Environmentalist and Green Media Personality, Jen Boulden joined me yesterday to discuss the importance of going green this Earth day and offer tips on how to do so! If you're interested in starting your own garden or you've wondered how to start a compost pile; maybe even swap out clothing you don't wear in your closet or even get your kids involved in gardening, you're in luck as Jen has got you covered!
Environmentalist and Green Media Personality, Jen Boulden. Image courtesy of Twitter.com/JenBoulden
Candace Rose: What are some changes we can make around the house that will improve the environment?
Jen Boulden: "Well, I call it 'light green' and that just means doing the things that you think personally you can integrate. If you're like 'I'm often going to the grocery store and coming home with all these extra bags that I can't use' – put those bags in your trunk. Just say 'I'm going to do it this Earth Day, I'm going to commit to making some small changes'. But you've probably already heard of that, as well as getting rid of the bottled water, as well as washing your clothes in cold water- the list goes on and on. But this Earth Day I'm thinking that we need to actually start growing our own greens to go green."
Candace Rose: Do you have any tips for those looking to plant a garden this year?
Jen Boulden: "I do. You know, I'm a recent gardener. I didn't have a green thumb, and a few years ago I said what would be really fun and convenient to have some herbs for cooking. And so I had some little pots near the windowsill and all of a sudden my basil was growing quite nicely and it'd be really nice to have a caprese salad right now- and so I needed tomatoes. So then I was like- let's have some tomatoes going in the garden; so it was like that little step by step approach. A lot of people get overwhelmed thinking 'I don't know anything about gardening, I'm overwhelmed'. And this is where Garden Kit comes in nicely. This kit from Dole.com was just created and I wish it was around when I was learning because everything is self-contained; everything you need to get going in your garden- right down to these cool little dirt packs. You add water- it fluffs up, put the seeds in and you can transfer this right into your garden. I'm not sure if you can see, but this dirt is super rich and yum. Now all of a sudden I've got 12 different varieties of vegetables growing in my garden that I started as a seed, which is kind of like the gardeners bragging rights, like that started from seed, you didn't go off and buy those little expensive already started vegetables."
Candace Rose: How awesome!
Candace Rose: How can eating less meat improve the environment and our health?
Jen Boulden: "So eating meat is one of those things that take a big toll on the environment and here's why- meat is a very resource intensive thing to make. For example: about 12 pounds of grain goes into one pound of beef. And over 1,000 gallons of water will be used in creating just one pound of beef. So you see, it's just better when you can use that grain directly and put it right onto your own table. Plus it's going to be amazing for your health to do this, and I'm sure you know this having blogged about health quite a bit. It is going to help you reduce your chance of diabetes, your chance of cancer and of course obesity. What a great thing! Plus eating vegetarian, it's usually lighter on the pocketbook."
Candace Rose: Do you have any suggestions on starting a compost pile?
Jen Boulden: "I do. It's called cheating! Go ahead and get one of those self-contained easy composters at any home improvement store (sometimes at gardening stores they'll have them) and usually they're plastic and they have a little lid, they have this little thing that you can spin the compost with. And so as opposed to having to go out and build something and not exactly know what you're doing, this makes it easy to use. And a few months later, especially if you're in warmer climates you're going to have this rich, rich soil. All of a sudden what used to be your dinner scraps and your lawn clippings come to life as the best thing that you could use in your garden- it's a nice virtuous circle. Growing your own vegetables, food waste, compost- back into the garden."
Candace Rose: And now onto fashion- what's the secret to hosting a great swap party?
Jen Boulden: "The secret to hosting a great swap party is number one: wine (laughs); number two is making sure that people understand that bringing something that you know is of great quality, and you know that someone else is going to enjoy. And so with everybody brings say that blazer that's still intact and is fashionable, but is maybe not their style; or maybe jeans that don't fit; or the shoes that maybe kind of tweak the foot in a certain way and you're ready to move on. So you bring all this stuff and it's amazing that of course as they say 'one man's trash is another man's treasure' well, one woman's shoe is a great find for someone else. It's fun and you need to say 'everbody bring your own stuff and get ready to have a good time."
Candace Rose: What can viewers do to get their kids involved and excited about Earth Day?
Jen Boulden: "For this Earth Day I'm telling kids- get your hands dirty. Actually, put your hands in the earth for Earth Day. Grow your own greens to go green. And Candace, that's one of those tips where you see the light bulb go on in the kids heads when they're like 'oh my God the earth is allowing me to put a seed in the ground in nature, how cool is that'? You're turning it into something that all of a sudden is on the dinner table. And that's when they're like 'okay, I'm now a champion for the earth. I'm going to take it to the next level and the next level'. And their little creative brain just goes crazy."
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you'd like to share?
Jen Boulden: "Yeah, absolutely. If you want to get going on gardening this Earth Day, you can get going on Dole.com and you can get this Gardening Kit for only $19.95, which is an amazing deal. When I first started out gardening, I came back from the gardening store going oh, this is actually more like an expensive hobby. But here you have 12 different vegetables you can plant and the peat pot, the instructions, even the little sticks right here- that are going to say what's growing here. And also, this is where I go for more information about how important it is to grow your own food for really good health; and just that good connection to the earth."
Candace Rose: Well, thank you Jen! Where can viewers go for more information on you?
Jen Boulden: "Just JenBoulden.com."