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Donation Connections in NYC

Today, it is easier than ever to make the connection between donor and recipient for food or textiles in New York City. The city’s Department of Sanitation is actively working with small businesses and non-profit organizations to make these connections possible and to create more just like it. These efforts are under their organization donateNYC.

DonateNYC had their first NYCxReuse Conference, Expo, and Community Fest event this past June where Stay Blooming was an attendee. The Conference (Q&A panels), Expo (tabling and workshops), and Community Fest (networking) showcased businesses and organizations as well as the work they are actively doing for the reuse community within NYC.

Common things like food/furniture donations and textile reuse were the highlighted topics during panelist Q&As. Both of which will be highlighted here as well since the donateNYC donating system is more efficient and can be used more readily.

Here are the same resources for you!

donateNYC Exchange—The exchange makes it possible for businesses and non-profit organizations to gain access to used items and “exchange” them if you will. The platform connects groups that have unwanted furniture, supplies, cabinets, books, etc. to groups that are looking for those items specifically. Thus maximizing the use out of items/materials before they are scrapped or considered trash.

Image source: donateNYC
Here are some currently available items at the donateNYC Exchange.
Note: These items are only available for businesses and non-profit organizations.

donateNYC Food Portal—This portal allows users to give away leftover edible food as well as gain access to donated food. This program reduces the amount of organic waste that accumulates in trash or landfills. Thus decreasing the overall amount of organic waste that decomposes and prevents some New Yorkers from going hungry.

Image source: donateNYC

DSNY Textile/Clothing Drop-Off—This website serves as a location tool for donating used clothing and textiles drop-off sites. This helps to repurpose the fabrics and scraps that are leftover from making brand new garments as well as reusing fabrics from garments that have lived their life. Thus keeping a good amount of textiles out of the waste stream. Their drop-off map is below.

Image source: Google Maps
All of the drop-off sites for clothing and textiles across the city.

We can definitely call this an attempt to encourage a circular economy in the big apple. What is a circular economy? It is a system that works towards reducing waste through reuse and maximizing resources. This type of system is great for the environment and can also involve repairing items, investing in eco-friendly infrastructure, improving recycling, upcycling items, reusing parts of an item, and more—all of which to achieve a waste-free way of living.

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Igloo’s “RECOOL” Box Opening

Igloo Coolers sent Stay Blooming their new RECOOL cooler to try out. This is the first biodegradable cooler on the market and is made entirely of molded pulp in the USA. The intention of this cooler is to replace the styrofoam coolers that have been commonly used to keep food and drinks cold. The RECOOL cooler is water resistant, can hold water for up to 5 days, and can retain ice for up to 12 hours. The company even claims it can carry up to 75 pounds without breaking. After use, let it dry out and reuse. It is that simple.

The best part about this cooler is that it will biodegrade if it is littered or left out in the environment for a long time. Styrofoam is already being banned in many places, so finding a replacement for those picnics and BBQs will now be easier than ever before. We are in no way condoning in the behavior of littering but this is a necessary alternative to styrofoam and plastic.

As shown in the video above, they also sent over a reusable tote bag (of decent size), reusable bamboo cutlery, reusable bamboo plates, and a bamboo USB flash drive (plastic-free!). The reusable cutlery and bamboo plates can also be composted which is something to embrace about bamboo products. This is not a paid ad. Stay Blooming is here to learn and teach about alternatives so that we can truly welcome sustainable living.

The reusable biodegradable RECOOL Igloo cooler filled with goodies.
Image courtesy of Igloo Coolers.

If you are looking for a way to keep your perishables cool during picnics, BBQs, and other warm weather outings, be sure to grab one of these. It is reliable and there is no plastic to feel guilty about later.

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Shop’s Grand Reopening

The wait is over!
We are happy to announce the grand reopening of the Stay Blooming Shop.

The Shop is now stocked with a bunch of new ecofriendly items to choose from. All of these items have been hand selected with special attention to how it returns to the environment. The goods we sell are great alternatives to things we commonly use. Instead of a harsh laundry detergents, try our gentle soapnuts. Instead of disposable razors, try our endlessly reusable shavers. Instead of plastic bags, try our tote bag that spreads a plastic-free message. When our goods are used responsibly, they prevent pollution and enhance your ecoconsciousness. Check out some of the new items below:

Along with the stocking of new goods, we have also updated the customer’s shopping experience. You can now add items to your cart and pay for them altogether. Additionally, there are more options when checking out that makes payment a breeze. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or even a suggestion, please send an email to shop@stayblooming.com.

Visit the Shop now!

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‘Dew’ by Kay Ryan

Image source: Library of Congress

As neatly as peas in their green canoe,
as discreetly as beads strung in a row,
sit drops of dew along a blade of grass.

But unattached and subject to their weight,
they slip if they accumulate.

Down the green tongue out of the morning sun
into the general damp,
they’re gone.

– Kay Ryan (1945)

This is my second time sharing a NYC subway poem and by the looks of it, won’t be my last. Just like the first, ‘A Name’ by Ada Limón, this poem captivated me. It’s easy to get lost in the subway system’s congestion & chaos but this quick read does something rejuvenating to the soul. You can find more subway poetry (past & present) by clicking here for MTA’s Arts & Design poetry page.

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In Tough Times

When the pawn hits the conflict he thinks like a king
What he knows throws the blows when he goes to the fight
And he’ll win the whole thing ‘fore he enters the ring
There’s nobody to batter when your mind is your might
So when you go solo you hold your own hand
And remember that depth is the greatest of heights
If you know where to stand then you know where to land
And if you fall it won’t matter ‘cuz you’ll know that you’re right

– Fiona Apple (1999)

What looks like a poem at first sight, actually isn’t. This is the title of Fiona Apple’s second album that most people just know as “When the Pawn…” I was and am a really big fan of her songwriting & music… and have even named every Apple iPhone I’ve owned Fiona. I find that all of her music is highly relatable in one way or another, if not many ways all at once. Her word choice is absolutely phenomenal and lucid.

Apart from that is this unique album title. Over the years I have considered it a poem, a mantra, an escape, but never just merely a title. I have found myself saying it out loud, under my breath, during great anxiety, or even writing it over & over when I felt the urge to write for whatever reason. It has broken me out of spells of thinking I am incapable, it has given me confidence when I felt my lowest, and it has motivated me to work against the odds I thought were against me.

All in all. I’m sharing this because everyone deserves to have this kind of outlet. A saying that they know by heart that can ease their brain, take it away from challenge, and rejuvenate your tolerance.

Find one, use this, share what with us what works at alyssablooms@gmail.com for a feature on StayBlooming.com.

Namaskar.