Meet Natalya Vilegas, our summer intern

By Tinia Pina

Natalya joined us as part of an internship program managed by the Brooklyn Navy Yard's Development Corporation. She is currently studying for her Bachelors Degree in Communication Design at CUNY New York City College of Technology. Eager to apply her design and direct handling skills of working with plants formerly at a flowershop, we were excited to begin working with Natalya to incorporate a few refreshing insights related to our branding, messaging, and creative on various initiatives within the company.

 

1. Why you chose Re-Nuble to join this summer?

Re-Nuble encompasses the movement towards sustainability that my generation is, and should be focusing on. Re-Nuble shows me that there are still companies in our country that want to see change, that isn't just in existence for profit and that will make an impact on our planet that will last for years to come. I didn’t get to choose Re-Nuble as the company to join this year, but I feel blessed to be a part of something so important.

2. Do you have a green thumb and how do you practice it?

After interning at a flower shop during High School, I’d sure hope so. After spending a year or so there I realized that there’s a lack of people that practice gardening and it was something that I thought I should take up. At home, we have over a dozen different plant species and continue to bring more into our cramped little apartment. I keep my favorite plant by my bed side – two ropes of Devil’s Ivy that I managed to grow from clippings last summer.

3. What does a Sustainable NYC mean to you and how do you envision Re-Nuble fitting into that vision?

I’d love to see a New York City that doesn’t depend on outside identities to source our food, a city that doesn’t waste a single leaf of their salad. Re-Nuble is the perfect vehicle for this vision because we offer local urban farmers products made 100% from food-waste proven to increase quality and quantity of their produce, making it easier for our communities to develop closed-loop agricultural systems that make healthy, sustainable food available for the masses.

4. How do you practice aspects of a circular economy/sustainability at home?

I was raised in a home where we would recycle every scrap of paper, plastic, metal, and wood. My brother and I were raised with the mindset that every little action, as seemingly insignificant as it is, adds to the bigger picture. With that said, we re-use and re-purpose everything, from the plastic bottle I refill with water each morning to the bags of clothes that we donate to Goodwill. We try to waste as little as possible by finding creative ways to stretch items to their limit.

5.  What would you like to see Re-Nuble do differently for cities that other companies or brands have failed to do so or have not invested the efforts in creating?

I think that talking to and educating the community and our local officials about the benefits of environmental and economic sustainability is important. Not enough people know about the damaging effects we’re creating by letting food waste run rampant in our cities, or about the millions of dollars we could save by developing closed-loop systems across the country. If more people began using hydroponic systems to grow their foods we could become an entirely self-sustaining city sooner rather than later.

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