Tag Archives: Environment

This California Summer

This heat and drought in California is truly something else. I’m sure many of you have seen the “before and after” photos of bodies of water in California that have experienced devastating consequences from this drought (if not, check it out here). We are particularly feeling the effects of this drought here in Southern California. On top of that, we’re in the middle of a really horrendous heatwave right now that has led to some planned (and unplanned!) power outages around this region. I’m saying this in part to highlight a lot of the important issues that we’re facing in California, but also to really show that we don’t always have perfect, 75 degree temperatures in Southern California! In the Orange County area this past weekend, there was a fire burning over 1,000 acres of land in Silverado Canyon. This particularly hits close to home because it literally was close to my parents’ home in Orange County. Interestingly enough, this fire was started by the metal roofing of a vegetable garden! What a small way for such a devastating fire to start! You can find out more about the story here. Okay; end rant!

As a result of all of this, I have really made an effort to conserve as much water as possible. One way that I’ve been doing this is by choosing more drought-tolerant plants for my balcony garden. Of course, my small, unassuming balcony garden probably wouldn’t use up much water in the first place, but every drop counts, right? On top of that, keeping plants alive in this summer heat is a whole different ballgame, particularly regarding plants that are not suitable for high temperatures. As a resident of the top floor of my apartment complex, my balcony experiences inexplicably high heat. So instead of planting snapdragons and basil as I have before, I’ve planted succulents in my overhanging balcony planters! I feel like it’s a bit of a non-traditional way to use planters, but I love it!

Succulent Planter #1

Succulent Planter #1

Succulent Planter #2

Succulent Planter #2

This is a really great way to also use cuttings of succulents, propagate more succulents, and also, to minimize how many pots you use. I was tired of having so many separate little planters so I threw them all together.

Here are some photos of the rest of the balcony! It’s slowly but surely coming together!

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Balcony Gardening @ www.ecospired.com

What are you doing to keep cool in the last few days before fall begins? Leave a comment! 🙂

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Staghorn Fern Tutorial!

I’m happy to be writing this post today. So many exciting (and terrifying) things have been happening lately and it’s been hard for me to find time to do a tutorial. For example, I’m playing harp in a Capital Cities‘ music video tomorrow (woo)! But, on the other side of the coin, my grandma had a heart attack last night, but thankfully, she’s doing well now. We were extremely lucky, and my world is back in order. When it rains, it pours, right? I wish it’d actually rain here in Los Angeles to spare us from the agony of perpetual sunlight, which I must say can seriously be annoying. I guess I sound like an ungrateful diva, but when you’re born and raised in a sunny place, rain is a luxury. Forgive me!

Back to the post. I love houseplants. First of all, they help clean the air in your home. Did you know that there are likely more toxins inside of your home than out? So much for escaping the pollution by staying in, huh? So today, I’m going to be posting about mounting a Staghorn Fern to the wall, to have a cool way to clean your air (and to have cool, living decorations).

Staghorn Fern tutorial on ecospired.com

I’ve also always liked the idea of “antlers” on the wall but not the actual idea of taking antlers from an animal and putting it on my wall (vegetarian over here!). So, the Staghorn Fern is an great environmentally-friendly option for those of us who like to keep up with the American tradition of antlers on the wall without necessarily harming something in the process. Anthropologie recently had Staghorn ferns on their wall, too. We all know how much I love Anthro!

Another cool, environmentally-friendly option is cardboard cutouts of animal heads or antlers, which you can get on Etsy.

Image Courtesy of Etsy shop "Cardboard Safari"

Image courtesy of Etsy shop “Cardboard Safari”

Apartment Therapy has a great tutorial for this project. I referenced it when doing mine, although I deviated a bit, mostly because I was determined to not have to buy extra supplies (aka leave my apartment).

Check out their tutorial here!

Materials:

  • Staghorn Fern- Check out your local nursery for this. I bought mine for 5 dollars from Sunset Nursery on none other than Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles.
  • Wooden Plaque- I got mine for 3 dollars from JoAnn Fabrics.
  • Wire
  • Sheet Moss
  • Hammer
  • Nails

Total time: 15 minutes

Total cost: Under 20 dollars

Materials for Staghorn Fern  Tutorial

Materials for Staghorn Fern Tutorial

Directions:

1.  Hammer 2 nails into the back of your board and secure wire in-between the 2 nails, as pictured.

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2. Soak your moss in water.

Moss!

Soaking Moss!

3. Hammer 5-6 nails in a “circle” (epic fail pictured below).

Staghorn Fern tutorial on ecospired.com

4. Place your moss on the plaque and secure it onto the plaque with wire (so it won’t fall down).

Staghorn Fern tutorial on ecospired.com

5.  Take your Staghorn Fern out of the pot and gently “break apart” the roots. Basically, you want your fern to be able to attach to your moss. Staghorn Ferns are epiphytes, so they grow off of other things, hence why we can hang them up on the wall.

6. Place your fern on the moss “bed” you’ve created. Then, wrap it in more moss, so the soil/roots are covered. Then, wrap the wire around the plant, while remembering to secure it to the nails too. This will ensure it stays on the board. I don’t have a particular picture of the step, but this is the finished project because it’s the last step!

Staghorn Fern tutorial on ecospired.com

Staghorn Fern tutorial on ecospired.com

Caring for your Fern:

Staghorn Ferns like to “dry out.” In other words, don’t overwater your plant! They’re similar to orchids in this way.  Spray it with water (from a bottle) once a week, or when the roots are actually dry. They like warm temperatures and high humidity. So feel free to hang them inside and spray the leaves with water whenever you feel like it. They’ll love you for it.

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What do you think? Are you tempted to create some living art for your place? Leave me some comments and let me know!

-Daria

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I Win the Award for “Biggest Consumer of Recycled Glass”

If there was such a competition, I’d definitely win.

As much as I love poking fun at Anthro (clearly), I still love them. Kinda like when you’re crushing on someone but instead of admitting it, you make fun of the person. This may just be the 5 yr old thing to do but I apparently haven’t grown out of it. Okay, I’m admittedly a sassy person so I do this to pretty much everyone, regardless of whether or not I’m crushin.

I bought these “Effervesce Stemless Wine Glasses” from Anthro after seeing my best friend get one (I had no idea what “Effervesce” was so I had to look it up. Still confused). I wanted to get them a couple of months ago, but it’s one of those things where it’s hard to justify buying more of something (for 8 bucks each) when you already have enough, but when you see someone else do it, it’s totally justified. I dunno. But they’re made of recycled glass, which I’m clearly (PUN!) obsessed with. I think I write about recycled glass in every one of my blog posts. Talk about ecospired, huh?? I can’t get enough.

It’s a little too early to pour wine in them (it’s about 3pm here), and I’m by myself (party for one?) so I’ve been drinking water out of them. It’s amazing how much more water you’ll drink when you buy pretty glasses…

I bought four but I’m using the other one and didn’t feel like cleaning it for the photo, so here are the other three. I shelled out 34 dollars for these, but no one ever said drinking alcohol was cheap! …or something.

Anthropologie's Recycled Wine Glass

 

This may come as a total shock to you, but I also have a couple of these recycled glasses from Anthro:

Anthropologie's Euro Milk Glasses

But I bought those a year ago, so they’re practically vintage now.

-d

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My “New” Chesterfield Sofa

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted… I am aware, sorry not sorry ok maybe a little sorry. Anyway, it’s not my fault that I found the coolest most perfectest Chesterfield sofa on craigslist that is stunning and NOW MINE! I’ve been on the lookout for a sofa for a while, because my current roommate is moving out soon and she brought all of the couches with her.

Anyway, this couch is stunning. It’s a black Chesterfield sofa. In layman terms, it’s tufted (like, buttons that are pushed into the couch) and has rounded ‘arms’.  It’s leatherette, which I thought was great, considering it’s extremely environmentally inefficient (and sad for the cows) to use leather for such things… I’ll be the first to say that I do sometimes get leather products, but I try to make sure I buy them secondhand. Buying secondhand is a great way to be environmentally friendly. We have enough crap already produced in the world.  The less products we produce, the less pressure we put on the environment. Simple. We use SO MUCH water, pesticides and fossil fuels just to produce 1 article of clothing. Just to make 1 pair of jeans, it takes 1,800 gallons of water. Crazy, right? So don’t be a snob to Goodwill or Craigslist. They’re good for you!

Back to the couch. It’s a little worn out on the seats, but what can you do? Hide it with pillows. Isn’t that why people have pillows on their couch anyway?

This couch is integral as the first step to transform my little apartment from blah to aha!  I’m too exhausted to go through the dramas I went through to get this couch, but maybe I’ll say them later.

Here’s an overly-glorified (and fake-looking) stock photo of what I got.

ImageHere’s an actual picture of the couch in my apartment:

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With this 4th couch in our living area, we literally look like we live in a sofa showcase room. Not for long!

In other news, JoAnn(s) is having a huge sale on everything. Literally, I think the majority of the store is 40-70% off until June 15th. Check it out! I got these new pots, each under 10 dollars (don’t mind the crappy picture quality!) I especially like the last pot shown:

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Does anyone know the name of the above left plant? I can’t remember the name, and when I bought it, it only said that it was a “houseplant.”IMG_2439For this little pineapple, I planted an Aloe Vera hybrid. It’s so thorny and sassy. I love it.

Next post is about the vermicompost, I promise! I know y’all have been waiting for it… right?

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Hi world!

Hi world! First post! So exciting.

So I guess I should introduce myself now. 🙂 I live in LA and I’m a student at USC. I’m a female by the name of Daria, (like the MTV show in the 90s–and although I’m admittedly as sassy as Daria Morgendorffer, but I’m also REALLY ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT LIFE). Anywho, I graduated yesterday (AHH!) with a Bachelor of Music in Harp Performance (weird, I know) and a minor in Environmental Studies. However, it’s not the real world for me quite yet, as I’ll be continuing with my master’s in Environmental Studies at USC.

SO– here’s my deal. For this blog/website/whatever I’ll be talking about different DIY projects and my feelings.  I’m obsessed with DIY, and with home & outdoor design. However, my main focus is DIY with an environmentally-conscious focus (hence- “ecospired”). I like to upcycle things that have little value and are probably going in the trash anyway- or something that just needs some extra TLC.  I’m also planning on writing about different environmentally-friendly options and practices. You know, whatever.

Let’s DO this!

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