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Neighborday Idea #6: Organize a Neighborhood Fruit Harvest

If there’s surplus fruit in your neighborhood, pool together your resources and share it with those in need. #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 #6:

Organize a Neighborhood Fruit Harvest.

As a co-founder of the Arroyo S.E.C.O. Network of Time Banks, I’m all about paying it forward. Time banking means spending a little time doing something for somebody in your community—an hour of service would go into the time bank as a time credit, which would give you an hour to spend on getting someone else to do something for you.

It’s a simple idea, but time banks can have powerful ripple effects in building community connections. Setting up a time bank in your neighborhood is well worth it, but can take awhile to get started. As a first step, try connecting your community through a simple group project like a fruit harvest.

If you’re in a warm climate, a fruit harvest would be so simple to pull off for Neighborday this Saturday. There are really only three steps involved:

1. Invite your neighbors to share the fruit from their trees.

2. Throw a harvest party where everyone helps pick the fruit.

3. Divide up the fruit among yourselves and donate the excess to charity.

Fruit harvests (or any kind of backyard garden harvest) will strengthen your neighborhood, provide easier access to healthy locally grown food, reduce waste, and bridge the gap between unmet needs and unused resources by harvesting and sharing the surplus fruit growing in your neighborhood.In the longer term, a fruit harvest can function as a training workshop for potential future time bank members, helping them learn new skills like proper pruning and tree care techniques, so that they can eventually offer these services to homeowners in your neighborhood. If you don’t have fruit trees where you are, any kind of relevant landscaping skills could prove helpful, as well.

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Coconut bowls


Cocostation

Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger

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Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head

Speakman

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Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor

Zomchi

Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

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