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Clean the Air! Plant a Garden! Build a Terrarium!

Cinderblock garden

This past December, world leaders met in Paris for the United Nations Climate Change Summit. A monumental agreement was signed: almost 200 countries in the developed and developing world agreed to take steps to systematically reduce greenhouse gases to a level that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally.

Although, this agreement is a positive development, there are still many challenges ahead. Developed countries must help developing countries by sharing finances, scientific expertise and technology, emissions will need to be reported honestly and transparently, and every country will have to strive towards 100% reliance on renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar and hydro power.

This is a daunting task to say the least. Now you might think: is there really anything that I can, as a tiny little speck in this vast universe, do to really make a difference? The answer is yes! Plant trees and cultivate gardens.

Plants draw carbon dioxide and solar rays through pores in the surface of their leaves which they then convert to energy. Plants can also eliminate toxic gases by absorbing harmful gases. If you plant a tree or a garden outdoors or build a terrarium for your home or school, you will increase the natural capacity of the trees, plants and soil in your community to absorb harmful greenhouse gases. You, (yes you! little you!), can effect positive change on a local level that will have a global impact.

TerrariumHow to Build a Terrarium:

  • Choose a glass container, either with a lid or without.
  • Choose your plants. Miniature succulents, ferns, and ivies work well. Succulent gardens do well in a container without a lid. Non-succulents thrive in a lidded container.
  • Place one layer of pebbles on the bottom of your glass bowl.
  • Scoop one tablespoon of Activated Carbon on top of your layer of pebbles.
  • Scoop 1/4″ of Sphagnum moss on top of your carbon and pebbles.
  • Scoop one small handful of soil on top of your moss, being careful not to disturb your moss. If you are using succulents, use potting soil specifically formulated for succulents.
  • Remove your plant from its container. Shake the dirt carefully away from its roots so that its roots are almost dirt-free.
  • Use a spoon to dig a small hole in your soil layer. Place your first plant in that hole and fill it in with your potting soil. Repeat for your second plant.
  • When handling your plants, be very careful not to break its leaves off. If you do, remove the broken leaves carefully from your terrarium.
  • Give your terrarium a little bit of water. A squirt from a water bottle works well.  Succulent terrariums only need to be watered once a month. Non-succulents should be checked weekly.
  • Remove the lid from your closed terrarium once a week to allow it to air out

You can even paint a river rock to add some personal flair to your terrarium!
Check back on a future Motivational Monday to learn how!



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