Archive for the ‘Eco-Friendly Landscaping’ Category
September 11th, 2009
Pavement is one of the defining characteristics of our urban existence. From pop-culture terms like “asphalt jungle” to the Joni Mitchell song and its famous lyrics about paving paradise for parking lots, pavement is often used as a symbol of both the progress and peril of our urbanizing ways. Unfortunately, all of this pavement is more than a downer in our collective psyche. By catching car-based pollutants and funneling rainfall straight into storm drains and gutters, pavement destroys rivers and streams and kills the animals and plants that depend on them. Oh, and it also produces the dirty water that makes millions of people sick each year after they swim in polluted water.
Unfortunately, it’s much easier to lay pavement down than it is to take it out. The physical process is difficult, it’s hard to dispose of, and most of our zoning regulations and building codes make it difficult to remove once it’s in place. Decommissioning a parking lot or underused street for environmental reasons isn’t for the faint of heart, but fortunately there are some ambitious folks out there willing to confront the challenge head-on. Read on to see how they’re creating some beautiful and useful public spaces. (more…)
Popularity: 24% [?]
August 4th, 2009
It’s been a long time in coming, but California is finally taking the steps necessary to make installing a graywater treatment system a reality for homeowners across the state. That’s good news for all of us, for California’s strict building codes often become templates for other locales across the country. The plans have been in the works for awhile and were originally supposed to take effect in January 2011, but due emergency conditions caused by an extended drought they’ll instead take effect today (August 4).
So, what’s so new and different about the standards? (more…)
Popularity: 6% [?]
July 3rd, 2009
We know we need to save water, no really we know, but sometimes we just need a little encouragement to get beyond the low hanging fruit. It is fairly easy to install low flow faucets and showerheads in the house, conserve more, and take shorter showers, but when it comes to saving water outdoors, that’s another story. In most backyards, sprinkler systems were installed well before saving water was a huge issue like it is now, so systems are inefficient and wasteful. With enough time, money and work you could fully replant your yard with drought tolerant plants, rip out your lawn and install a highly efficient irrigation system. If you don’t have the time for that, here are a couple backyard projects you can tackle soon, like this weekend or this month. (more…)
Popularity: 9% [?]
June 23rd, 2009
Space is a precious commodity, especially now that so much of our backyard or balcony space is occupied by containers for growing organic vegetables. For those of you out there getting tight on space, but who still want beautiful flowers and plants to look at, consider a vertical garden. It’s organic art for your indoor or outdoor wall space and is a beautiful way to help filter air naturally and add humidity to your environment. Check out these beautiful and inspiring small vertical gardens. (Read this previous post for a discussion of the differences between green walls and green roofs.)
Popularity: 49% [?]
June 14th, 2009
Major League Baseball teams have been working hard these last couple of years to get better, faster, stronger and greener. In the spring of 2008, the MLB and NRDC partnered up to help major league teams become more sustainable, waste less, reduce energy use and educate their fans. The new effort is due to a number of interwoven factors, like concern for the environment, money savings, and a sense of responsibility to to their fans. Major League players and teams have hero status anyways, so it’s no surprise that many teams are proving to be excellent examples of eco-warriors.
Popularity: 7% [?]