Are you getting ready for Earth Day weekend? Earth Day is on April 22nd, the weekend we speak of is April 20th to 21st. If you live in NYC (or are visiting) then here are 2 cleanup events that we are organizing or facilitating. These events will make you realize your power as a human and as a community. You will leave feeling like a steward for the environment.
This is Stay Blooming’s first ever cleanup event taking place at Ferry Point Park in Bronx, NY. It is in collaboration with Marjorie Velazquez of the borough. We put this event together to bring people into this lesser known park. It has a lot of visitors during the warmer months and is mostly used for its soccer fields and fourth of July views. Although there are plans for the MTA Ferry to service this part of the Bronx in 2021, the park can still use a lot of attention with its growing usage.
The second is a Veggie Mijas event that I am organizing and walking through. This even includes a mini recycling lesson and requires participants to RSVP beforehand. I organized the event to take place in Pelham Bay Park as it is a local park that I frequented growing up. It also features a bunch of back trails that are good for hiking and riding bike. Although this is a well known park and a well known area, the back trails do not get cleaned up like the BBQ sections and picnicking parts of the park.
The purpose of getting involved for Earth Day weekend is to learn how to treat out earth better. It is to raise awareness for issues like pollution, overconsumption, and climate change. When we are able to act out good deeds that promote a positive trajectory for our earth, then we are making that positive future more likely. Raising awareness can be teaching a workshop, a cleanup, community gardening, etc. The scale of the awareness does not matter, it only matters that it is happening. That
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If you are a NYC artist this may be a great opportunity for you.
NYC’s Department of Sanitation is seeking to transform 5 of their garbage trucks. The zero-waste project is Trucks of Art and each truck would be painted by a different artist. The requirements are an idea that either represents the city’s strongest or one that encourages New Yorkers to recycle. So you know where this is going.
So it is in our opinion that these trucks should send a green message. Waste management in NYC is huge. When the city had a landfill of its own, everything was seemingly all good. But this is no longer the case. We do not have a landfill anymore. The last was Fresh Kills landfill. It saw its last dump of trash in 2001 and it is now a city park. As a result, since its closing, NYC sends its trash to landfills out of state. This is not fair.
Therefore, this is Stay Blooming reaching out to fellow environmentalists and artists. As a city known for its creativity, it makes sense to use art as communication. Residents need to be encouraged to actively participate in the recycling process. It needs to interest them. It needs to be personal. This way they are mindful of how they accumulate trash. As a result, this artistic opportunity is very important to prevent trash.
We do not hear enough about the importance of civic engagement and the advantages it has for communities. Very often, it seems as though decisions that are made for communities do not actually involve the voices they home.
So, what is civic engagement? Any political or non-political action that is taken by someone in order to bring about a positive change to society or their community.
There are so many layers and paths of being civically engaged that it can actually intimidate residents from wanting to be involved altogether. In the New York City area, it is especially overwhelming with having a large population. However, there can be help navigating through it. All neighborhoods have a community board. These democratically run groups are ideally the foundation of all planning that takes place in NYC. The changes that they are typically involved with include local decisions like new construction projects, positive change for the community, or even safety enforcement.
Community boards are not responsible for reaching out to residents though, it is quite the opposite. If someone is passionate enough about something, they need to do research on how they can get involved in order to carry out the change they want to see. Following community boards are councilpersons. Each district in the NYC has an elected person for this position who is responsible for representing their district on a local, city level. Similarly to how a Congress person represents their district federally.
You can contact your councilperson in regard to a problem you notice in your community or a difference you would like to make. They will either lead you in the right direction as to how you can make it happen, or you just might find out you are the one to create the path to change. Nonetheless, finding resources betters your chances and you cannot do that without engagement.
The main benefits of civic engagement include…
enhancing the quality of life for society, the local community, and generations to come.
developing access to resources and distributing those resources to the public.
creating confidence as a community/society instead of individuals out for their own self-interests.
motivating communities to further partake in community involvement, thus continuing the cycle of positive change.
A perfect example of community involvement is the public meeting that was held for the discussion of NYC’s Orchard Beach‘s Pavilion Restoration recently. This well-known beach in the Bronx was first opened in 1936 and has not seen any construction since. It has been in desperate need of infrastructural attention for years. The pavilion restoration was jumpstarted by a $10 million initiative taken by the Bronx borough president, Ruben Diaz Jr., and that has now grown to $60 million thanks to other contributors.
The Bronxites that came out to be apart of this meeting participated by asking questions and talking over what they would like to see at Orchard Beach as well as what they would not like to see. Although improvements are absolutely necessary for a beach that has 1.5 million visitors a year, it is imperative to see what will be most functional and useful for the community. If it is not practical for the beach’s users then it will not be an effective and successful restoration for the community… that is the exact reason why civic engagement is highly valuable.
Getting involved locally is the most direct way you can begin to make an impact. Not only does could it change lives locally, but it may change futures for some and that is an amazing power and influence to have.
We’re very happy to announce new ecofriendly merchandise is coming soon to the StayBlooming.com Shop!
Our ecofriendly items are inventive and highly useful. They serve a greater purpose for the earth by eliminating plastic use, future plastic pollution, and creating conscious thinkers out of ourselves. The movement for plastic-free living has been growing at a faster rate than ever before. People are finally taking notice of the severe environmental issues the world suffers from. We are realizing that the cost of consumerism & profits is actually a sacrifice to our entire natural world. One in which we cannot buy back or build; one in which is damaged inequitably, with no chance of fair replenishment.
We need to respect our earth and that means finding and/or creating successful alternatives. Doing the work now so that future generations aren’t faced with tougher decisions that we see today… decisions that we are currently setting them up for. Changing your behavior starts with one question and a few small steps. What side of history will you be on?