Tag Archives: sustainability

Zero-Waste Shopping During COVID-19

By: Danielle Levy

Photo from Prostainable

Go outside (with a mask) and look down; what do you see? Probably trash made of plastic. As most millennials are very aware of, plastic waste is a huge issue facing today’s generation. While banning plastic bags, recycling and avoiding unnecessary plastic are a step in the right direction, zero-waste and refillable products are the way of the future. Many stores that buy products in bulk and allow customers to fill up their own containers have been popping up around LA, but the San Fernando Valley has been slow to secure one of these stores.

Insert Prostainable: A zero-waste shop in Woodland Hills with bath and cleaning product refills, kitchen compostables, and bathroom reusables. The walls are lined with a plethora of bamboo utensils, reusable beeswax wraps, and compostable dish-scrubbers while the center houses enormous glass jugs filled with locally sourced shampoos, conditioners, soaps, and laundry and cleaning supplies. You can even buy soaps, candles and tiki torches made either by local, small businesses or the shop owner herself.

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Institute Launches Victory Garden and Seed Program

During World War I and World War II, gardens were planted on both private residencies and public land to supplement dwindling food supplies. With over 20 million Americans participating, 8 million tons of food were produced and morale went up significantly, thus adopting the term “victory garden.” They were part of the WWII effort that raised food—approximately 40% of the fruits and vegetables. Here’s a recent story in the NY Times that highlights this history. 

In light of current events, the Institute for Sustainability launched a “virtual victory garden” program in which we are distributing seeds through our Seeds of Victory Program and holding online workshops with expert gardeners to teach people how to grow their own food anywhere – in kitchens, balconies, and backyards. 

Our goal is to empower and equip individuals with the tools and knowledge needed to secure their own fresh, nutritious food. In doing so, we hope to encourage self-sustainability and a sense of connectedness during a time of isolation. Our Program is open to the entire CSUN community; up to 500 people will receive seeds. Visit the program website to request your seeds!

Our first workshop, “Gardening in Crisis,” was led by organic farmer, Scott Murray. He shared photos of his beautiful garden and gave attendees tips on how to start growing food outdoors or in a greenhouse.

There are a ton of great resources online to get you started with your Victory Garden! Oregon State offers a free Master Gardening Series: Vegetable Gardening. Green America: Climate Victory Gardening 101 provides a toolkit with tangible actions for growing your own healthy food and garden. 

If apps are more your style, check out:
Open Gaarden brings together history and technology to reimagine what it means to live in this urbanized world, revealing public gardens and nature hidden in plain sight.

iNaturalist helps you identify the plants and animals around you. You can use it to record your own observations, get help with identifications, collaborate with others to collect information for a common purpose, or access the observational data collected by iNaturalist users.

Seed to Spoon makes it simple for you to grow your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs in your backyard or patio economically, efficiently, and sustainably! This app offers personalized planting dates, companion planting guides, plant information & health benefits, recipes, organic pest treatments, and information on botanical insects. 

There are also local nurseries open to get garden supplies if needed!
Topanga Nursery in Chatsworth and Green Thumb Nursery in Canoga Park are offering curbside pick-up if you call ahead.

To stay updated on the Institute’s “Virtual Victory Garden” program, please follow us on YouTube to watch all of our videos and on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Tag us in the garden posts with #victorygarden2020 and #sustainCSUN.