GOOD

Neighborday Idea #3: Plant a Pollinator Pathway in Your Neighborhood

Encourage butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds to pollinate your neighborhood. #LetsNeighbor

April 25 marks the fifth anniversary of Neighborday, a global block party we invented to get people talking (and partying) with the people who live around them. Leading up to the big day, we’re sharing creative ways organizations in our native Los Angeles are connecting with the folks who share their walls and fences.

Stay tuned this week for more ideas about how to celebrate. #LetsNeighbor


Neighborday 2015 Idea #3:

Plant a garden pathway for butterflies, hummingbirds, and honeybees—your hard-working, pollinating neighbors.

Image via Flickr user Bill Gracey

At Proyecto Jardin, where I serve as Executive Director, we run a community garden in Boyle Heights, California. For Earth Day and Neighborday 2015, we’re celebrating by reopening our eastside garden for renovation.

We really want to focus on boosting our population of pollinators. Attracting species that help pollinate the area isn’t just a good idea for community gardens like ours. They’re beautiful to look at and can help encourage beneficial plants in any neighborhood.

Here’s what we’re going to keep in mind this Neighborday weekend. Hope it’s helpful for you:

1. Identify, inventory, and label milkweed.

Image by Flickr user Charles Dawley

Protect this pollinator-friendly plant—don’t pull it up just because it’s called a weed. We plan to relocate some of our milkweed from walking paths to safe areas throughout the garden, where they will not be trampled inadvertently. Milkweed plants will seed themselves and pop up voluntarily throughout the year in random places throughout the garden.

Image by Flickr user docentjoyce

It’s a great plant because it helps provide monarch caterpillars with an ample food supply as the population passes through southern California on its long migration, pollinating plants along its journey. Monarch butterflies are experiencing quite a bit of stress due to climate change and the drought, so we want to help out.

2. Feed the hummingbirds.

Image by Flickr user Brandon Oh

Hummingbirds aren’t just lovely to look at—they also help pollinate our fruit and vegetable crops in the garden. Hummingbirds love bright red flowers with a “pitcher” of nectar they can dip into. We’re going to keep an eye out for scarlet salvia, especially. It’s a native California plant that’s drought-, salt-, and deer-tolerant, and works especially well in rock gardens.

3. Think of the bees.

Image via Flickr user @sage_solar

The bees in our garden love our huge purple basil shrub, which remains in bloom year round, providing a delightful home and food source to hundreds of bees.

English lavender is another favorite of bees. Perennial herbs like lavender do well with a good prune in late summer or early fall, after their summer growth spurt. We like to keep our established herbs to a rather compact size to allow greater variety of herbs in a small space.

We’re celebrating all weekend at Proyecto Jardin. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, we hope you’ll stop by Boyle Heights on Saturday for Neighborday, or on Sunday for Earth Day. Either way, you can pick up a few more tips about encouraging pollinators to stop by your neighborhood.

Articles
via Truthout.org / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via ICE / Flickr

The Connors family, two coupes from the United Kingdom, one with a three-month old baby and the other with twin two-year-olds, were on vacation in Canada when the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) turned their holiday into a 12-plus day-long nightmare.

On October 3, the family was driving near the U.S.-Canada border in British Columbia when an animal veered into the road, forcing them to make an unexpected detour.

The family accidentally crossed into the United States where they were detained by ICE officials in what would become "the scariest experience of our lives," according to a complaint filed with the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security.

Keep Reading Show less
Travel
via Andi-Graf / Pixabay

The old saying goes something like, "Possessions don't make you happy." A more dire version is, "What you own, ends up owning you."

Are these old adages true or just the empty words of ancient party-poopers challenging you not to buy an iPhone 11? According to a new study of 968 young adults by the University of Arizona, being materialistic only brings us misery.

The study examined how engaging in pro-environmental behaviors affects the well-being of millenials. The study found two ways in which they modify their behaviors to help the environment: they either reduce what they consume or purchase green items.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture