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The Blog Aquatic

News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy

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Create an Ocean-Friendly Organic Garden (Part 2)

Posted On March 21, 2013 by

After our first blog post about greening your garden practices, are you not yet convinced of the benefits to organic farming? That’s fine, because this second installment was written with the goal of illustrating all of the benefits that can come from gardening the organic way. Part 1 was designated for the “how” questions surrounding organic gardening, but in Part 2 we’ll tackle the “why” factor.

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This Spring, Create an Ocean-Friendly Organic Garden (Part 1)

Posted On March 19, 2013 by

With spring quickly approaching, it’s time to think about your gardening plans. If you’d like help going organic or starting from scratch, we’ve created a guide with the help of an industry pro. This topic will be split into two segments, with the first dedicated to a how-to and the second geared toward a few reasons that might (read: should) make you change your mind about greening your garden.

I interviewed my friend, Melissa Kuzoian, who works at the Brooklyn Grange in New York City, for some tips. The Brooklyn Grange boasts the largest rooftop soil farm in the world–and it’s all organic! They own two separate lots in the city and harvest over 40,000 pounds of produce annually, grown on a total of about 2.5 acres.

That’s not all the Brooklyn Grange has to offer, though; you can do anything here from taking a general tour, to hosting a corporate retreat, a cocktail reception and even tying the knot! For New Yorkers especially, this is the perfect place to get closer to the earth while in the middle of it all.

In 2010, the Brooklyn Grange crew started a process that “took six days of craning 3,000lb soil sacks seven stories up to the roof.” Today, they’ve created a harvest haven in New York. There are always events going on at the Brooklyn Grange, so if you’re in the area I encourage to stop by and show this amazing farm some love. Want to try some of their homegrown produce for yourself? Stop by one of the restaurants or markets they partner with!

So what can you do to create your own little garden paradise?

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Green Your Groceries

Posted On February 1, 2013 by

So you already bring your reusable grocery bags every time you go shopping. Did you know that there are more opportunities to cut back on plastic consumption at the grocery store – without giving up any of your favorite products?

Fresh fruit, vegetables, and bulk items, like nuts and grains, are often stocked alongside single-use plastic bag dispensers. While most shoppers instinctively tear away bag after bag as they move down the aisles, many grocery stores give you the option to use your own bags and jars. When you do, you reduce the number of plastic bags entering the waste stream – and you’re making a difference for the ocean.

How It Works: Tare weight

Your re-usable jars and bags are heavier than single-use plastic bags, and it’s easy to account for this weight. Before you shop, talk to the customer service staff at your grocery store about finding the “tare weight” of your jars and bags – that’s simply how much they weigh when they’re empty.

Mark the tare weight of your jars and bags on a tag or sticker, and then go shop! When you weigh your purchases for pricing, subtract the tare weight from the total. The difference is the weight of your goods, and you’re ready for check-out.

Bulk Bins: Nuts, Grains, Dried Fruit, Beans, and more

Bring your own jars or bags to the bulk bins. You can reduce your use of plastic bags and bottles by scooping everything from oatmeal to peanut butter straight into your jars. Bonus: they look nice in your kitchen cupboard, too!

Produce: Fruit and Vegetables

Use mesh produce bags to carry your fruit and vegetables. They’re re-usable and compact, and they’ll help you cut back on the number of plastic bags you bring home from the grocery.