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Compost Successfully: Part 1

By Lauren Mangion
December 17, 2008
File under: Landscaping, Natural Alternatives, Remodeling Green


Waste reduction is a main tenet of earth-friendly living, and composting is one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce your landfill-bound waste by 30-40%. The earthy and nutrient-rich humus that your fruit and veggie scraps and yard waste become is a coveted resource for any gardener. Good compost will restore nutrients and effective microorganisms to the soil web, which plants rely on for their nutrients. It makes an excellent soil amendment- allowing soil to retain moisture better, keeping weeds down and compost can act as a mulch, warming the soil in cooler temperatures and keeping it cool in heat.

Successful composting is not a complicated process. It is a matter of balance; and the good thing is that even when your pile is out of balance it is not difficult to make the necessary adjustments. …read more of Compost Successfully: Part 1 here

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Wiser Water- Easy Greywater Capturing System

By Lauren Mangion
December 12, 2008
File under: Green Building Design, Remodeling Green


I’ve spent a lot of time traveling in developing countries in Asia where water is a precious resource. A lot of people in the world use the same water source for drinking, cooking, bathing (people and livestock), defecating, and doing laundry. According to Environment Canada, globally 1 billion people cannot access potable drinking water and 2.4 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. I can’t imagine the surprise when people who have faced water shortages, or depend on one water source for all their drinking and living needs, come to an industrialized nation and see that we flush our drinking water down the toilet, literally. In North America, we eliminate into some of the cleanest water in the world.

A forward-thinking inventor has developed a system that captures the greywater from the bathroom sink, and uses it to flush the toilet. The Aqus Water Saving Device from WaterSaver Technologies Inc. was …read more of Wiser Water- Easy Greywater Capturing System here

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The Walls Are Alive

By Lauren Mangion
December 1, 2008
File under: Green Building Design, Green Building Techniques, Landscaping


Many of us have heard of the architectural virtues of green roofs, but what about applying the same concept to our walls? Green-, eco-, bio-, vegetated -, or living walls bring vertical gardening and drip irrigation techniques together into a panel system of plants built against existing indoor or outdoor walls.

While a wall of climbing vines could be considered a living wall, several building design companies have come up with a more technological system of a wood or steel frame with a number of cells ranging from forty-five to hundreds, depending on the size of the project. Plants grow in soil, or between layers of fibrous material (felt or plastic mesh) and are irrigated through a drip system with a line every few rows distributing water to all the cells.

Aside from the obvious aesthetic value of a wall of greenery, living walls also improve …read more of The Walls Are Alive here

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