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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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Natural Pest Control – Family Fun with Praying Mantises

By Loretta White
December 9, 2008
File under: Landscaping, Natural Alternatives


Reducing pests naturally can be a fun, educational and all around fun family project. For under $10.00 you can harvest your own praying mantis pods and release them into your yard. These carnivorous, graceful and wonderful creatures eat invasive insects and ticks! How great is that!

The real fun for our family was the race to spread the hatchlings immediately after they arrived. In an exciting reverse egg hunt placing the 100’s of babies around the yard on trees and plants before they ate each other. They even make good household pets, eating raw meat or insects from your fingers.

As a small child I remember praying mantises were already an endangered species, but, luckily relatively prevalent in the salt water marshes of the Massachusetts Southern coastal environment I grew up in. we never had a tick once that I can remember.

Recently, attending the Massachusetts Horticultural Societies annual event in Boston, we discovered …read more of Natural Pest Control – Family Fun with Praying Mantises here

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New Housing Concept?

By Ted Nelson
December 4, 2008
File under: Green Building Design, New Communities


Green building means more than just using low-VOC paint. While any small steps we can take immediately are great, in the long-run we have to develop a fully sustainable built environment for ourselves and our communities. In my last green building entry, I looked at a whole town being built around the principals of environmentally sustainable development, but recently I came across a smaller scale solution in a NY Times article: cohousing. The cohousing model originated in Denmark in the 1960s, and has since spread around the world: there are over 100 cohousing communities in the US and Canada today, with as many as 100 more in the pipeline. These communities range from 7 to 67 seperate residences, with most falling somewhere between 20 and 40. Cohousing developments can be urban, suburban, or rural, as the multitude of example in The Cohousing Association of the United States’ (Coho/US) website demonstrates. The 6 defining characteristics of cohousing according to Coho/US:

1. Participatory process. A group of buyers usually forms before construction and funds the project together.

2. Neighborhood design. The community then works with an architect to create its ideal living environment. These first two features make cohousing a very fluid process, limited only by the imaginations and desires of the project’s initial residents. …read more of New Housing Concept? here

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