One Woman’s Love Of Plants Will Inspire You To Redecorate

“What’s great about them is they don’t talk back”

Image via YouTube

To the delight of hundreds of thousands of intrigued readers, we recently shared NASA’s list of the best terrestrial plants for purifying the air in your home. But have you ever wondered what it would be like to actually fill your urban dwelling with natural air filters?

One environmental activist and model, Summer Rayne Oakes, did just that. Thanks to 500 thriving indoor plants, her small New York City apartment is a green oasis in a city of steel and cement. In a video Barcroft TV recently released on YouTube, Oakes explains how her obsession with plants began and eventually took over her home, saying of the overall effect, “When people come into the house, I like this element of feeling like they’re walking through a forest. My friends always get whacked in the face with a branch, but I was like, that’s the point. You’re walking through a forest.”

According to Oakes, it all started with a fiddle-leaf fig tree, a plant that, over time, can grow to be enormous outdoors but can provide a dramatic element of green to an indoor space as well. With a closet turned grow garden for herbs, pineapples, and sweet potatoes, Oakes exemplifies the modern-day green thumb, but with a name like Summer Rayne, are we really that surprised?

What’s more surprising is that Oakes only spends about 30 minutes a day taking care of her massive plant collection—not bad considering you’re only one episode of South Park away from cleansing the air and greening your space. Even if the vast majority of us aren’t about to go buy a whole nursery worth of plants to populate our living room, Oakes’ lifestyle suggests we might all benefit from a little more greenery in our lives. “What’s great about them,” she adds, “is they don’t talk back.” Now that’s an ideal roommate.

Watch the video above to see the botanical haven for yourself and don’t be shocked if you’re inspired to start cultivating your own indoor jungle.


The global climate change strikes on Friday are said to have been the largest protest for climate change in history. An estimated four million people participated in 2,500 events across 163 countries on all seven continents. That included an estimated 300,000 Australians, but a total of zero were in Hyde Park in Sydney, despite a viral photo that claims otherwise.

Australian Youth Coal Coalition, a pro-coal Facebook page, posted a photo showing trash strewn across a park after what appears to have been a large event. "Look at the mess today's climate protesters left behind in beautiful Hyde Park," the photo was captioned. "So much plastic. So much landfill. So sad." The only problem is, the photo wasn't taken after a climate change protest. It wasn't even taken in Australia.

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via GOOD / YouTube

Last Friday, millions of people in 150 countries across the globe took to the streets to urge world leaders to enact dramatic solutions to combat climate change.

The Climate Strike was inspired, in part, by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old girl from Sweden who has captured worldwide attention for her tireless work to hold lawmakers responsible for the climate crisis.

The strike gave people across the planet the opportunity to make their voices heard before the U.N. General Assembly Climate Summit in New York City on Monday.

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Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

As world leaders meet to discuss new ways to tackle climate change at the U.N. Climate Action Summit, they might miss one very big part of healing nature – nature. In a new short film, youth climate change activist Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot, a writer for the Guardian, talked about how we need to use nature as a solution to climate change.

There's a huge push to curb emissions, but it's not the be all end all of handling climate change; we also need to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. While we don't have technology to do that for us, there is another solution. "There is a magic machine that sucks carbon out of the air, costs very little, and builds itself. It's called a tree," Monboit says in the film. Researchers found that we could get rid of two-thirds of the carbon dioxide that we've emitted during the industrial era just by growing trees. That amounts to 205 billion tons of carbon. Right now, deforestation of tropical forests is responsible for 20% of current greenhouse emissions.

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Climate Action Tracker

In 2016, 196 countries signed the Paris Agreement, pledging to combat climate change by taking action to curb the increase in global temperatures. The Paris Agreement requires countries to report on their emissions and what steps they're taking to implement those plans. Now that the countries are coming together again for the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York City, it's worth taking a look at what kind of progress they've made.

The Climate Action Trackerkeeps tabs on what each country is doing to limit warming, and if they're meeting their self-set goals. Countries are graded based on whether or not their actions would help limit warming to 1.5 degrees C.

According to a recent article from National Geographic, The Gambia, Morocco, and India are at the head of the class. "Even though carbon emissions in The Gambia, Morocco, and India are expected to rise, they'll fall short of exceeding the 1.5-degree Celsius limit," the article reads. Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States, on the other hand, get a big fat F. "Projected emissions in Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the United States are far greater than what it would take to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius."

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Screenshot via (left) Wikimedia Commons (right)

Greta Thunberg has been dubbed the "Joan of Arc of climate change" for good reason. The 16-year-old activist embodies the courage and conviction of the unlikely underdog heroine, as well as the seemingly innate ability to lead a movement.

Thunberg has dedicated her young life to waking up the world to the climate crisis we face and cutting the crap that gets in the way of fixing it. Her speeches are a unique blend of calm rationality and no-holds-barred bluntness. She speaks truth to power, dispassionately and unflinchingly, and it is glorious.

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