What inspired you to want to work with Re-Nuble?
I grew up around women who composted and taught me the value of nutrients from composted foods. My favorite example is a small tree growing just beyond my grandmother’s back porch. For years this tree grew a fresh set of green leaves every spring but never a single flower. A few years back, my grandmother switched from a compost pile in the back corner of her yard, to a leaky black compost barrel that she kept just over the porch, right to the side of that tree. She threw food waste into the barrel and a brown liquid leaked out to the surrounding ground and the roots of that tree. That summer, the small tree was covered in gorgeous white flowers, almost like a gift or a way of saying thank you from the tree. My grandmother had always used traditional chemical fertilizers on that tree but it was food-based fertilizer that brought out that tree’s greatest potential. So, when I came across Re-Nuble, I was impressed and inspired that someone had finally thought to take that same concept a step further and make food waste nutrients available for hydroponic gardens and farms.
I’m also a futurist and I realize that between climate change on Earth and the efforts to reach out and colonize other parts of space, there is a place for sustainable soilless farming and hydroponics in humankind’s future. I believe that Re-Nuble can be a part of everybody’s future and that is something I wanted to get behind.
Do you have a green thumb and how do you practice it?
Growing up, I helped pick cucumbers and tomatoes in my grandmother’s vegetable garden and assisted my mother planting and harvesting a number of vegetables in our vegetable garden. I live in an apartment now and can’t really grow anything other than a few house plants but working with Re-Nuble has inspired me to attempt a small hydroponic herb garden soon, so that I can better understand the process and enjoy some home-grown organic herbs in some of my cooking.
What does a Sustainable NYC mean to you and how do you envision Re-Nuble fitting into that vision?
It’s clear to me that NYC is capable of being economically sustainable but I still think it has a way to go before we’d consider NYC environmentally sustainable. NYC has come a long way since the past yet when I think of sustainable cities, I often think of Singapore, which is very clean and has small trees and plants growing on the sides and tops of many of its buildings. Singapore can grow plants year-round due to its tropical climate but even with a winter, NYC can grow plants indoors, whether for decoration or for farming to help feed local NYC communities, and I believe Re-Nuble can help with indoor growing in NYC in addition to reducing the city’s annual food waste.
How do you practice aspects of a circular economy/sustainability at home?
For me, living in an apartment, it’s all about recycling or reusing. I always wash the plastic takeout containers and either use them myself or give them to my grandmother who often cooks for my entire family and will then use those containers to send the rest of my family members home with food.
I also use all paper bags I bring home as paper recycling receptacles and all plastic bags as trash bags.
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 don’t know yet if this is scientifically possible but I’d love to one day see a Re-Nuble owned hydroponic farm in which the plants are solely grown from organic fertilizers or nutrients produced by Re-Nuble. I’d love to buy vegetables in a city supermarket with a Re-Nuble label attached to them.