and pea shoots in mini greenhouses using salad containers. Add water before soil and keep moist. Uncover containers when you see sprouts, then mist as needed.


We're planning some 
exciting video tutorials in the future.  Let us know what you'd like to see by commenting on our website.  Check out our other videos here.

Sunday, April 5, 2020


Need some environmental ed downloads? I just added two new ones, and everything is 20% off on Monday!…/15-Minute-Field-Trips

I hope you are all well.  I'm spending a lot of time on the computer teaching and preparing materials. I am grateful for my bird feeder just outside my window.  Today, we had blue jays, cardinals, downy woodpeckers, brown-headed cow birds, and junco, titmice, and nuthatch.  I hope the red-bellied woodpecker visits again!  Nature is a gift.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April Fools

If you're like me right now, you've been spending a lot of time at home.  In my state of Rhode Island, the governor has just closed the beaches and state parks because people were not keeping 6 feet away or being in groups of 5 or less.  I've also seen people leaving masks and gloves in shopping carts or on the ground. What kind of fools are we?

There is a silver lining, though.  We're in this together, and together we can start tackling the tough issues that face us by making systemic changes.  One change that needs to happen is reducing food waste.  In RI, food waste accounts for 32% of our landfill!!!  (See the end notes for places in Rhode Island that compost.)

Here's a fun game for the kids: Blind Lemon Nightcrawler, the deep underground jazz musician, wants to open up a new restaurant, the Compost Cafe!  Print out these pages and cut out the food scraps and plates from pages 2, 3, and 4.  Kids can arrange the food for different "customers" and even make menus from brown shopping bags, drawing the food scraps and adding prices and labels. (It's a great way to sneak in spelling and math!)

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You can compost at home, under your sink, in your back yard.  Follow the recipe and cut pieces small or put them through a blender.  Mix in to compost and keep damp but not soggy. For indoors in a small container, make sure to drill air holes.  I do this around the bottom to also add drainage and put the container in a larger one.  You can make one from a recycling bin or large Tupperware container.  You'll want red wigglers (Eisenia fetida) for small composting.  Earthworms and nightcrawlers are fine for outside.

If you want to buy worms or a compost bin, I like these vendors:

This activity is part of our "Dirt Pop Up Museum", where we set up several art and science stations for kids to learn more about worms!  Check out our program link on the right or here.  Learn more on your own with the links on the left under "Dirt and Detrivores", then "Worms and Compost".

But wait, there's more!  Here's how you can close the loop on food waste:

Where to bring your compost:
Rhode Island Compost Sites
Where to compost in other states.

Who collects compost:

Where to get compost:
Forbes Street Compost, East Providence

Other efforts:

Regulations and Education:

More Info:
Cool Compost Crew

Hattoy's Nursery & Garden Center