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SNAP Hydroponics Growers Keep Discarded Styrofoam Boxes Off the Streets

Interior of a car loaded with styrofoam boxes for use with SNAP Hydroponics
Happy New Year!
Our holiday celebrations resulted in trash, lots of it. Just hours after the celebrations have ended our city streets are littered with trash. There are news and social media posts about all the litter we generated as the holiday season concludes.
Screenshot of a Facebook post. The caption reads: ?Reusable styro boxes pile up along Palma Street in Quiapo, Manila after New Years Eve.?
Lots of trash as reported in the Manila Bulletin.

The post above from the Manila Bulletin was shared to SNAP Hydroponics Growers numerous times. It’s a disappointing picture but it is not all gloomy.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

SNAP Hydroponics growers has been actively seeking and picking up these piles of styrofoam boxes for use in their SNAP Hydroponics setups or for sale to other enthusiasts. In doing so, SNAP growers not only keeping trash off the streets, they are maximising the utility we get out of these styrofoam boxes.

A Community Effort

Below are just a few of the conversations our group had about the abundance of the much sought after standard sized styroboxes that SNAP Hydroponics Growers use. As mentioned in a previous post about the availability of grape boxes in the Philippines, the end of December (the last “ber” month) marks the end of the year’s supply of imported grapes from the United States. SNAP Hydroponics enthusiasts are preparing for the eventual shortage of supply and soaring prices of these styrofoam boxes.

creenshot of a Facebook post. It says: PSA. Today and tomorrow is your change to buy or ask for styroboxes that are everywhere these days. Last year, I got 100 pcs. Let's make the most out of it.
PSA. Today and tomorrow is your change to buy or ask for styroboxes that are everywhere these days. Last year, I got 100 pcs. Let’s make the most out of it
Screenshot of a Facebook post the caption reads: ?Styroboxes are scattered everywhere in public markets. Charge! It?s free!?
Styroboxes are scattered everywhere in public markets. Charge! It’s free!
Picture of a facebook post. The caption reads: "Round 1 of merchandise. Get yours in your local market."
Round 1 of merchandise. Get yours in your local market.
Screenshot of a facebook post. The caption reads: "Last batch of styrobox collected today. Anyone who wants to avail for their hydroponics gardening may contact me anytime. God bless and happy gardening to all."
Last batch of styrobox collected today. Anyone who wants to avail for their hydroponics gardening may contact me anytime. God bless and happy gardening to all.

That’s all for today. Thank you to everyone who collected these boxes for use in their hydroponics garden. May this year bring you happiness and bountiful harvests.

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We Are Turning the World Into Plastic


A few months back, we had a discussion about whether or not to use styroboxes because it’s bad for the environment. My answer is: it’s complicated.

We all agree that styrofoam is plastic. Are there other alternatives? Alternatives have a higher carbon footprint than plastic. Consider the energy cost of styrofoam fruit boxes compared to, let’s say, cardboard fruit boxes. You might be surprised to find out that manufacturing new styrofoam boxes uses less energy (less carbon footprint) than recycled cardboard boxes. Styrofoam box production won’t cease if we stop using them as growing boxes. They are meant for grape production not SNAP Hydroponics growers.

Styrofoam is recyclable. In other countries they are collected and recycled. Currently, our country lack the facilities to recycle them. As hydroponics growers we are actually helping the environment in more ways than one.

By holding onto these styrofoam boxes in the form of growing boxes. We are keeping them off our land and oceans while we wait for our government to provide us with the necessary facility to recycle them.

We are turning the world into plastic and we must do our part to stop that from happening.

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When was the Last Time You Planted a Tree?

As I was planting the acacia (Albizia saman) seeds I got from UPLB, I wondered how often other people take time to plant a tree. I wish people plant trees often. I asked my self the same question and I wonder.

Trees are a big part of my childhood. The oldest memory I can recall is a picture of the gigantic dapdap tree by the seashore. In this scene I remember my father holding my hand as we walk. A fishing net is draped over the dapdap’s branch. This is the place where children and adults from our neighbourhood gather. As a child my grandmother will always ask: “Saan ka pupunta?” My reply is always: “Dyan lang po sa dapdap.”

This tree is amazing. I’ve been around it so much that I remember clearly how it changes in the span of a year. It’s usually leafy in the cold but relatively calm months of December to February. By the summer months, it attracts migratory (or just unusual) birds. Bird shooters often come to hunt them with their airguns. It goes full bloom near the end of the summer. It’s flowers are orange to red and from afar the canopy is mostly red. When the wind blows the flowers sway and it looks as if the tree is burning. By the middle of the year it is bearing fruits. Bats make the tree their home during this period. There are so many of them I almost pity the people who lives near the tree. They probably couldn’t sleep while the bats are in a feeding frenzy. For the rest of the year it’s the rainy season. The tree goes leafless from time to time because of the strong winds and rain specially during the peak of the typhoon season.

Just a few years ago my brother told me that the dapdap tree is gone. Some how he knows that this will come as a sad news for me, and it is. I don’t even have a picture of it. Just memories. It is something I will never ever see again. Unfortunately, most of the trees I recall from my youth is gone.

I can only recall a couple of times when I was asked to plant a tree and this was when I was in high school. I know these trees grew to maturity because I personally checked them when I was in college. Both of them are gone now as well.

It’s been many years since I realised that majestic trees are disappearing faster than people care to notice. For the past few years, I pledged that I will plant at least three trees on my birthday and each time I failed. That was a mistake. I no longer wait for any occasion to plant a tree. I just plant them whenever I can.

If it has been a while since you last planted a tree. Please do plant one. If you are in the city plant one in a nursery pot. In a few months you’ll have a healthy sapling. Bring it with you on you next trip to the province. Ask your lola where you can plant your tree. Use the GPS feature on your phone so you know exactly where your tree is. Visit it as often as you can. Share pictures of it on social media. Let the world know you planted a tree. One day many years from now, you’ll have a majestic tree that owes its life to you. It might even outlive you. Isn’t that a pretty thought?

Please take care of our trees.