Viridorari is an environmentally focused blog. The mission of Viridorari is to help you incorporate healthier, "greener" habits into your life, to benefit you, the people around you, and the environment.

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Monday, September 30, 2013

Recognizing Green Actions & Tigers

I wanted to highlight some green and sustainable things I've noticed on campus!

My friend John re-purposed a Snapple bottle into a coin jar!

 He decorated it with stickers :)
In my hall, we have the option to hang dry our clothes instead of using the dryer. 
Yay for saving energy!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Suggested Reading: Extinction of the Pipistrelle

As you may already know, I have a soft spot for bats. A really big soft spot, actually. I’ve been a bat advocate since I was kid, I managed to become a finalist for a big scholarship at my college with an essay about bats, and Viridorari’s first animal of the month was the golden-capped fruit bat.

            Most people see bats as a symbol of Halloween and creepy things, but many don’t know what an important roll they play in our global ecosystem, and in particular, our agriculture. Insect-eating bats are crucial for controlling pest populations that would otherwise demolish our fields. Fruit-eating bats are essential for pollinating fruit plants, much like bees. 

            I was very saddened to learn that recently, the Pipistrelle bat went extinct. They used to live on Australia’s Christmas Island, but now these tiny, adorable bats with the coolest name ever are gone for good. The Australian government failed to offer aid to scientists and the dying species until it was too late. The loss of any species is a terrible thing, especially when the cause of their death was caused by human related activities. Why is it that we think it’s okay to do as we please on this planet, without any regard to the other life forms that live here?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Guest Writer: Genetically Modified Foods

Today I am happy to have my new found college friend, Aama Harwood, on Viridorari to talk about the problems with having genetically modified organisms (or GMOs) in our food. In her article, Aama provides a very impassioned and convincing argument against GMOs. If you have an opposing viewpoint to hers, be sure to leave a comment. While I personally do not support GMOs, I know the importance of comparing viewpoints so everyone can understand the full story. Also, feel free to comment if you agree with Aama. Comments are just awesome in general.
Now, to introduce Aama, here is a short bio she provided me about herself:
I am a Neuroscience and Psychology major at Ithaca College. I love to hike, bike, backpack, and do yoga. My biggest passions in life are healthy food and helping others. I am a strong advocate for the things I believe in and hope that my ideas and opinions encourage you to ask questions. 
Aama's article was published earlier this year in the Durango Herald. I was able to republish it here on Viridorari with her permission. You can find her article here on the Durango Herald's website. If you have any questions about her article that you'd like to ask her directly, you can contact her at 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Recycling Projects: T-Shirt Scarf

It’s starting to get chilly here in New York, so today I want to provide you with a way to make a fashionable winter scarf out of an old, unwanted t-shirt. This will make a great project for young girls, and when their friends ask them where they got it they can proudly claim that they made it themselves. 

         Supplies needed:
         Old t-shirt (keep the color in mind. Do you want a bright color? A pattern? Something more plain?)
         Glue gun (optional)
         Buttons, old/broken jewelry, beads etc. (optional)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Ecofriendly Economics: Binder Recycling & Advice from Monks

Staples Recycling
            Now, Staples is offering an incentive to recycle your old, worn-out binders. Instead of throwing them away, take them with you to a participating Staples and turn them in. For each old binder you recycle, Staples will give you $2.00 toward a new binder that you buy from the store. Not only does this offer an outlet for binder recycling, but it allows you to save money on new office supplies! Keep in mind that the $2.00 credit can only be applied to one new binder. So, if you turn in two old binders and buy one new one, you can’t have $4.00 toward that binder. It’s $2.00 per new binder. Go to this webpage to find out more on the offer. 
            Make sure you use your office supplies for as long as you can before buying new ones. I am currently reusing my binders from my senior year in high school for my freshman year of college. They were still in usable condition, so there was no reason to discard them for new ones. The same goes with folders and unfinished packs of loose-leaf paper. I had enough loose-leaf paper left over from my senior year of high school that I didn’t have to buy new paper for college. Always keep in mind how you can reduce your consumption of goods, and subsequently, your money expenditures.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Guest Writer: IC Sustainably Conscious Community

Today on Viridorari I am excited to have my Ithaca College residential hall RA, Rachel Gray, on the blog to talk about the floor that her and I both live on. Our floor is designated as the Sustainably Conscious Community, and unlike normal residential floors, we partake in special activities and programs to learn how to live sustainably. We are also required to do community service, and at the end of the semester we’ll turn in an essay about our experiences. So far I’ve had an amazing time living in the Sustainably Conscious Community, and everyone here is friendly and welcoming. But, before I give too much away, I’ll turn you over to Rachel and let her talk about it.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Recycling Projects: Yoga Mat Recycling

Uses for Yoga Mats
         Does Mom have an old yoga mat she’s planning on throwing out? Don’t let her! There are many fun ways to repurpose a yoga mat. My floor RA showed me this awesome page featuring twenty ways to repurpose a yoga mat, and I picked two to display here on Viridorari. Be sure to visit the page to see many more creative projects!

         Decorative Bulletin Board
         Supplies Needed:
         Old yoga mat (preferably colorful, especially for a girl’s room)
         Sewing pins (straight pins), duct tape (optional)
         Nails or Command products (to stick the board to a wall. Command products are less damaging than nails and allow easy removal)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Revealing September's Animal of the Month

My experience at an interactive zoo in Oklahoma this past summer inspired me to declare the tiger as September’s Animal of the Month. At the GW Interactive Zoo, I had a unique opportunity to see some of the world’s rarest tigers and hold and interact with two tiger cubs. To read about my experience and see pictures, check out this free write post.

            While tigers are perhaps one of the most well-known animals on earth, revered as majestic, and the subject of many literary and poetic pieces, as a species, they are on their last legs. There are six subspecies of tiger, all of which are endangered. This month, rather than focus on one subspecies, I will touch on all six. Here is an overview of each:

Monday, September 9, 2013

Ecofriendly Economics: Going Green at College

15 Ways for College Students to be Greener in their Dorm and on Campus

As a first time college student this semester living in a sustainably conscious residence hall, I am acutely aware of my impact on the planet and my ability to have a greater control over that impact, especially now that I'm living on my own. 

             Think about it, Freshmen. For the first time in your life, you have complete control over how you live and how you spend your money. That means you can have more control over how sustainable or unsustainable you are.
            So, in today’s Ecofriendly Economics section, I am providing fifteen ways that college students, like myself, can be more green in their dorm and everyday habits. Ithaca College students: look for the bold sections to see information that specifically relates to our college and the Ithaca area.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Free Write: Mount Hope Cemetery, Beautiful & Historic

In high school, I took the crazy route and decided to become an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma student. IB is a rigorous academic program available in many schools in America and around the world. For those of you who have never heard of it, the best and simplest way I can describe it to you is Advanced Placement on drugs.
At the end of a long two years in this program, our school’s IB coordinator, and also the senior year history teacher, took me and the other five diploma students on a relaxed field trip. This field trip was to Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester. That might sound creepy to those of you who haven’t been there, but the place is full of history, which is appropriate for a field trip coordinated by a history teacher. Mount Hope is the resting place of Frederick Douglass, Nathaniel Rochester, and Susan B. Anthony, to name a few. To see a more complete list of “notable burials,” click here.
 Frederick Douglass's grave

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Free Write: Washington D.C. Sit-In vs. Keystone XL

On August 12th, I found myself doing something that I never thought I would do. I was in Washington D.C., six hours from home, sitting beneath the beating sun outside of the State Department building, and risking arrest with about sixty other people.
            “One! We are the people! Two! You can’t ignore us! Three! We will not let you build this pipeline!” My voice was growing ragged, but I persisted.
            I was holding a sign that said “Another person who grew up playing outside against the pipeline,” and everyone else risking arrest with me was holding these signs, each personalized to suit their reasons for protesting.
            In front of us was a crowd of about 100 people supporting us, and a swarm of media with their cameras and notepads, running about like a colony of ants. At one point, I looked into the crowd and saw a boy about my age holding up a sign that said “Thank You Climate Heroes.” I almost cried. I typically would consider Bill McKibben or Rachel Carson climate heroes, but today, some thought I was a climate hero.
            Just a couple days before the protest, I was scrambling to get everything together and be on my way. My parents were struggling to swallow the fact that their soon-to-be-college-student was running off to D.C. all by herself, staying at a stranger’s house, and that there was a possibility she would be arrested. And if she was arrested, they couldn’t come get her. They would simply have to leave her there in jail, because that’s how peaceful protesting works.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Free Write: The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoo

While visiting my family in Texas from July 20th-24th, I had the opportunity to visit the world’s largest animal rescue park, The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoo. My Aunt Jane, a frequent visitor of the park, generously drove us three hours from her home to Wynnewood, Oklahoma, where the park is located. She is always eager to introduce her friends and family to the park for the first time.

As we entered the park, I saw a sign that informed visitors that the cost to run the park and care for the animals for one month was $60,000, and that the park was entirely reliant on visitor donations and entry fees. As we traveled through the zoo, I saw countless signs hanging on animal’s enclosures asking passerby to sponsor them (starting at $25.00 a month).