More and more green. That's what we need!

Change starts from you. It starts spreading bigger and bigger from your Town to the State then the Country and then the World

Join my Living Greenways Campaign to promote zero plastic footprint zones, help revitalize native landscapes, counter habitat fragmentation and suggest alternatives as we rebuild environmentally sensitive areas worldwide.

My goal is to partner with city planners, businesses and homeowners to promote habitat conservation that will help wildlife that depends on them. Indirectly, people will be rewarded with natural oasis while restoring biodiversity in a sustainable way. Such habitats will provide health benefits to humans and help mitigate environmental health issues that pose a growing threat to our society.


This campaign can be an engaging team building activity at school and work or a fun family activity at home.


We are not looking for fund raising or donations. Let's partner to make the world around us a better place.


On Media

My TV Interview on News 12 

My Call for Action at Westchester Board of Legislators

My Radio Interview on station WBAI 99.5FM NYC

 Follow me on Instagram @LivingGreenways or on Twitter @LivingGreenways


* This Campaign started out of my other passion. Find out more at SaveInsects.com

Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago - Warren Buffett
Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago - Warren Buffett

Action Plan

Reduce Plastic Waste

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Plastics (generic name as polymer) has become a growing problem. Though, single use plastic bags and packaging are in limelight, there are a multitude of plastic applications in daily use. We need to reduce plastic use before the earth turns into a gigantic trash can. Listen to a brief history of how we got here. Check out a brief timeline.

 

Solution: A Multi-Prong Approach

  1. Zero Plastic Zones: Engage city planners, businesses and park services to create zero plastic footprint zones. In these zones, people can bring plastics but take it back with them. The intention is not to take away trash receptacles but to reduce plastic trashed in public spaces.
  2. Subsidize Cost:  Cost for alternative plastics is up to four times higher than fossil fuel or natural gas based traditional plastics used today. Promote research in universities and work with government to subsidize cost/reduce tax for fully bio-degradable and/or fully recyclable plastic. 
  3. Beware of ‘Green Washing’: Look out for packaging that sounds better for the environment than it actually is. Not every alternative plastics are equal. Some are not bio-degradable and their carbon footprint, water consumption or land use is unfavorable. The farming practices used to grow the feed stock often carry significant environmental burdens, and the production energy can be higher than for petrochemical polymers. Additionally, alternative plastics may not be a good idea in every use case as they do not have the performance or barrier making it difficult to replace all traditional plastics.
  4. Encourage Compostable Packaging / Materials: Compostable means that it will break down into compost in an industrial composting facility within 6 months. They do not go away in a landfill due to the lack of oxygen. Compostable bags have renewable plant-based content, say up to 40%. But all compostable bags have a petroleum based compostable polymer. By diverting waste from the landfill and composting it, we can reduce greenhouse gases. 
  5. Create Awareness: With a number of worthy innovations on alternative plastics, it is important to understand difference between biodegradable plastics and bioplastics.  “Biodegradable” is a misused term which can mean a 97% polyethylene bag with an additive to make it break into pieces of poly. Such plastics will degrade, but there is no time frame – it can be 1 year, 2 years, or 5 years. A subcategory, Oxodegradable, refers to an additive that is added to traditional plastics that causes them to fragment and break down. This may not be ideal due to the concerns about tiny pieces of plastic getting into the environment. "Bioplastics" is a general term for plastics made from a bio-based or plant source such as corn, starch, or sugar cane. Bioplastics may be recyclable, compostable, or just made from plants but not biodegradable. Specialty plastics can be both bio based and biodegradable where they are made from corn starch and will degrade into humus, CO2 and water. Remember to separate facts from fiction.

 

Find Out More 

  1. What are Plastics - PlasticsEurope
  2. This is Plastic - Society of Plastic Engineers
  3. Recycling and Sustainability  - Plastic Industry Association
  4. Environmental cost of paper bags vs. plastic bags - UK
  5. Marine Plastic Fact sheet - UN
  6. More Publications - European Bioplastics
  7. Bio Based News
  8. Science Project Ideas

Build Natural Oasis

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Give nature a chance. If we help nature, she will help us in return. Encourage businesses, homeowners and city planners to build natural landscapes. If the space is a limited or in hardscape features like walkways, use flower pots. Planting in pots means local research—something than can be lots of fun. 


Solution: A Multi-Prong Approach

  1. If you build it, they will come: Leave a part of the yard (say 10%) untouched to create a natural habitat. Soften the look of your yard or park by leaving a strip un-mowed for a natural-looking perimeter. When trees die, leave them for the insects, woodpeckers and cavity-nesting birds (and mammals). Take a corner patch with leaves spread within a perimeter made of dead tree branches in a not so windy spot which gets four to five hours of sunlight daily.
  2. Need for a balanced diet: Grow clusters of native plants yielding rainbow colored flowers in the yard or park that provide nectar and host plants for pollinators. Remove invasive exotic plants so they don’t steal water and nutrition from native plants. Find native plants species specific to your zip code. See how native plants help while non-native plants hurt the local environment.
  3. Give reasons to come again: Select plants that bloom from Spring to Fall. Where possible, use pollinator friendly plants. Start with a limited number of plants that are easy to grow or are ever green. Incorporate tall grass, vines and shrubs too. Cut down on mowing and stop over-watering! Cut grass has short roots that make it harder to survive pest attacks, disease and drought. Use ever green shrubs to maintain the garden appearance year round. 
  4. Make it Inviting: Draw a site plan and keep it simple. Add a water source such as a bird bath or a small pond. Arrange big plants in the back, medium plants in the middle and small plants in the front or around walkways. If adding fertilizer, use slow-release fertilizers that make nutrients available to plants for a longer time and are kinder to the environment. This video may give some useful insight.
  5. Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Give ground cover with rocks or a short wall. Such enclaves will be a welcome retreat providing protection from predators and cover for the young to grow. Limit the use of pesticides and leaf blowers. Protect natural ponds/lake habitats critical for insect population.

 

Sample Garden Transformation

Before -> Design -> Install -> Complete


Science Project Ideas 

  1. Plant Nutrient Needs
  2. Plants and Insects
  3. Defensive Plants
  4. Green Ecology


Benefits to Humans 

  1. Children and Air Pollution - American Lung Association
  2. Green spaces and cognitive development in primary schoolchildren. - Dadvand, P., Nieuwenhuijsen, M. J., et al. (2015) PNAS, 112(26)
  3. Children With Attention Deficits Concentrate Better After Walk in the Park - Kuo, F. E. (2009) Journal of Attention Disorders, 12(5), 402–409 


Find Out More 

  1. Green Streets
  2. Protecting Children's Environmental Health
  3. Children’s Environmental Health

Call for Action

Bio

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My name is Anusha. I am a fourth-grader from New York and I am an environmental guardian. I spend much of my free time learning and teaching others about the environmental challenges facing us all.


My journey began two years ago when I did a science project in school. I was curious to know more. I read several books, visited Alley Pond environmental center and made this website.


I go to different places to discuss the plastic issue including suggestions like promoting zero plastic zones  and benefits of urban landscapes to humans and insects alike. I have spoken at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Sarah Lawrence College, Savannah Bee Company, New York Hall of Science, American Museum of Natural History, Clearwater Festival, Yonkers Science Barge, Nature Girls, Girl Scouts, Town Hall and several schools. I helped plan the Earth Day event and participated in Green Eastchester festival in our town.


When I do this, I am discovering science, doing something good, exploring nature, going outside using technology efficiently and saving the world.

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