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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Roosevelt Island Celebrates Earth Love Day With Demonstrations Of Available Eco-Friendly Resources By Local Groups Including iDig2Learn, Garden Club, Green RI Neighbors, Circle Of Kindness & More - Food Scraps Are Not Trash

Roosevelt Island celebrated Earth Love Day last Saturday April 27 at the Good Shepherd Plaza Farmers Market. Local residents and visitors showed us available environmentally friendly resources available right here on Roosevelt Island.

Here's what happended.



IDig2Learn founder Christina Delfico explains Roosevelt Island Earth Love Day and how to use food scraps for composting. Ms Delfico says - Food Scraps Are Not Trash!




Sara Qihan Dong from the World Human Accountability Organization shows how to make beautiful dyes from food scraps.


Niti Parikh helps spread a Circle of Kindness around Roosevelt Island.



Green Rooseelt Island Neighbors (GRIN) Anthony Longo makes Superdirt from Roosevelt Island organics that are not food scraps.



Roosevelt Island Garden Club Member Julia Ferguson goes deeper into how to compost with bugs and worms and other good stuff.



More from RIGC on Roosevelt Island Earth Love Day at their web site.

Roosevelt Island Youth Center Member and Girl Scout Dakota describes learning about saving the environment and using food scraps for composting



iDig2Learn's Christina Delfico has more on Roosevelt Island Earth Love Day.

Young people from the RIOC’s Youth Center were on hand to collect used batteries and cheer locals on their green journey with a Roosevelt Island Phase 1 Green Map. The map spotlights free eco-friendly island resources available including free food scrap drop offs, clothing bin drops, electronic waste boxes and the newly added Safe Medication Disposal box at Duane Reade. Many building managers have painted their roofs light colors which reduces energy use, offer free book exchange shelves, planted trees and native pollinator friendly plants, use green cleaning products and peak energy alerts to conserve and reduce waste. RIOC has used battery drops at Sportspark and 591 Main Street for safe disposal. More sustainable resources will be added to the phase two green map as additional buildings, schools and businesses announce their sustainable practices. Islanders are encouraged to share earth-friendly practices they know about or wish to start by tagging #EarthLove and Roosevelt Island on social media.


Islanders aren’t waiting until the March 1, 2020 NYC Plastic Bag Ban to show their #EarthLove. And to help with the plastic-reduction transition, Wengerd farms gave out 1,000 reusable tote bags to residents for reuse weekly and iDig2Learn sponsored compostable produce bags for the day which Wengerd and Hoboken Farms used on Saturday April 27th for the #EarthLove day event at Good Shepherd Plaza. Hoboken Farms mentioned that New Jersey has stopped using plastic altogether and they have plans to phase out plastic from Roosevelt Island in the next few weeks. Ibari donated stylish locally-assembled durable fabric totes that can be used to carry goods and sustainably minded Kitchen 36, Inc. (a.k.a. The Soup Lady) no longer uses plastic bags. Farmer Israel mentioned more and more customers bring their own bags when shopping at the market.


A third of New York’s waste is organic. And thanks to partner NYC Compost Project Hosted by Big Reuse, islanders have diverted 100,000 pounds of food scraps from landfill by dropping them off each Saturday from 9 am - 2:30 pm in the green bins near the farmers market. That is the equivalent of fifty SUV’s full of scraps. Our island banana peels are processed and transformed into compost just under the Queensboro bridge in Long Island City, and on #EarthLove day islanders received free compost for their house plants and gardens. Using compost reduces municipal waste and the need for fertilizers with its slow release of macronutrients. If you want to try dropping off food scraps, vegetables, fruit, coffee grinds, rice, egg shells, pasta, even mango and avocado pits can be dropped weekly. The best container is a reusable one that can be kept handy on the kitchen counter or in the refrigerator or freezer. Just no meat, dairy, fish, eggs or plastic bags can go into the compost green bins.

Julia Ferguson from the Roosevelt Island Garden club (RIGC) demonstrated the compost cycle with help from worm partners noting that compost improves soil structure and conserves water. She also inspired youth to share their eco-friendly ideas on a poster which included growing watermelons on rooftops and other great ideas.


Jane Swanson from Cornell Tech joined the fun and knew that batteries are not trash and it seemed technologists used lots of them. RIOC president Susan Rosenthal showed #EarthLove talking to islanders and has spearheaded energy efficient strategies islandwide including LED lighting replacement in the island’s street lamps. RIOC’s Erica Spencer-EL brought youth to the community garden to gain knowledge about the compost cycle from Julia Ferguson and Anthony Longo before the event.


Sara Qihan Dong from the World Human Accountability Organization (WHAO) and volunteers Dylan and Xiao, showed islanders how to fashionably use food scraps to create beautiful natural dyes on fabric, and were excited to share creativity and #EarthLove with islanders.


Anthony Longo from Green Roosevelt Island Neighbors (GRIN), showed how one plant can make many with take-home jade plant leaves which will grow just like new friends in the neighborhood. He was happy so many islanders were into understanding the cycle of nature.


Niti Parikh, head of Cornell Tech’s Maker Lab, inspired by ​servicespace.org​, introduced Circle of Kindness, along with delicious chutney sandwiches. She and volunteers Arsha and Nisha helped hand out Smile Cards to encourage kindness. Recipients were happy to be “tagged” with a Smile Card and liked the idea of pass-it-forward courtesy and were eager to show kindness to the next islander. Whether saying good morning, opening a door, or paying for the coffee for the person in line behind you, small acts of kindness create endless smiles and islanders loved the concept.


iDig2Learn, founder Christina Delfico, gave away free oranges so peels could be placed in the Big Reuse green bins for composting plus gave residents a chance to win free kitchen countertop compost bins, though any reusable container will do. Residents were glad to know they could request a free Re-Fashion clothing bin and E-cycle electronic waste box for their buildings and all enjoyed playing the the Compost Yes or No game to win a plant. Though the compostable bags were only sponsored for one day, islanders can reduce plastic waste with reusable totes when they shop, especially knowing that New York spends $15M a year sending plastic bags to landfill.


A big thanks to RIOC president Susan Rosenthal, Erica Spencer-EL, Jessica Murray and the entire RIOC team for a great day of #EarthLove and to each and every partner and volunteer who made this event happen.
The Roosevelt Island Garden Club blog has more photos of the day from local photographer Olya Turcihin

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