DIY: Celebrate Earth day by sprouting your own seeds

Around this time of the year, kids get to learn a lot about recycling, planting and trash clean up in celebration of Earth day. I think it’s important to let them know we must do these things all year around and Earth should be celebrated every day.

So, it doesn’t matter if you do this project on Earth day, this week or next month as long

as your kids experience the joys and wonders of watching their own seedlings emerge. Plus, they’ll get a little lesson on recycling and composting on top of it all!

You will need:

* An empty egg carton (the

molded pulp

ones, not plastic or


* Potting soil

* Seeds

* Plastic wrap or bag

* Pen or pecil

* Tooth picks and paper to make labels

Tip: to make the germination process a breeze, pick seeds that germinate easily such as beans, pees, carrots, squash, cucumber and pumpkins. Hard to start seeds might not even sprout and you’ll end up having a frustrated kid!

Get started:

1. Separate the bottom part from the lid of the egg carton. Take the bottom part and poke holes in each cell using the tip of a pen or pencil.

Those will be the drainage holes. Place the lid of the egg carton under the bottom part, nesting one under the other. Now you have your seedling tray.

2. Place small amounts of soil in each cell and plant the seeds making sure the seeds are lightly covered by soil (follow package directions)

3. Water each cell. Be mindful not to over water the seeds, a spray bottle comes in handy.

4. Use tooth picks and paper to make labels.

You can also use rocks or clothes pins to label the seeds.

5. Cover your tray with plastic wrap or a bag to create greenhouse conditions.

6. Place the tray by the window and watch your seeds grow! Keep soil watered and remove the plastic wrap when the first leaves appear.

7. When your plants have more than two leaves, separate each cell and plant it directly into the ground (or pot). The pulp that the egg carton is made of will decompose and become



Doing this project is a great way to teach kids about the importance of planting and re-planting, recycling and composting. Explain to them why we should plant trees, how you are recycling the egg carton and how it becomes plant food. Let them have fun while you guide them.

Make a photo journal, they’ll enjoy comparing the growth of the plants and making observations later on.

 I know I did when I was little and now I pass the experience on to my kids.

Natasha K.


What does Earth Day mean to you?

...It comes only once a year, is celebrated by millions of people around the globe and creates environmental awareness.

You guessed it - today is Earth Day! ...and what makes this year even more special? - it's Earth Day's 40th anniversary!!

I think of Earth Day as a time to celebrate, a time to reflect and a time to take action - to be a part of the solution.

What does Earth Day mean to you? Does it strike a chord with your inner do-good self? Maybe you already know the ropes and are a whiz at recycling...or maybe you are a casual recycler and want to get more involved? Small acts of change add up...everyone can do something to help!!

{NewNew} member Groundsel uses up-cycled suits

to make her gorgeous earth-friendly bag

New York City and the 5 boroughs are home to hundreds of events, workshops and fairs for Earth Day fun.

Want to get involved? One of the best places to start is the official Earth Day website where you can find all sorts of fun things to do, from parties in Times Square to street festivals at Grand Central Station. Brooklyn is even throwing a few block parties and events at the local farmers markets.

{NewNew} member RueRenee up-cycled a flower calendar

to make her beautiful earth-friendly note cards

So then why not make it a whole week of celebrations? On Saturday April 30th, McCarren Park in Brooklyn is hosting the Go Green! Greenpoint Earth Day festival and market...featuring many talented members of The {NewNew}! (...go ahead, click on the link to find out more!)

So whether you will be out in the crowd celebrating in style, even if you're not one to march with the masses in Times a little good today, show your Earth Day spirit....

...make today count, make a pledge to do one more new thing this year and do the right thing for our know you want to let your inner do-good shine :)

make the earth happy today, and every day....

...because we all {heart} New York :)

by {NewNew} member virginiakraljevic


Sneak Peek: Spring Handmade Cavalcade

With Earth Day (April 20th) turning 40 in just a couple days and the {NewNew}'s very own Spring Handmade Cavalcade (SHC) just around the bend (April 24th), today's tutorial takes you behind-the-scenes of a SHC craft night where a few {NewNew}ers get together and try out some green craft ideas.

Q: What do plastic bags, a stack of old magazines, and a bunch of clear glass bottles have in common?
A: Fun & Free Craft Projects!

Quick Papier Mache project:
Boil 1 Cup Water with 1 Cup Flour.  Pour into large bowl.  Mix until you have a smooth consistency of glue (you can work with it hot).  Take your favorite fashion magazine or newspaper, rip or cut out strips of images that catch your eye, and proceed to dip each strip into the glue, and squeeze excess out with fingers.  Now your damp paper strip can be applied to most surfaces or folded into neat shapes.  We made triangles and mini roses:

Try this idea.  Clear glass bottles rescued from the recycling bin are washed and painted.  Rolled up plastic bags are shaped into flowers and inserted for such an effect:
Magazine tear sheets are adhered together to make a fancy tablecloth.  Magazine strips are woven with wire to create a ruffle effect to adorn the table:
Fused bags (plastic bags that have been ironed between two layers of wax paper) and rolled up plastic bags can create large flower decorations like the one shown here:

Want to see more?  
Well, there will be much, much more this weekend.  Make sure to check out the Spring Handmade Cavalcade this Saturday, April 24th from 10AM - 5PM at Berry Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Over 25 {NewNew} artisans will be selling their eco-friendly handmade wares and wearables at this super cool locale!  
See you there!

Virginia Kraljevic

Save the Date! April 24th is the Spring Handmade Cavalcade!

Shop Sustainably this Earth Day with the {New New} at the Spring Handmade Cavalcade.

 This spring, make eco-conscious shopping and gift-giving a part of your Earth Day tradition. Join the independent artists and makers of the {New New} at the second annual Spring Handmade Cavalcade, where local designers and makers will feature the best of their handmade collections.

Why Earth Day? Because {NewNew} member artists care about New York and its sustainability.  To reduce waste, {NewNew} member artists use little packaging, recycle and upcycle materials, and create and sell locally.  At the Spring Handmade Cavalcade, you will find a variety of these sustainable goods including housewares made from post-consumer waste, jewelry made with recycled metals, and much, much more.

The Spring Handmade Cavalcade will take place on April 24th, from 10am - 5pm at Berry Park, 4 Berry Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Be among the first 100 people to arrive and receive a free, limited-edition goody bag full of wonderful eco-inspired giveaways.

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{New New} ECO TIP #1 - When shopping, skip the plastic bag and use a tote bag instead.  You can make your own tote bag using an old t-shirt.  For this and other DIY tips on how to recycle, upcycle and reuse items to create new treasures and live more sustainably, come back for more tips and ideas!

The Spring Handmade Cavalcade is proudly sponsored by Etsy, Lion Brand Yarn, and Swap-Bot.

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A {NewNew} vendor eco-story from:
Groundsel refashions unloved textiles and plastics to infuse them with a different identity. Her products include recycled tie bags, fused plastic purses, and felted sweater bags and accessories.  This year, Groundsel is excited to introduce embellished messenger bags made out of recycled cotton.
To see more vendors, visit

Top Five List for Recycling

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

We hear those words evermore these days, not just for the sake of the environment, but also for the sake of our wallets.

I absolutely try to reuse anything and everything that is meant to be disposable.

And so here is my top five list for recycling items that you normally might just throw away: (In no particular order)

1. Empty cereal boxes, the kind that have an inner liner where the food is held. This is one of my favorites! What I like to do is carefully dis-assemble the box and re-assemble it inside out so that I have a box that I can either use for gift giving, shipping items in, or even just storage for small items. If you choose to use it as a shipment box, make sure you put a label over any writing that might be inside the box, otherwise that box is ready to be labeled and shipped.

2. If you don't already save them, the plastic container that your wonton soup arrived in would make an excellent storage container, and not just for food. They're great because they are see through and easily stacked.

3. Page-a-day desk calendars, the kind you rip off the comic or other with the day and probably crumple and toss. Not so fast! Collect those and use the non-printed side for scratch paper for your grocery list or other musing.

4. Lonesome sock, you know the kind, the one the dryer left lonely without a mate. Good news, our single sock now has a new life, as a dustrag, a puppet or sock monkey.

5. That pesky junk mail. Especially the kind with the envelopes for you to mail back applications and such. I use those envelopes to store receipts in, for different categories and write exactly what's in them.

What are some things that YOU give a second life to? Please share!

by Lorina Pellach-Ladrillono of and

Get Creative in the Office: Reuse and Recycle

As a struggling artist, I have held various temporary office assignments and one thing they all had in common was a tremendous amount of waste. There was so much paper accumulating and being improperly disposed of. Office supplies were reordered even when the shelves were fully stocked. It was impossible to keep up with the amount of paper piling up, but I thought of several ways to do my part and reuse what I could. Here's one thing I did:

We had stacks of interoffice envelopes, which in theory are great because you can keep using them over and over again until all the lines are filled up. I actually liked the patterns that months of different people's signatures and marker cross-outs created, so I hoarded used up inter-office envelopes and created notebooks! It is such a simple concept. I needed notebooks to take notes for my various assignments (and doodles!) and rather than use brand new pads of paper, I made my own.

Simply get a box or tray to store your used paper that has at least one blank side. Once you have a considerable amount to make a notebook, cut your interoffice envelope to the size of your stack of paper. To secure the notebook, I used a 2-hole punch and steel fasteners, which my office had loads of. But you can easily use staples, brads, or even slip rubber bands through the hole punches. And here is the finished product:

Feel free to add any creative recycling solutions you've come up with in the office place!

Molly Shoelace