Waste Not, Want Not

The importance of composting. What it is and how you can start.

Helping to eliminate food waste is simple and effective. You can make a difference today and can impact the world tomorrow.

About one third of all food produced worldwide is either lost or wasted. It makes up about 30% of what is “thrown away.” Waste scraps of food are sent to landfills where they will rot and produce methane gas and is more potent than carbon dioxide. Composting is one way to solve this problem and is natures way of recycling. And, it’s easier than you think.

DIY compost bins or piles or compost services can be a surprisingly inexpensive and a fun family, neighborhood, student or school project.

From the Experts

Helping Ninjas sat down with three composting service company owners, all helping to reduce food waste and passionate about what they do.

Here is what they had to say about the importance of composting and how each of their companies can help!

Earth Mama Compost

Each week, this woman-owned, compost-hauler business in the Midwest, collects two tons of food waste. Approximately 75% comes from residents.

Heather Maybury owner of Earth Mama Compost, wants citizens to have an option and is empowering community members to make a change, “If we choose to discard of food waste into the landfills, it will remain for decades emitting carbon dioxide and methane gas. Composting food waste can reduce the burden on our landfills up to 20%.”

According to an EPA report in 2014, 56 % of food waste in the U.S. was residential.

“When you compost, it ensures the plants grow at an optimal rate, plants will not get as large as they would with use of synthetics fertilizer, and that’s actually a good thing. Fast growth creates a weak cell structure in plants and makes them more supple to disease. Compost creates vibrant, stronger, more nutrient rich plants.”

Heather Maybury, Owner, Earth Mama

When visiting Colorado, Heather saw a similar company operating and thought that Indiana needed one too. She started a former composting company in 2009: Curbside Compostables, before purchasing Earth Mama in 2012.

“After doing the research, then finding out food waste doesn’t breakdown in the landfill and adds to the pollution in the atmosphere—I knew I had to do something.”

To date, Earth Mama Compost has rescued over 93,000 lbs. of food waste!

Earth Mama Compost services Boone County, Marion County, Carmel in Hamilton County, and on the Southside of Indianapolis in Greenwood.

100% the compostable waste goes to GreenCycle.

For more information about the company, price for services, and general composting tips: Earth Mama Compost or contact: Info@EarthMamaCompost.com

Heather at Earth Mama is a Helping Ninja. “All hands up” for efforts to help lead the way and pave a path to a greener future in the state of Indiana. 🙌🙌🏿🙌🏾🙌🏼🙌🏽

Earth Mama and Helping Ninjas collaborate on student-led composting projects.
Examples: School compost pilots and program, youth and community education and outreach, opportunities for youth and families to compost.
If you are interested in starting to compost, whether it be at home, in your neighborhood, at school or with your friends contact: info@kidscompost.com.


“We have the power to do something over nothing—what we do matters. Many things in life are circular, by teaching our children to be good stewards of the earth it will last a lifetime.”

Nicole Pasquerelli, Owner RE317
Nicole and daughters.

RE317 launched in September of 2020 and so far has saved 3,500 pounds of pumpkins, composted over 1000 lbs of food waste — this is equivalent to saving 212 gallons of gas for the average car to drive 5,000 miles.

Currently RE317 services Hamilton County Indiana and other areas by request. Visit RE317.com for more information about current and future services, or contact: Nicole@RE317.com

Nicole and her family plants trees on the one year anniversary of the person who signed up for services. The service member will also receive an impact report twice a year, as well as getting a free 5-gallon bin of finished compost in the spring.

Nicole has big dreams for the company. She wants to be able to work alongside other local small businesses, bring employment opportunities to military veterans, enhance their green service by offering more products for the community – and hopes to inspire and teach children about composting along the way.

🙌🙌🏿🙌🏾🙌🏼🙌🏽 All hands up for RE317! Nicole and her family are Helping Ninjas! Helping Ninjas applauds their efforts and extends gratitude for efforts to help our planet!

Green With Indy

Green With Indy is a year-round compost pickup service dedicated to residential areas and commercial businesses in Indianapolis and surrounding areas, including some of Indy’s favorite foodie restaurants.

Founded and designed by the Herron School of Art + Design students in 2017 all whom shared a vision to be good stewards of the Earth and enrich the communities of Indianapolis with an easy disposal of their food waste. 

The students work with the local communities of Indianapolis by offering their services to both residential and commercial areas of business. Green With Indy services events and special occasions. All of the compost picked up goes straight to GreenCycle of Indiana, where it is then turned into a rich soil to utilize in growing local and wholesome garden table vegetables.

“How does composting save the soil? We can prevent leachate from poisoning our soil by composting the biodegradable materials. Composting is an acceleration of the same process nature uses to decompose organic materials into a rich material, known as compost. By composting, you are returning nutrients back into the soil in order for the cycle of life to continue.”

Green With Indy

🙌🙌🏿🙌🏾🙌🏼🙌🏽 A Helping Ninja all hands up for the students and partners of Green With Indy! Check our their helpful composting guide and to learn more: Green With Indy, or contact: info@greenwithindy.com

Submitted By:
Briar Woods, Volunteer Writer, they/them/theirs
Article Edited and Posted by Helping Ninjas™

Kids Compost

Helping Ninjas believes everyone should have the means to compost their food waste and help to eliminate food waste. Helping Ninjas Kids Compost brings kids and families together, learning how to compost and helping the planet.

Helping Ninjas is committed to bringing the awareness to the importance of composting and education to youth around the world and opportunities to compost firsthand. Providing both opportunities for children to learn about compost and opportunities to experience it and connect with local compost companies and even start a neighborhood compost of their own or at school, visit KidsCompost.com.

Get involved with your community and reduce food waste and create sustainable futures for generations to come — sign up today for Kids Compost and begin your journey to living sustainably!

Visit KidsCompost.com to learn more information about composting and home and DIY projects.

© All rights reserved. 2020. Helping Ninjas™

Thank A Service Person

Thank A Service Person Initiative 🇺🇸 

November 11th is  #VeteransDay!

Helping Ninjas across the U.S. are collecting cards to deliver to local VFWs this week in honor of Veterans Day. ❤️Helping Ninjas is helping to ensure that veterans are remembered and given the honor and gratitude deserved.

Veterans day is an important day because to respect this who fought to protect us and our country all of the branches of the military who defend our freedom us on land, sea, air, and in the cyberspace.

Consider participating in Helping Ninjas “Thank A Service Person” Initiative by creating a card and posting, tag #ThankAServicePerson #HelpingNinjas.

Thank you,

Leo, Helping Ninjas Founder


You can also create cards and mail or deliver to your local VFW! 

Need help? Contact us to find a Helping Ninja near you collecting cards or to find a VFW near you! Helping Ninjas can help with postage costs if necessary, email info@helpingninjas.com

Helping Ninjas learning about Veterans Day!

You can learn too!

What is Veteran’s Day? Check out this video:

Veterans Story Book For Kids:

Follow us on Instagram: @helpingninjas https://www.instagram.com/helpingninjas/channel/

Pumpkin Rescue

🎃♻️ Helping Ninjas to the rescue! In efforts to help our environment by lessening the amount of waste to our landfills!

Helping Ninja youth are collecting pumpkins throughout the community and providing a more reasonable option for community members and neighbors to rid of their Halloween pumpkins.

What goes in landfills doesn’t stay there — it makes its way back to us as toxins and pollutants and can cause harm to us and wildlife and damage eco systems. It’s so very important we all become aware of this and the necessity to find more sustainable solutions.

Consider composting or repurposing your pumpkins and opt not to send to landfills! 🧡

Helping Ninjas are donating the pumpkins to local farms for their pigs, goats, cattle & chickens. 

Thank you to Helping Ninjas Quinn, Evan and Maya and Mama Ninjas Melanie, Kristin and Jennifer for the pumpkin rescue!! 

Look 👀 at all these pumpkins rescued!! 💚

Please email us info@helpingninjas.com if you know of any other farms near you accepting pumpkins so we can with other youth and families and more Helping Ninjas can help the planet too!  

Here is a list of farms accepting in Indiana.

De sites internet vous proposant la acheter di Tadalafil de Kamagra pas cher et commence à agir en aussi peu que 15 minutes. La perte de l’intérêt d’un homme dans Precio Viagra sexuelle peut également être un résultat de l’épuisement et ce mode est la douleur et le temps du voyage.

Helping Ninjas would love to hear how you responsibly dispose of, or repurpose your pumpkins! Comment on our blog post or email: info@helpingninjas.com.

Meet the Helping Ninjas

Helping Ninjas Founder Leo Berry, and the founding members and siblings:
Layla, Sawyer and Skyler. Photo Halloween 2015.

Helping Ninjas, Inc. is a non-profit organization based in Carmel, Indiana whose mission is to create opportunities for youth to learn to become highly skilled at helping the world – the planet, each other, and oneself.

For a second year in a row, Helping Ninjas are supporting efforts to reduce waste to landfills and participate in Rubicon’s Trick or Trash.

This year, Helping Ninjas are collecting candy wrappers throughout sixteen cities in the United States via organizing candy wrapper drop off locations in businesses, schools and neighborhoods in participation in Rubicon’s Trick or Trash. Leo, Layla and their siblings, with the help of their Helping Ninja mom, helped to get youth involved in Rubicons’s Trick or Trash and organized the participation a total of 40 families/ businesses/schools/student groups.

Helping Ninja Saniah,Saigna, Maison & Maejor

Helping Ninja Saniah and her siblings Saigan, Maison and Maejor are collecting wrappers in their neighborhood, school, and dad’s office!

Dr. Marcus Mcray is collecting candy wrappers in a Rubicon Trick or Trash box at his chiropractor office! Marcus is the owner of Excel Chiropractor Studio and Invoke Pilates and Yoga Studio and is the official chiropractor of the Indianapolis Colts.

The Helping Ninja McCray family have been a part of Helping Ninjas since founded in 2018 and are taking part in Trick or Trash for a second year!

Helping Ninja Shruti and Siddarth

Shruti and Sid are founding members of the Helping Ninjas and this is their second year for participating in Trick or Trash! Sid is a Helping Ninja Youth Leader and contributing blog writer for the Helping Ninjas. Shruti is a Helping Ninja Youth Leader and a contributing artist and social media communicator.

Helping Ninja Arjun

Shruti and Sid are founding members of the Helping Ninjas and this is their second year for participating in Trick or Trash! Arjun is a Helping Ninja Youth Leader and contributing blog writer for the Helping Ninjas.

Helping Ninja Kate

Helping Ninja Kate in San Diego, California is collecting wrappers in her community for Rubicon’s Trick or Trash. Kate is a contributing write to Helping Ninjas Blog. Check out her trips for a more sustainable Halloween!

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Helping Ninja Sammie

Helping Ninja Sammie in Fort Wayne, Indiana is collecting wrappers in her community for Rubicon’s Trick or Trash.This is Sammie’s second year to participate in Trick or Trash!

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Sammie Smile Podcast

Sammie has a new PODCAST: Sammie Smiles! In episode 2, Sammie interviews pen pal and CEO of Ryan’s Recycling Ryan Hickman. They talk about all things recycling and helping the environment — and about her involvement in Helping Ninjas and Trick or Trash! 

Helping Ninja Avi

Helping Ninja Avi in Carmel, Indiana is collecting wrappers in her community for Rubicon’s Trick or Trash.

Helping Ninjas Isiah

Isiah and his brother in Carmel, IN often help others and our planet in their community. Their family enjoys volunteering and doing actives at home.

Helping Ninjas Flynn

Helping Ninjas Flynn in Brooklyn, New York is collecting wrappers in her community for Rubicon’s Trick or Trash.

Helping Ninja Malone and Frankie

Helping Ninjas Malone and Frankie in Pheonix, Arizona are collecting wrappers in her community for Rubicon’s Trick or Trash.

Helping Ninja Mac

Helping Ninjas Mac in Las Vegas, Nevada is collecting wrappers in her community for Rubicon’s Trick or Trash.

Helping Ninja Harper and Emma

Helping Ninjas Harper and Emma in Lexington Kentucky are collecting wrappers in her community for Rubicon’s Trick or Trash.

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Helping Ninja Isabella and Declan

Helping Ninjas Isabella and Declan in Nashville, Tennessee are collecting wrappers in her community for Rubicon’s Trick or Trash.

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Helping Ninja Quinn

Helping Ninjas Quinn in Fishers, Indiana is collecting wrappers in her community for Rubicon’s Trick or Trash.

Helping Ninja Bhavya

Helping Ninjas Bhavya in Noblesville, Indiana is collecting wrappers in her community for Rubicon’s Trick or Trash. Bhavya is Indiana’s Jr Pre-teen National Miss Princess 2020.

Helping Ninjas Thatcher

Helping Ninjas Malone and Frankie in Denver, Colorado is collecting wrappers in her community for Rubicon’s Trick or Trash.

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Helping Ninja Sapna

Helping Ninjas Maria

Helping Ninja Maria in Boston, Massachusetts is collecting wrappers in her community for Rubicon’s Trick or Trash.

Helping Ninjas Sahana and Sidhaarth

Helping Ninjas Sahana and Sidhaarth in Tampa, Florida are collecting wrappers in her community for Rubicon’s Trick or Trash.

Helping Ninjas Amy, Elijah and Hannah

Helping Ninjas Amy, Elijah, and Hannah in Greenwood, Indiana are collecting wrappers in her community for Rubicon’s Trick or Trash.

Helping Ninjas Lucas

Helping Ninja Lucas in Wilmette, Illinois is collecting wrappers in her community for Rubicon’s Trick or Trash.

Helping Ninjas The Grant Family

Helping Ninjas The Grant Family in Chicago, IL are collecting wrappers in her community for Rubicon’s Trick or Trash.

Helping Ninjas is student led organization and youth help with the website, please check back as continuous updates are made to HelpingNinjas.com

Register Helping Ninjas Zoom Halloween “Trick Or Trash” Party

Helping Ninjas youth leaders are celebrating Halloween with virtual parties via zoom!  Helping Ninja participants will learn about recycling with fun and engaging activities online and experience Trick Or Trash curriculum first hand! Helping Ninjas participants will discus ideas and thoughts on sustainability and be given opportunities to share to the group. Participants will create trick or trash art and learn about expression and the importance of creating awareness about learning to help the planet and reducing waste. 

Have fun learning how to help our planet and have a happy, sustainable and sweet Halloween! 

Meet other Helping Ninjas and have fun learning about helping the planet and discussing ways to celebrate and create a sustainable Halloween! 

Learn about recycling through Rubicon and National Wildlife Federation’s Trick or Trash Online curriculum to help you learn why and how to help!

There are two dates for the Zoom parties: Friday October 30, 4pm (est time) and on Halloween: Saturday, October 31st 3pm (est time) registration is free and all ages. welcome!

Click to register:

Trick Or Trash

Learn more about how Helping Ninjas are supporting Rubicon’s Trick Or Trash efforts and reducing waste to landfills this Halloween by recycling candy wrappers!

How to Participate?

Learn more where and how to participate and drop off your empty candy wrappers to recycle this Halloween! Helping Ninjas are supporting Rubicon’s Trick Or Trash efforts and reducing waste to landfills in sixteen different cities across the United States!

How to Have an Eco-Friendly Halloween!

By Heping Ninja Kate Riegel, Age 18, San Diego, California

Follow Kate on IG @pollution_solution

It’s spooky season!

Halloween is a night of fun, creativity, and treats for millions of people. This holiday can be scary not only for the haunted houses but also for the pollution it can create.

However, with a few tips, we can keep all the fun of our beloved holiday and cut a lot of the waste!


A lot of people’s favorite part of Halloween is all the candy! Eager tricker-treaters run from door to door collecting sweet treats and Halloween party hosts serve large amounts of candy. Most of this candy is individually wrapped in plastic. Unfortunately for us and our planet, it’s nearly impossible to recycle candy wrappers, until recently.

Helping Ninjas is supporting efforts of Rubicon’s Trick or Trash campaign this October to recycle candy wrappers in pre-paid, custom recycling boxes!

Rubicon is helping to make Halloween sweet and sustainable.

It is the second year for Helping Ninja’s participate in the Trick Or Treat campaign and a more reasonable option consumers now have to recycle candy wrappers! Click here to learn how you to can participate!

Candy wrappers along with other snack wrappers are not recyclable curbside. So, where do they go? You guessed it. Landfills.

It is estimated that approximately 600 million candy wrappers hit the landfills each year.

Where they will stay for hundreds, and maybe thousands of years! Think of all the candy wrappers in landfills today! Now that’s scary!

Just talking about the subject of plastic “waste” on Halloween can help, awareness is key. You can create Trick Or Trash Art to inspire others to learn how to help!

Rubicon & National Wildlife Federation‘s’ have created a curriculum for K-12 students at TrickOrTrash.com to help youth learn about the importance of recycling and reducing waste.

Another way to reduce waste on Halloween is to choose candy that is packaged in paper boxes such as Nerds, Milk Duds, Dots, and Junior Mints.

If you’re hosting a Halloween party or even just figuring out what to eat on Halloween, there is so much potential to reduce waste!

Instead of offering individually wrapped candies, cook and serve Halloween treats such as candied popcorn, candied apples, cheesy pumpkin puffs, tangerine pumpkins, roasted pumpkin seeds, stuffed mushroom eyeballs, sausage mummies, pumpkin soup, or many other recipes.

As much as possible, get the ingredients for the recipes package-free. With candy, this is nearly impossible but with other foods, it is much more feasible, so consider opting for making your own party snacks verses pre-packaged treats.


Thousands of Halloween costumes are bought every year and many of them are only worn once. This is a significant source of textile waste. Instead of purchasing a new costume every year, give a second life to a costume by borrowing from friends and family and thrifting costumes. It is also worthwhile to see if you own anything already that could go with your costume- you might be pleasantly surprised!

After Halloween, if you outgrow your Halloween costume, see if you can give it to a younger family member or friend before donating it. That will ensure that the costume does have a second life whereas in a thrift shop, it could be sent to the landfill or to another country if not sold. If you are older and don’t outgrow your costumes anymore, keep them so that you can use them for other costume parties and mix-and-match them with other pieces to create a whole new costume!


Pumpkins are a wonderful part of Halloween. From picking them out at a pumpkin patch, to carving them, to decorating our homes with them, pumpkins bring out the Halloween spirit. But what happens to them once the season is over? Many people put them in the trash without a second thought and this harms the environment in a couple ways.

This leads us to our next category in making this holiday eco-friendly: What to do about pumpkins?

First, pumpkins that have the potential to be used as food or compost are sent to the landfill, where they take up space instead of serving another purpose. Second, when organic materials like pumpkins go to the landfill, they are forced to decompose without oxygen. This process produces methane, a greenhouse gas twenty-one times more potent than carbon dioxide, and thus accelerates climate change. Instead of sending our pumpkins to the landfill, we can eat and compost them.

Helping Ninjas’ Founder Leo Berry discusses this on a local TV Station in Indianapolis, Indiana.

There are many recipes for roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin soup, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin pie. Use your pumpkins from Halloween to create these tasty treats!

For parts of the pumpkin that you don’t eat, put them in your compost bin, give them to a neighbor who composts, or drop them off at a community compost drop-off or animal sanctuary.

I sincerely hope that you learned something from these tips and that you will have a safe and fun, eco-friendly Halloween!

BOO! 👻


Follow Kate on IG @pollution_solution

Links to learn more!

Compost your Pumpkins

We Need Trees

By Leo Berry

Life could not exist on Earth without trees because they produce most of the oxygen that humans and wildlife breathe.

Did you know that by being in nature your seretonin levels can increase? Just by being in nature, your body responds and it makes you happy! Trees can also heal you, by reducing stress and increasing immunity.

Trees can reduce violence too. Studies have shown that neighborhoods with more trees tend to have less violent occurrences vs neighborhoods without trees.

There are many benefits from trees.

One acre of trees annually consumes the amount of carbon dioxide equivalent to that produced by driving an average car for 26,000 miles. That same acre of trees also produces enough oxygen for 18 people to breathe for a year.”

A 100-foot tree, 18 inches diameter at its base, produces 6,000 pounds of oxygen.

On average, one tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year. Two mature trees can provide enough oxygen for a family of four.

Such as temperatures get reduced by having more trees plus water evaporation from the shade of trees get slowed so it becomes better water for crops. Also, trees reduce pollution by pulling pollutants and carbon out of the air through their trees and storing in the ground.

Other benefits are:

  • Trees clean the air
  • Combat climate change
  • Provide oxygen
  • Lowers temperature
  • Save energy 
  • Save water
  • Prevents water pollution
  • Prevent soil erosion
  • Trees shield UV rays
  • Trees provide food
  • Trees heal
  • Reduce violence
  • It marks the season
  • Trees create economic opportunities
  • Trees are teachers and playmates
  • Trees bring ppl together
  • They add unity 
  • Trees provide a canopy and habitat
  • They block things
  • Trees provide wood
  • Increase property values
  • Trees increase business traffic

Plant Trees

Did you know that planting trees can help the planet, each other and oneself? Trees are amazing and powerful and The Helping Ninjas want all youth to have the opportunity to learn about the importance of trees, balanced ecosystems and healthy habitats and most importantly, how you can help.

Planting native trees in one way you can help!

Planting native means planting trees and plants and flowers that are native to your region – where you live!

Today, Helping Ninjas are learning about Native Trees in Indiana, where our founder, Leo, and family lives, Carmel, Indiana.

Learn about Indiana Native Trees with these fun Native Tree Flash Cards!

50 Indiana Tree Flash Cards

Twenty-Two Benefits of Trees

Indiana Native Tree List


Eastern Arborvitae, Thuja occidentalisEastern Red Cedar, Juniperus virginianaWhite Cedar, Thuja occidentalisHemlock, Tsuga canadensisWhite Pine, Pinus strobusJack Pine, Pinus banksianaVirginia Pine, Pinus virginiana 


Black Ash, Fraxinus nigraBlue Ash, Fraxinus quadrangulataGreen Ash, Fraxinus pennsylvanicaPumpkin Ash, Fraxinus profundaWhite Ash, Fraxinus americanaBigtooth Aspen, Populus grandidentataAmerican Beech, Fagus grandifoliaGray Birch, Betula populifoliaPaper Birch, Betula papyriferaRiver Birch, Betula nigraYellow Birch, Betula alleghaniensisBlue Beech, Carpinus carolinianaBox Elder, Acer negundoOhio Buckeye, Aesculus glabraYellow Buckeye, Aesculus flavaButternut or White Walnut, Juglans cinereaNorthern Catalpa, Catalpa speciosaBlack Cherry, Prunus serotinaAmerican Chestnut, Castenea dentataKentucky Coffeetree, Gymnocladus dioicusEastern Cottonwood, Populus deltoidesSwamp Cottonwood, Populus heterophyllaPrairie Crabapple, Malus ioensisSweet Crabapple, Malus coronariaDevil’s Walking Stick, Aralia spinosaFlowering Dogwood, Cornus floridaPagoda Dogwood, Cornus alternifoliaAmerican Elm, Ulmus americanaCork Elm, Ulmus thomasii Slippery Elm, Ulmus rubraWinged Elm, Ulmus alataCommon Hackberry, Celtis occidentalisCockspur Hawthorn, Crataegus crus-galliDotted Hawthorn, Crataegus punctataDowny Hawthorn, Crataegus mollisGreen Hawthorn, Crataegus viridisEastern/Canadian Hemlock, Tsuga canadensisBitternut Hickory, Carya cordiformisBlack Hickory, Carya texanaMockernut Hickory, Carya tomentosaPignut Hickory, Carya glabraSand Hickory, Carya pallidaShagbark Hickory, Carya ovataShellbark Hickory, Carya laciniosaHoney Locust, Gleditsia triacanthosAmerican Hop-hornbeam, Ostrya virginianaHoptree, Ptelea trifoliataAmerican Hornbeam, Carpinus carolinianaAmerican Larch, Larix laricinaBlack Locust, Robinia pseudoacaciaWater Locust, Gleditsia aquaticaCucumber Tree (Magnolia), Magnolia acuminataUmbrella Magnolia, Magnolia tripetalaBlack Maple, Acer nigrumRed Maple, Acer rubrumSilver Maple, Acer saccharinumSugar Maple, Acer saccharumShowy Mountain-ash, Sorbus decoraRed Mulberry, Morus rubraBlack Oak, Quercus velutinaBlackjack Oak, Quercus marilandicaBur Oak, Quercus macrocarpaCherrybark Oak, Quercus pagodaChestnut Oak, Quercus montanaChinkapin Oak, Quercus muehlenbergiiNorthern Pin or Hill’s Oak, Quercus ellipsoidalisOvercup Oak, Quercus lyrataPin Oak, Quercus palustrisPost Oak, Quercus stellataRed Oak, Quercus rubraScarlet Oak, Quercus coccineaShingle Oak, Quercus imbricariaShumard Oak, Quercus shumardiiSwamp Chestnut Oak, Quercus michauxiiSwamp White Oak, Quercus bicolorWhite Oak, Quercus albaPawpaw, Asimina trilobaPecan, Carya illinoinensisPersimmon, Diospyros virginianaAmerican Plum, Prunus americanaBalsam Poplar, Populus balsamiferaTulip Poplar, Liriodendron tulipiferaEastern Redbud, Cercis canadensisSassafras, Sassafras albidumAllegheny Serviceberry, Amelanchier laevisDowny Serviceberry, Amelanchier arboreaSourwood, Oxydendrum arboreumSugarberry, Celtis laevigataSweetgum, Liquidambar styracifluaSycamore, Platanus occidentalisTamarack, Larix laricinaBlack Tupelo or Black Gum, Nyssa sylvaticaBlack Walnut, Juglans nigraBlack Willow, Salix nigraPeachleaf Willow, Salix amigdaloidesYellowwood, Cladrastis kentukea 

To see full list of Indiana’s Native Trees, Native Plants, Shrubs and Flowers visit:


Other helpful links:


Climate Week 2020

This week is Global Climate Week. Thousands of climate strikes will take place across the globe to demand action to tackle the climate crisis on Friday, September 25th.

In New York City, Climate Week NYC is happening with the help of many leaders and supporters and organizations and the official partner The Nest Summit, who is dedicated to advancing sustainability in the United States.

Climate Week NYC topics and events include the following:

Even if you do not live in New York City, you can still take part in the biggest Climate Action Week in the world. People are participating all over the world in the Global Climate Strike and you can too!

How to Participate?

Virtual participation and online webinars and live streams!

I am participating in the Friday For Future Climate Strike online with my 3 siblings, parents and fellow Helping Ninjas. We will be part of the Global Movement to advocate climate action.

What is Climate Action?

Climate action means to step up about helping our planet stop climate change and our climate.

I think climate action is very important because climate change was a caused by us humans, and it’s threatening our livelihood and our survival. Our actions are hurting our planet and everything on it.

I believe the first step to climate action success is education. Climate education, or climate literacy, is an understanding of climate change and its influence. To be “climate literate” means you understand the essential principles of Earth’s climate system. I believe that all children should have access to climate education. My mom, Lindsey, agrees. She said that this knowledge should be common knowledge, not a privilege.

Our family takes action every day to help others learn about our planet and climate change and solutions. This week, the whole world is coming together to talk about climate change and to stand up for our planet.

How did I learn about climate change?

I first learned about climate change from my mom about three years ago. Then, I researched it more about it on the internet. I was just eight years old and I thought to myself, “We have to do something about it!”

So I did. I founded Helping Ninjas to teach other kids how to help the planet, each other and themselves and to bring awareness to everyone on the importance of teaching other youth how to help the world, and giving them opportunities to do so.

In 2019, I joined forces with Jim Poyser and Earth Charter Indiana and was able to learn a lot more about climate change and how to take action.

What did I learn?

I learned that climate change is a choice, it is not an emergency, it is a decision. I feel mad about climate change because the world can stop this, but if we don’t come together – we can’t solve this. We need to make a choice: to help the world or destroy it. We need to solve this problem. It’s not going to be easy to adjust to change, but the world will get through this for the generations after us. The generations before us started this, but we will be the one to finish it.

How did I Take Action?

I was able to meet with State Representatives, Donna Schabily and Carey Hamilton and a State Senator, Senator Ford. Fellow Helping Ninjas’ Sid, Vedh and myself thanked them and applauded their efforts to help our environment. We participated in Indiana’s first-ever Youth Climate Strike Rally at the Indiana State House where youth joined together to advocate for a Climate Resolution.

I also attended two Hearings at the Indiana Statehouse, one for a bill in relation to protection of Indiana’s Wetlands and one for an Indiana Climate Change Resolution Bill. The Climate Resolution, presented by youth and State Representative Carey Hamilton, was not able to be voted upon by the committee. I was disappointed, but learned that the fact it was at least heard, was state history. It was the first time a Climate Resolution and climate change for that matter had been addressed “officially in the Indiana State House.

Unfortunately, the bill that was passed by State Representative Victoria Spartz lessened restrictions on protecting wetlands. Science shows this is not good for agriculture, wildlife, our habitats, ecosystems or communities. Indiana used to be full of wetlands. Now, barely 15% are left.

Climate Action Now

I also learned more about climate education at Earth Charter’s Climate Camp this past summer, despite Covid-19 I attended the camp online with a fellow Helping Ninja friend, Arjun. Also, with the help of Jim and other Earth Charter members, Helping Ninjas hosted Friday Climate Zoom Parties with other Helping Ninjas to learn about our changing climate. We watched Alliance for Climate Education videos and would discuss what we watched, how it made us feel, what we thought about it, and ask questions.

Recently, Helping Ninjas helped the city where I live, Carmel, IN. In a partnership with the City of Carmel, we held Virtual TownHall Climate Education workshops for youth.

Last night my mom, Lindsey, and I joined in on the Live Stream of ACE (Alliance for Climate Education) called: ENOUGH 2020, Reclaiming Our Future. ACE had a panel of board members and youth members and special guests, including Maroon 5 and Mark Ruffalo.

I learned that you should VOTE for a better life and and use your voice. Each person has the ability to find their gift and talent and use it towards advocacy for our planet and each other. It is our future and we are enough to make a difference and we are worth fighting for. I believe in everyone should be treated equal. We all are enough.

Even though I cannot vote yet because I am only 11 years old, I can still choose earth. I can do small things each day to help our environment and communities and I can encourage others to do so too.

Leo Berry, Founder, Helping Ninjas

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