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Compost Successfully Part 2: Troubleshooting and Uses for Finished Compost

By Lauren Mangion
December 19, 2008
File under: Landscaping, Natural Alternatives, Remodeling Green


In part one I went over the benefits of compost as a soil amendment and to reintroduce to the soil beneficial bacteria, minerals and nutrients that get depleted over time. In this section of Compost Successfully, we will look at troubleshooting and uses for the finished compost. Troubleshooting is generally a matter of re-balancing through returning to the fundamental principles of heat, moisture, nitrogen and carbon. If your pile is not working and seems not to be breaking down, likely you need to turn it to encourage mixing of materials and decomposition.

Using a pitchfork, stick or any other strong implement, pull up the materials from the bottom and turn into the pile. The quicker you want finished compost, the more often you will want to mix. I try to do it once a week. Turning also overlaps with the challenge of a smelly pile. If the material gets compacted and is not moved around, the decomposition will become anaerobic (no oxygen) and successful backyard composting is an aerobic process. An offensive smell may also be attributed to a pile that is too wet. Dry it out again by ceasing to water, and adding more carbon (brown material). …read more of Compost Successfully Part 2: Troubleshooting and Uses for Finished Compost here

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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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Tax Credit for Building Green

By Loretta White
December 15, 2008
File under: Heating Systems, Remodeling Green


Credits for home owners, businesses and utilities have been around for many years, but, we all had a scare this year as the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT) was on the cutting table. Being a member of the Women in Wind and other green groups, I got out there and lobbied for its extension. Originally this legislation was enacted in 2005 and today it is a part of The EMERGENCY ECONOMIC STABILIZATION ACT OF 2008.

The idea is to generate reductions in emissions and fossil fuels, increase the benefits to creating more efficient houses, cars and businesses., make the U.S. a technology base for renewable energy and create millions of jobs while doing all that.

Not only can you turn to a green lifestyle, but, you can qualify for Federal Grant money, U.S., State tax credits and additionally utility and state …read more of Tax Credit for Building Green 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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