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.


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