Spring is here, which means it’s time to start fertilizing your plants! While there are some benefits to using synthetic fertilizer, these benefits do not outweigh the harmful effects they cause to the environment and your plant. Synthetic fertilizers lead to chemical build up in the soil of your plant, runoff from the fertilizer harms marine ecosystems, they can easily give your plants chemical burns, and they acidify the soil of your plants if used for long periods. These are just some of the many reasons why you should choose organic fertilizers. That being said there are many different organic options out there, which I’ll be breaking down for you below.
First, I’ll suggest two options you may already have in your home. The first is compost. Compost makes an amazing fertilizer for your plants. It has a pretty mild smell compared to some of the other organic fertilizers, and bonus points because it is an awesome way to make use of food waste. The second is old water from your fish tank! Due to the water in fish tanks being dechlorinated and all the nutrients from the fish poop, it makes for a great fertilizer that your plants will love. Plus it is really easy to use. All you have to do is change the water in your tank, save the old water, then water your plants with it like you normally would.
Now for my personal favorite. Worm Castings. Worm castings is just a fancy name for worm poop, but I promise they don’t have a smell. Some of the benefits of worm castings are: it is pretty much impossible to burn your plants with, they have no smell, they are slow release so you only need to fertilize every couple months, and there are many different ways you can use them. You can mix the castings in with your plants soil when repotting it, you can put some on the top of the soil and as you water your plants it will seep down and fertilize them, or if you bottom water you can make it into a liquid fertilizer by mixing two cups of castings in five gallons of water, let it sit for 24 hours, then simply water your plant with the mixture.
Next up are the most popular types of organic fertilizer fish emulsion, seaweed emulsion, or a mix of both. While these fertilizers are more quick acting than the ones listed above and extremely effective, they stink. When I say that I mean it they smell really really bad, but if you water your plants with them outside then let them air out for a couple hours you should be good and your plants will be well fertilized.
Navigating the world of sustainable fashion is a tricky job for the environmentally conscious teenager. Fast fashion is cute and cheap, but most of us probably don’t want to contribute to the 1.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide that the fashion industry releases every year. However, buying sustainably can be expensive, and it’s hard to tell if brands are actually eco-friendly. We can all agree that trying to shop for clothes ethically is hard, but luckily, there seems to be a solution - thrifting! Here are some tips on how to be conscious while buying second hand.
1. Shift to Thrift
You may be wondering how you can shop more consciously. Nobody can deny that there is a certain thrill that comes with buying new clothes, which makes it easy to be tempted by the cheap and neverending options of the fast fashion industry. Thrifting not only offers the excitement of shopping, but it also provides a sustainable and equally cost-effective alternative to inexpensive and unethical clothes. Replacing your fast-fashion habit with buying used goods is an efficient and practical way to cut down on your carbon footprint.
2. Thrift Responsibly
When thrifting, consider how it might affect those in low-income neighborhoods. Ask yourself questions like “am I taking away resources from communities that may need these clothes more than I do?” When thrifting, be conscious that access to clothing choices can have a huge impact on someone’s life. Small things such as professional attire could make or break a job interview. Before you buy, consider whether someone else may need a particular item more than you.
3. Don’t overbuy
While thrifting is a cheap and sustainable way to shop, buying in bulk can become an issue. Apps such as Depop and Poshmark encourage reselling large quantities of thrifted clothes for profit. Resale can be an excellent way to provide access to clothing to people who might not otherwise get the opportunity to buy them, but there is a fine line to walk. It begs the question, “how much is too much?” Overbuying becomes an issue when one person stocks up on in-demand items like winter coats or work clothes. This could potentially hurt those who buy these types of clothes not as fashion but as a necessity. It’s more beneficial to your community to only buy what you need or will wear.
Combat overbuying and mitigate your fast-fashion habit by re-donating your unused clothes! Donating your clothes is an easy way not only to support thrift stores but also the environment. Giving your used garments to thrift stores will support the business of that store, which allows more people to access their affordable prices. By giving your clothing a second home, you avoid contributing to 87% of clothing that ends up in landfills. Additionally, when you donate your clothing you can start a cycle of reuse.
Shopping at thrift stores is not only more sustainable, it’s also a fun way to express your style. Happy thrifting!
Hi, y’all! One of the most important climate-conscious mantras is “reduce, reuse, recycle”. But many of the items you think are recyclable actually aren’t. Putting non-recyclable items in the recycling bin could potentially break and contaminate machines and harm workers. Here are 13 common items that don’t belong in your recycling bin in Austin.
DON’T recycle these items
If you’re not sure what to do with an item search here.