For my final project, I chose to focus on gardening specifically urban gardening and even more specifically urban gardening for a small indoor space (like a dorm). I believe in order to begin to make a change in the environment people need to simply care. I think a good way to encourage caring for the environment is gardening on a small scale. Seeing your plants grow gives you a real since of pride. You care for a thing and it is able to thrive.
I decided to have my subject take the form of a zine, a small self published booklet. I decided this was a good form for my final project because I’m not really social media savvy or have much of a social media presence. I thought I could do more with a physical form.
I began the process of making my zine by just brainstorming gardening topics I’d want to research and read about myself.
Before diving into research I started work on a template for my zine on PowerPoint in order to know how many topics to include.
I titled my zine “Greenworld Greenthumb”. My first zine covers the topics of “Plants to Purify the Air“, “How to Propagate Succulents“, and “Tips to Care for Your Succulents“. My second zine covers the topics of “Where to Find Plants in NYC” (I used my own research for this, visiting places all over Manhattan), “Making Your Plants Decorative” (I used my own experience and pots for this), and “Tips for Transporting Plants“. Besides the information present in my zines, a big focus for me were the images. I tried to include as many photos as I could fit and tried to use as many of my own images as possible. The first zine was mostly found images, which I credited in the zine or were creative commons, but I also included my own illustrations, plants, and polaroids. My second zine, because it was mostly my own exploration and experiences, had a majority of my own images.
I printed them in a little less than a half page size in order to be small and convenient. I printed them in black and white because it’s what I had available to me. One thing I included in my second zine that was not on my first is a QR code leading to my progress post. Once printed I distributed them in two ways. I put the first edition of my zine out at my dorm’s resource center (Rubin Hall) where residents could pick them up as they entered. They second way I distributed my zines (the second edition and a few left over first editions) was handing them out in Washington Square Park.
I’ve learned a lot about plants in really diving into this project, and I came out with a couple new plants. I thought the zine making process was enjoyable and I could see continuing the process. I’ll definitely continue to garden in my window and care for my plants.
So far I have researched and completed one zine covering a few small scale gardening concerns. I went through quite a few different designs before landing on a style I like. I think what I came up with is cute like a zine and visually appealing to get people interested.
I’m working on how to distribute it now that I’ve produced one I’m happy with. I want to immediately start working on my next zine. I have some topics in mind but I need to do more research and narrow it down to zine size. I’ve thought zines were interesting for while but had never made my own; I’ve really enjoyed making my own and am excited to move on to my next one.
Since starting my research, I’ve found myself looking at my own plants more closely. When I arrived at college, I brought my plants from home with me but sadly after Christmas because of travel issues I couldn’t bring them back again. I couldn’t go without plants though so I almost immediately went to pick out new plants to fill my window sill. I’ve always been proud when I see my plants start to take off but have previously just let it happen with some glances every now and then. Since starting my final project caused me to look at my plants closer I decided to document my cactus’s growth since a new little bud appeared.
Growing plants has become even more interesting since taking a closer look. Researching has changed the simple way I look at my plants.
I’m still working on my zine, but during my research I found this one blog in particular I’ve found interesting. The blog is from a store that’s right here in New York; The Sill. I thought I’d share this source to possible fellow plant lovers. You might enjoy it too.
I’m excited how this project is already affecting how I do my own gardening and I’m excited to continue.
A challenge facing environmentalism is getting people to care about the environment. Getting people to feel a connection to the environment is a first small step toward growing support for environmental change. This is where I want to come in with my final project. I think a great way to encourage this care is through plants. If people can feel a connection to and care for plants they have in their everyday lives they would be more inclined to take a stand for injustices in the environment.
For my final project I want to focus on urban gardening or dorm gardening as a way to teach people ways they can participate in gardening. Obviously as college students, we don’t have access to a rooftop I want to show how the principals of larger scale urban gardening can work for gardening in the window of your dorm and how easy it is to do on the small scale we have available living in not only New York but also dorms. I also want to show people how fun it is growing plants and the satisfaction you can feel growing plants.
The format I’d like to take with this message is a zine. I want to make it fun and cute so people find it fun and something they can do in their dorm. I’d like to include how to’s and information on plants and provide information on resources in New York, like where to find the best plants. I think in my case (not having a social media presence) a zine would be the best way to get this information out there because people could find it around campus. If people can start loving gardening and their own window plants, they can begin to see why environmentalism matters.