What would the world be like without bees?

I love watching animation. My friends and family sometimes laugh at me and say “you’re not seven anymore, why are you watching these type of movies?” They can laugh all they want, I don’t pay them any mind. I know the perception of children’s movies is that it’s just entertainment, but for anyone who has seen movies like Meet the Robinsons, Up!, Walle, the Lorax, the Bee Movie, How to Train your Dragon, the list goes on, these movies carry deeper meaning.

These movies carry a lesson and we need to wake up and pay attention. Look past the color, the songs, and pay attention to the symbolism and the message that is being delivered.

I read a New York Times article today about the collapse of bees. As I was reading through the article, I kept remembering snippets of the Bee Movie. In that movie, when all the bees stopped pollinating,  the balance of nature was disrupted and things began to spiral out of control.

Why you need to care

Reading that 40 to 50 percent of hives needed to pollinate our fruits and vegetables have been wiped out, is disconcerting. This is a serious issue, not only for ecosystem, but our economy. Since all people talk the same language when it comes to money, lets discuss what this could possibly do to your pockets.

Approximately one-fourth of the American diet relies on pollination. With the decline of bee hives, that means there will be smaller harvests and an increase in food prices. Which to me could cause a chain reaction, health wise. For example, If I am a parent who needs to make food choices for my children and I am low-income, am I going to buy apples that now cost 4 dollars a pound or will I get some junk food that’s 99 cents a bag? In terms of industry, this impacts beekeepers and farmers alike, this is their livihood, they will need to increase prices to survive.

Why are these bees dying? 

Prior to 2005 (yes this has been happening for a very long time), only about  5 to 10 percent of bee hives were lost during pollination season, now it is up to 50 percent! Something is wrong. Something is wrong and scientists still have not come to a conclusive answer. Many blame droughts, pesticides, resistance to pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides.

It is mind boggling that a conclusive answer has not been found.

Analysts had documented about 150 chemical residues in pollen and wax gathered from beehives. “Where do you start?” Dr. Eric Mussen said. “When you have all these chemicals at a sublethal level, how do they react with each other? What are the consequences?” Experts say nobody knows – Michael Wines, NY Times 

Do you really need to be a scientist to know that the consequences are the bees are dying, our ecosystem is being disrupted, illness is on the rise, and food prices will skyrocket. Sometimes, I wonder if common sense should be a degree.


What next?

We as consumers need to open our eyes. Stop living life on autopilot. Start questioning why. Start doing your research. Ask yourself why are things like the Monsanto Protection Act being passed? Why aren’t these industry giants being held accountable? Why are humans playing God? When will our curiosity be satisfied? Why are your children getting sick? Why are food prices so high? Why, why, why?

After you ask the why, your eyes will start to open. Once your eyes start to open, you will get angry and irritated. And once you are irritated, you will start to demand change. When we all demand change, guess what? Change comes. Lets just hope it isn’t too late for our generation.

Your thoughts?


An urban planning PhD student finding peace in creating a balance between the mind, body, soul, & environment.

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Photo Credit: Max Wesby




Should you move your job search offline?

Today, I read a Wall Street Journal article on moving a career search online. Reading through the article brought back memories of my own job search efforts.

When I finished graduate school, it took me almost 2 years to find permanent work. I was getting plenty of freelance gigs, but it was inconsistent. One month I might have had 8 clients, then I would go two months with not one client. I would spend hours searching online for job postings and applied to hundreds of jobs.

I was so in need of consistent pay, that I even applied for a newspaper delivery gig (can you believe it?!?). When I couldn’t even get hired as a newspaper delivery person, I knew I had to switch up my strategy, but I wasn’t sure how.

I’ve always been active in my community and decided to fill up my spare time with volunteer work. I got involved with the LI Small Farm Summit as a communications volunteer and interacted with many community members and leaders. A random conversation with another volunteer, led to a lunch meeting, which eventually led me to my work at Hofstra University, which has been such a great experience.

I’ve read many advice articles that suggest networking events as a sure way to get job leads, but over the years, I’ve had my best success volunteering. The people I have volunteered with are CEOS, educators, small business owners, and more; all these people have connections. When you get involved with community projects, you get to showcase your skills and personality without seeming pressed for a job.

Get involved with your community and network in a different way, because I can attest that many jobs are not publicly advertised and who knows maybe like in my case, a position will be created just to suit your talents.

Anyone else find that searching for a job or opportunity is best done offline?


An urban planning PhD student finding peace in creating a balance between the mind, body, soul, & environment.

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Photo Credit: Taylor Callery

How to make all-purpose cleaner with oranges and vinegar

Last year, I ventured into making my own cleaning products. My staples were baking soda, castille soap, vinegar, and essential oil. These simple ingredients made a difference in cleaning, plus it was an added bonus that they were natural. However, I got complaints about the smell of the vinegar. Vinegar doesn’t smell when it dries, but during the cleaning process, there were plenty of eye rolls and smart comments ;). So,  I stopped using the vinegar solution and started using Greenworks.

Greenworks gets the job done, but it still is a chemically made product by the Clorox company. I’m tired of cleaning the bathroom or kitchen and it smelling like a science lab. So I decided to go back to natural products.

I used Google and Pinterest to figure out a method that wouldn’t smell like vinegar. The option I chose was using orange peels in vinegar. I haven’t used the solution yet because it is still ‘marinating’, but I am exciting to use it in two weeks. The steps are very simple.


  • Orange peels (I think I used about 4 small oranges. I lost count after eating so many 🙂 )
  • Empty spray bottle (I used an empty Greenworks bottle)
  • Large jar
  • Vinegar  


  1. Eat the oranges
  2. Add orange peels to empty jar
  3. Fill empty jar with vinegar
  4. Store for two weeks
  5. After two weeks strain the solution from the jar into an empty spray bottle
  6. Spray and use as an all purpose cleaner!

Note: I didn’t have any large jars, so I just used the spray bottle. I also plan on added essential oil. I will play around with scents, but I like clove, lemon, or lime. If I had other fruits or herbs, I would think of adding grapefruit or rosemary. 

Do you make your own cleaning solutions? Comment and share your experience!


An urban planning PhD student finding peace in creating a balance between the mind, body, soul, & environment.

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Photo Credit: Lisa-Marie Pierre

Go on the Nomadness tribe American RV college tour

In December, I posted about the Nomadness Travel Tribe, a travel group on the rise. Next month, the group will embark on a new journey. From April 14 to May 6, 2013, they will be going on a Nomadness American RV and  college tour. The Nomadness RV van will travel from New York City, Philly, DC, Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston, Las Vegas, and LA. During this RV takeover, there will be many meet ups and college campus visits to discuss travel and diversity.
The group has successfully used Kickstarter to raise 23,000 dollars and counting(31 hours left)! They also have garnered enough attention, that Hotels.com and YRB magazine have partnered up as sponsors.
This is a great concept, led by a savvy group of entrepreneurs. To make a pledge and help this dream come true, visit the Kickstarter campaign, tell a friend, attend a meetup or college visit, follow the tour on twitter, or visit the website. If you are a business owner, check out the Kickstarter website for sponsorship packages. This is a great opportunity to reach urban young professionals.

This sure to be a movement that will keep growing!



An urban planning PhD student finding peace in creating a balance between the mind, body, soul, & environment.

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Photo Credit: Nomadness Travel Tribe