Landscape design can be very fun and rewarding, especially if you’ve got a decent sized outdoor space to work with. There are a lot of different things that you have to consider when planning a new garden or outdoor space. These include what sort of plants you’re going to include, where you’re going to plant/install certain things, and how you’re going to keep your garden healthy.
In my opinion, mulching is one of the most important parts of designing and maintaining a healthy garden. Mulching has a huge range of benefits, and it’s generally used to make sure that you’re plants are living in a healthy, sustainable environment.
What Is Mulching?
Mulching refers to the action of placing mulch around the base of your plants. Mulch can be anything from composted organic matter to straw or wood chips. It has a range of functions, including keeping moisture in, reducing the amount of weeds in an area and providing a slow, consistent flow of nutrients to your plants.
Why Should I Mulch My Garden?
Mulching has a huge range of benefits. In general, it will make your garden look better, will make your plants grow better and will reduce the amount of garden maintenance you need to perform. Some of the more specific benefits of mulching include:
Businesses throughout Australia are opting for eco-friendly fire protection options as opposed to more traditional methods that can cause significant environmental damage. Being environmentally friendly is a huge positive for pretty much any business in the modern world, as consumers are becoming more aware of their carbon footprint and overall impact on the planet.
There are many reasons why you should use eco-friendly fire safety gear and also have a plan for the safe disposal of fire extinguishers when developing a fire safety plan for your business. Our top five reasons include:
As noted above, people throughout the world are becoming more aware of their environmental impact. Being able to show that your business is doing what it can to be environmentally friendly can help you stand out as the obvious choice for many consumers. This will help you increase your income, profits, and will make your business more successful in general.
In general, eco-friendly fire safety gear has a lot fewer negative health effects when compared to traditional toxic chemicals. Using is will help reduce the risk of either you or your employees being exposed to chemicals, reducing the potential for negative impacts on your health.
More and more people are finally beginning to realise why it’s so essential to swap to natural hair care products. According to Dianne Caine, aside from featuring organic and natural ingredients that are beneficial for your skin, hair, and body, they also don’t feature any harmful chemicals. Your everyday supermarket shampoo and conditioner still does.
Here’s what you may find lurking in your current hair care products. If that’s not enough to convince you of the benefit of a natural hair care regime, then nothing will.
Phthalates, in the scientific world, are known as endocrine disruptors. They mimic and interrupt hormone production, dramatically impacting men’s reproductive development. Yet, they continue to feature in a range of products. You can find them in your shampoo and conditioner to start with, but then you will notice them in laundry powder, deodorant, and almost anything with fragrance. While they can help to make things smell pretty, they are doing nothing to help your body.
While studies into parabens are not conclusive, there is some evidence to suggest that the use of parabens may increase the risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity. What’s more, in a British study in 2004, parabens were identified in breast tumours.
However, with research in various stages to prove parabens aren’t entirely safe, they still feature in body lotion, make up, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, and even toothpaste. If you needed another reason to try natural hair care products, this might be it.
In the modern world people are more aware than ever about climate change, environmental destruction and the impacts simple everyday actions are having on the Earth. If you think of yourself as an environmentally friendly person who is conscious of the effects that their actions are having on the planet, then you should consider adopting eco-friendly cleaning practices. If you own a commercial building that you don’t clean yourself, you can still use eco-friendly cleaning – simply choose the right commercial cleaner!
Our top 5 tips for eco-friendly office cleaning include:
If you own a large commercial or residential building, you probably don’t clean it yourself. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t adopt environmentally friendly cleaning practices. Simply search for a cleaning contractor who is happy to clean the way you want them to. There are plenty of options out there, so make sure that you do your research and speak to a number of companies before you make your choice.
If you own or manage a building, then you can keep it clean in a way that is good for the planet by providing recycling bins in communal areas. Many buildings don’t do this, instead opting for general rubbish bins, which result in a lot of recyclable material being sent to landfill.
Landscape design can be complicated at the best of times. However, it is even more so when Australia’s tough conditions are involved. In many parts of the country, the climate is among the harshest in the world, which means that ‘normal’ landscaping rules don’t apply.
Instead, gardens must be designed with the specific climate conditions in mind, especially if they are to be self-sustaining in any shape or form. There are a lot of pressures to contend with, including poor soils, heat, and low rainfall (in most of the country). This means that you should plan your garden around these things.
Some of the best things that you can do to create a self-sustaining garden in Australia’s tough conditions include:
Use native plants wherever possible:
Australia’s native plants are incredibly diverse, unique, and beautiful. Despite not being used extensively in gardens – particularly in urban environments – they are actually very well suited to sustainable gardening. Our native plants have evolved here to cope with the country’s tough conditions.
Many natives come from extremely dry or arid areas themselves, and are therefore drought resistant and don’t require a lot of water. They won’t suffer if it gets too hot, and in fact, many natives thrive in the heat. A lot of small native shrubs are actually adapted to grow in poor quality soils, which makes them perfect for a sustainable garden – you won’t have to use a lot of synthetic fertilizers.
Use some method of water recycling:
As noted above, the the majority of Australia is very dry. This means that water shortages are common, and it simply isn’t sustainable to use a lot of water on your garden. Obviously, planting drought resistant plants is a good first step, but you can do more. Implementing some water collection system, such as gutters and a small tank to collect rainwater, can help you reduce your environmental impact, while still giving your garden the water it needs.
The first things that come to mind when you think about environmentally friendly living are recycling and gardening. Would you believe it if you were told that plumbing can also be sustainable?
Sure, it’s not the first thing that pops into your mind when you think ‘world greening,’ but think of water and the cost of that as a utility. Your home plumbing, utilised for sustainable living, can have some enormous benefits. If you look at the broader picture, energy conservation and waste reduction are all part of sustainable plumbing practices. The end game is that the equipment already in your home, and adapted differently, can be used to reduce waste. The choice of pipes, low-toxic fixtures and equipment that are made locally (if possible) and ethically, all add to the growth of sustainability. You can also consider how plumbing has an overall impact on the environment.
Using Sustainable Plumbing on DIY
It’s not always the job of plumbing professionals to be environmentally conscious. There are some neat ‘green’ plumbing tricks you can use on your own DIY projects. Cleaning around the house doesn’t have to be a chemical party. Use vinegar, bi-carb and lemon for different cleaning jobs. Environmentally much safer and a heck of a lot cheaper too.
Environmental plumbing means being water-wise too. Rain water that usually runs down the drain can be diverted to your garden. Watering the garden in the cooler part of the day is another basic water-clever idea. Your dishwasher and washing machines should have the highest energy rating and lowest water usage. Every little bit helps.
You can go crazy with enviro-plumbing if you really wanted to as there are lots of small but effective changes you can do around the house. Start with leaky taps, then insulating your water pipes and follow up with mulching your garden to keep the soil damp for longer.
Most businesses understand that when they send freight, the more sustainable the packaging, the less it will cost them both for the transport company costs and the costs of purchasing the packaging. Many types of packaging have a reason for their use and existence. Companies try to keep their goods in top shape and packaging can help with this.
However, most people are aware that it is often a marketing ploy alone that dictates the type of packaging.
If you want a look that is going to be somewhat different to most other homes, then bamboo screen fencing is a smart choice. It’s sustainable and cheap and a great choice for your garden. It’s natural looks are so distinctive that it is even used inside the home. Check out websites like Lone Pine Fencing that supply and install bamboo fencing and you can talk to them about a wide range of bamboo colours. It makes a great alternative to using traditional timber.
The fencing and screening comes in a number of lengths and diameters and this makes it versatile enough to suit just about any home project. That includes outdoor garden spaces in which bamboo will certainly enhance the boundaries. It can be used for any landscaping project.
Words like resilient and with a long life, bamboo is known also to withstand all types of weather and pests. There are particular bugs or insects that have a party with normal timber, but they have no effect on bamboo. If you erect bamboo fencing, it’s going to be there for a long, long time. As well as it’s durability, it’s very strong and difficult to break with weights or pressure.
No matter whether you are a sole trader, a larger building company there are good reasons to add sustainability practices to your business strategies – and easy ways to do it. Being environmentally friendly has become fashionable and for good reason. It not only saves you on costs, but it can give your business an edge over the competition if you offer people sustainable building advice.
Here are 5 easy ways to implement sustainability –
Going green in your business is not only important to help save resources, it often means a savings in costs that you didn’t expect. Since both these things are positive, there is really no reason for not making at least some changes towards sustainability, whether you run a small SEO business like SEO Perth or a coffee shop.
Here are 5 ways to go green in your business –
It is the trend these days to make your office green. Even if you work from home in web design or a similar type of work, if you have an office or work in the living room you’ll be inside a lot of the time, so it’s important that your work environment is green. Sustainability is about more than saving the earth’s resources or even making it a more pleasant place to be. It touches each one of us at a personal level.
If the environment is not clean and green, the air you breathe is not going to be healthy. If you don’t breathe healthy air, you won’t be healthy either. At the very least you’ll feel tired and lethargic much of the time. By making your office green, you’ll be doing a good thing for your own health as well as for the environment you live in.
Having a green office can be simple. Adding some greenery in the form of pot plants helps to add more oxygen to the air and so it is healthier for you. Having a growing plant or two to look at also has a positive effect on people. Studies have shown that people work more productively when there are plants around them. So if you want to become more productive, add a plant – or three.
Natural lighting is another positive element as far as going green is concerned. Being under fluorescent lighting or even LED lighting all day long is not good for us. It emits what is called blue light, which tends to interfere with sleep patterns. People who work from home late into the evening or who take work home with them to do at night are at risk of having poor sleep patterns.
Some people don’t consider timber fencing to be sustainable, but much depends on where the timber comes from. Many fencing contractors like Eline Fencing Perth use pine that is grown especially for such needs, so it could be said to be a sustainable source. However, pine is a softwood; it will need to be painted regularly to keep the water out so it doesn’t rot.
If you are intent of having a timber fence, there are other places to source the timber from apart from what the contractor offers. Here are a few examples.
If you are deciding to replace your lawn there are two questions that need to be asked:
If you opt for a roll on lawn, it can be installed almost any time of the year in Australia, unless you live in a really cold or wet area. Example – Tasmania. If you decide to spread a few seeds, then you would be well advised to do this when spring has sprung. Warmer soil temperatures certainly aid germination.
The ground preparation for both options are rather similar and a critical requirement. Obviously, planting grass seed is a long-term solution, and if you haven’t done your groundwork (pun intended), then the ominous march of weeds will soon begin and be competing for moisture and nutrients.
It can take months for a seeded lawn to become established and turn into a hard wearing, firm, and attractive grassed area. Roll on turf though, takes just a few weeks to become established. It is capable of withstanding kids playing on it within 2-3 weeks, and certainly after a month, you can set up the stumps for a game of cricket. The big advantage and a preference for many people selecting to use roll on turf is that it has the finished look after Day 1. Both options have the same aftercare from installation – keep off it and keep it moist.
Here are a few tips on ground preparation:
Clothing for the wedding is always going to be a high ticket item, but there are ways to reduce the expense and this in turn, will help to reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding. According to Kiss and Tell Photo Booths there are many other ways to do this too, from photo booth hire to save on the use of chemicals in printing out photos – and in a good choice of food that is organic. But how can you make the wedding clothes eco friendly? Here are several ways.
With billions of kilos in computer waste being generated every year it is a good idea to ensure your computer usage at least, is eco friendly. If you use your computer a lot you might be into web design or digital marketing, but even if you just use it at home and not for a business, the computer has a high rate of energy consumption. Using it in eco friendly ways is not just good for the earth’s resources, but good for your budget as well.
Here are some tips on how to save power with your computer.
These days with the constant use of air conditioning and heating, we may want to make sure we use the air con in a way that is eco friendly. This not only helps to save our precious resources; it also saves on running costs and will preserve the life of your air conditioning unit. Most people consider keeping the filters clean to be sufficient, but there is much more you can do to help the planet that requires little effort.
These days, with just a little bit of effort, everything we do can be eco friendly to some extent, whether it is at home, or at a home or work office. You may have set up business as a digital marketing agency such as Slinky Digital and work on your computer all day long. If everyone does something to reduce their carbon footprint, the result will be incredible and our precious resources will last a lot longer.
If you have a computer, you will most likely also have a printer. Not all printers are efficient, but laser printers can be said to be better than inkjet printers because the ink will not smudge if it gets wet. So when you print out a sheet, you won’t have to reprint it due to any smudges, thus saving ink. And you can usually print more with one toner cartridge than one container of ink.
Another way to ensure your printer is eco friendly is to purchase one that spits out those pages quickly. All printers use power while they are printing; if a printer takes 30 or even 10 seconds to print one page of type, it will take a lot longer and so use more power than one that can print a page in 1 or 2 seconds. So it’s important to look at the specifications of a printer before you purchase it.
So look at the pages per minute the printer will do, but also look at what other features it has that you may need. Having a printer that can hold 250 pages is a lot more convenient than one which can only hold 10 pages.
According to villa booking experts Easy Bali Villas when you book one of the many villas in Bali for your holiday, you may not think about being environmentally friendly, but sustainable living should be done in every country, not just the one you live in. Many people don’t consider it necessary to practice sustainability when they go overseas, but it is still just as important and can save you money as well.
So just how can you be environmentally friendly while on holidays? There are plenty of opportunities.
If you are looking for home improvements that will save you money in the long run, you can’t go past the ‘green’ or eco-friendly type. Often these kinds of improvements are not even that expensive when compared to others such as upgrading the kitchen or bathroom. So if you are not looking to hire a removal company such as Brilliance Removalists Melbourne just yet but are content to stay put, make your home cost-effective by considering to these suggestions.
Every person who cooks in the kitchen will recognise the need for good kitchen design according to Kitchen Professionals. It is very likely the dream of every housewife to have a modern kitchen with lots of bench space and storage. But the design for your kitchen can also be environmentally friendly and when it is, it will save considerably on the costs of running the home.
Most kitchens in older homes were not designed to be ‘green’ or eco friendly, but with a few upgrades you can have a kitchen that looks attractive and saves on costs as well. How? Here are a few design tips to ensure your kitchen is environmentally friendly, whether you are planning a new one or upgrading your older kitchen.
Many older people enjoy gardening and get some much needed exercise as they do it. Unfortunately it often becomes impossible for them to keep on working in the garden due to failing health or just through becoming frailer. However, the right landscape design will ensure that seniors can still potter around in and enjoy their garden without the need for constant digging, weeding or heavy lifting.
Professional landscaping makes use of many different types of components to create a haven of green for anyone to enjoy. While change is never easy, allowing your garden to be changed into one that you can manage for several more years will benefit you and the environment, because many such changes are simply more environmentally friendly.
Low maintenance gardens are all the rage these days as few people have time to spend in the garden anyway. And what time they do have, they’d much prefer to spend relaxing in the garden rather than working in it. One of the major changes would be to remove annuals and replace them with perennials. Annuals are showy, but they don’t last long and require a great deal of work.
You have to replant every season and that means digging, fertilising and watering a great deal more than you like when a senior. It is not environmentally friendly, either; it’s much better to have plants that will last for several years. You can plant them out, add compost and mulch to feed them, keep the soil moist and the weeds away and that is it. Sit back and enjoy.
Most people need to at least spot clean their carpets in between professional carpet cleaning. While you can choose professional carpet cleaners, like brilliancecleaning.com.au who only use environmentally friendly, safe cleaning products, it is still possible to accidentally use toxic products to clean the carpet yourself, if you don’t take care when purchasing products.
Sometimes this happens because you are in a hurry and don’t even think about the product being toxic. Other times it is because the list of ingredients on the tin or packet is in such small print you just can’t read it without your reading glasses – which are at home next to that book you were reading. Or it could be that you don’t know which ingredients are toxic – many have long names and it is easy to forget them, even if you try to get it right.
There are four main times when toxic products can affect you.
The latter two times you may not even be aware of it happening, but if you can smell it, you can breathe it in. And even a small amount of dried carpet cleaner on your skin can cause a rash, eczema or itch of some kind.
Sustainability is not just about saving the environment. Most people would agree that it includes enhancing your lifestyle in a way that is in line with sustainable practices. For instance, adding patios in Perth, pergolas or carports can enhance the lifestyles of many people; choosing the materials that are eco-friendly and sustainable then enhances and saves the environment.
There are other ways in which a patio or a pergola can be considered eco-friendly.
Stone is an amazing natural product that can be used in so many ways. Some stone is produced locally and others are sourced internationally from places such as Bali where they are used extensively on easy villas. Homes and larger buildings have been made from stone for centuries and are still standing, making stone such as limestone blocks one of the most environmentally friendly products there is. It can be used for paving or stone cladding that will last almost forever.
While stone does not always withstand disasters such as earthquakes, especially if it topples from a height, neither do most other building materials. However, in places that are not prone to such disasters it has proven to weather other climatic conditions exceptionally well.
Stone is environmentally friendly not only because it lasts such a long time, but for other reasons as well. Here are some of them.
When sending freight it is important to pack it in such a way as to prevent movement and breakage. While your transport or logistics company may have rules and regulations for packaging, they may not consider sustainability to be important. But depending on the kind of freight you have, you can use environmentally friendly packaging quite easily if you put your mind to it. There are several ways of doing so.
When it comes to environmentally friendly kitchen design, most cabinet makers understand that newer appliances, natural lighting and no or low VOC finishes all add up. However, it is still up to the users to develop habits that are also environmentally friendly to get the most out of their kitchens.
Here are some tips to help you use your kitchen in ways that are environmentally friendly.
People move house for many different reasons and some have many moves over their lifetime. It seems they no sooner get settled and they have to contact a furniture removals company like Brilliance Removalists Perth. Then they start with the whole deal of packing up their goods and taking them to another new home. This may be inconvenient, but at least moving can be done in an environmentally friendly way. Here are 10 tips to show you how.
Perth property maintenance is something that should always be done on a regular basis if you want your home and property to look cared for and its value sustained. Often, the best way to get it done is to hire a professional handyman, who can care for the garden, do the mowing and also do any other maintenance tasks that crop up.
This is the kind of maintenance that is sustainable or eco-friendly. When you have someone to care for your gardens, they will soon be covered with compost and mulch and that will save on a great deal of water, not to mention fertiliser. Unnecessary fertilisers get washed into the waterways and is thought to be responsible for the death of some of our beautiful coral reefs. You can’t get much more environmentally friendly than taking steps to reduce use of purchased fertiliser.
However, there are several other ways in which professional property maintenance can benefit the environment.
According to Landscaping Sydney, professional landscaping your property can pay dividends, especially if it is done by a professional. Not only will it increase the sales potential and value of your home, if done properly, landscape design can save a great deal on the costs of water, fertilizer and losing plants. How?
A professional can ensure your plants are suited to the area and that they are in a position in the garden that suits them best. Placing shade-lovers in a dry, sunny position and sun lovers in the shade is a recipe for plant loss. And it happens more often than you may imagine simply because we purchase plants that appeal to us in looks, not to suit the garden we have. Choosing the right plants in vital.
Some of us also tend to stick plants in the garden wherever there is a spare space and we don’t think about their watering needs. Some plants will rot away if they get too much water while others thrive on it. Put the two close together and one of them is not going to survive. The same applies when it comes to fertilisers. Some plants prefer one type while other plants don’t like any or not so much.
Australian natives especially, don’t thrive if they have a lot of fertiliser, so if they are planted with anything that is known as a gross feeder – that is, it likes a lot of fertiliser – then one of the two is not going to thrive and indeed, is likely to die off completely.
Landscape design can also be environmentally friendly when the whole property is designed to retain natural rainwater by placing garden beds in a location to catch the run-off, by terracing and by planting water lovers in damp spots. Automated watering systems that have sensors to indicate when watering is needed can save on the use and cost of water.
If you need to hire equipment to do a job of home renovation the last thing on your mind is likely to be caring for the environment, but equipment hire can also be eco friendly. Many people these days actively look for an eco-friendly business to deal with because they believe that everyone can do their bit for the environment and even if it’s only a little bit it all mounts up.
The first step in eco friendly plant hire is to hire the best machine for the job. This will both conserve fuel and save on costs. It will also make sure the least damage possible is done to the environment. If you get in a huge bulldozer when only a tiny one is needed a lot more land will be ruined as it manoeuvres around the work to be done. Those tracks can churn up the dirt and make a big mess that is almost impossible to fix.
A machine that is too small for the job is likely to break down. This could leave oil and other fuel leaking into the soil. It will take extra parts to fix and it means the job will take longer to finish. Not only is this bad news for the company, it’s also bad for the environment, especially the oil spill.
If garden pots had a pecking order, designer garden pots would be at the top and the humble black plastic ones would be at the bottom. As far as being eco-friendly is concerned, designer pots have it covered, while at the bottom of the list, not much can be said for black plastic except that it is re-usable to a certain extent. That is, it can be repainted and decorated to look much more attractive and to help it last longer.
However, when it comes to designer pots, plastic is not involved as such pots are made from more durable materials such as glazed terracotta which is baked clay, fibreglass and other materials. Some are made from concrete, which is really too heavy, especially if the pot is to go on a balcony or has to be moved around much.
Some designer pots are made from stone, an environmentally good choice, since there seems to be a never-ending supply of stone available. Harvesting stone does not harm the environment because nothing can grow where stone is. Even if it is underground, the roots of many larger plants such as trees will not be able to penetrate it.
Most of the materials that such pots are made from are highly durable; they have to be to survived the natural effects of soil, fertiliser and water that is in them for most of their life. They don’t need to be maintained in any way except for an occasional wipe over with a damp cloth on the outside to keep them clean and shiny. So you could say that such pots are sustainable and certainly friendly to the environment.
Many homes have carpet for at least some part of the floor covering. It is soft, comfortable, quiet to walk on and saves toddler’s many bruises. However, it is not quite as easy to clean as a hard floor surface. Professional carpet cleaning should be done by experts like Brilliance Carpet Cleaning Perth every year, but it is important to ensure they use products that are non-toxic.
Meanwhile, you will probably need to have some carpet cleaners in the cupboard so you can deal with spots and spills as soon as they happen. The only trouble is that many cleaning products for carpet contain toxic ingredients that stay in the carpet long after they have dried and release fumes that can cause a whole host of problems. Skin irritation, asthma, bronchitis, dizziness, headaches, nausea and many more symptoms can be caused by the toxins in your carpet.
Studies have shown that a carpet can hold up to eight times its weight in dust, dirt and allergens. You may think that throwing the old carpet out and laying new carpets will solve the problem. However, many new carpets are made from products that are actually very harmful to our health. These products release fumes into the air and we breathe them in. Have you ever noticed that new carpet smell? It is very likely toxic.
If you are designing a new home or renovating the bathroom, you may want to consider installing frameless glass shower screens. This modern trend is one that is sure to last as people find out all the benefits. One is that you can see right to the end of the bathroom so the perceived distance is greater, meaning your bathroom looks a lot larger.
The beauty of using frame-less glass for the walls and door is that glass is one of the most environmentally friendly building materials there is. Of course, it doesn’t break down in landfill ever, but it can be totally reused and there is an increasing number of recycling plants springing up to do that very thing. The heat needed to remelt glass is not nearly as high as it is to make it in the first place. And the strength of glass is not compromised by the recycling process. Whatever is made from it will be just as strong and last just as long as the first item.
At least some councils are now providing sorting bins for glass waste to make the recycling process easier and more sustainable. Glass comes from sand and while there seems to be no shortage of that, recycling glass is the best way to keep it out of landfill, where it can last for hundreds of years.
Many homeowners these days add a swimming pool to their property to enhance their lifestyle. Having a swimming pool gives the children a reason to leave their electronic devices and get some exercise, all in the name of fun. Most pool builders will tell you that concrete swimming pools have certain advantages over fibreglass.
If you look around at public swimming pools you will see they are made of concrete. This is because concrete is stronger and more durable than fibreglass. While the latter does have its good points, if you want something that is going to last you would choose the former.
Not all properties can be flat and even and not all blocks of ground are square or rectangular. Some have odd shapes that make it difficult to fit a pool in that comes in standard, stock sizes like fibreglass. This is where homeowners find a concrete pool more viable. Pool builders can make your concrete pool any size and shape to fit in a corner or anywhere you want it.
In addition, since the pool is being designed and built from the ground up, you can have a lot more accessories such as fountains, slides and underwater lighting in it. Concrete is a sustainable product made from limestone, of which there is plenty worldwide. It can also be made out of waste products from steel mills and power plants, making it even more environmentally friendly.
No matter whether your pool is saltwater or chlorine you will need help with cleaning it. Robotic pool cleaners that do the job without any help from you are the best way to decrease your workload. All an automatic pool cleaner needs is to be put into the pool and switched on. Some may need to be connected to the pool pump and filter also, but this is much quicker and easier than scrubbing the pool out by hand.
When choosing the type of pool to have, you may be wondering if salt water pools are environmentally friendly. In fact, even though the ocean is full of salt water, a pool full of salt water is not really eco friendly. For a start, all that salt can really rust and erode any metal in or near the pool, even if it is galvanised. You need to change all those components to brass, especially in places where salt water comes into contact with them on a regular basis.
Salt water is also bad for plants, so if you have a garden in or near the pool it is not likely to thrive. It is not only the salt in the water, but any fine mist that is swept off the top of the pool by strong wind would contain salt. Salt water may also have an adverse effect on the pool pump and the pool cleaners.
Many people think that a salt pool is a safer alternative to chlorine, but in fact there is also chlorine in a salt water pool, so it is doubly bad for the environment. Chlorine is a dangerous chemical that is a carcinogen and has been linked to asthma, rashes, skin irritation, headaches and other problems in cases where people spend a lot of time swimming in it.
A sign of the times – but one that may be welcome from the digitally connected among us – is this smart terrarium concept by designer Samuel Wilkinson.
Called the “Biome”, the beautiful flora terrarium is controlled exclusively (climate, water level and nutrients) via your iPad or other smartphone device. Wilkinson told MocoLogo that the idea “promotes ‘digital downtime’ by finding an alternative use for smartphones and encouraging their owners to consider a slower life. The control and nurturing of a real mini eco-system takes patience and care, contrasting with the immediacy of messaging or tweeting that is so characteristic of the smartphone generation.”
Biome was developed for a recent exhibition titled “Slow Tech – Designs for Digital Downtime”. There’s no word yet on if the Biome or its companion app will ever see the light of day as a real product
Like something straight out of scifi, this hydroponic “Windowfarm” kit is the latest solution for urban dwellers looking to grow their own food in a limited space.
It comes to us from a crowd-sourced community of 22,000 windowfarmers around the world; utilizing an approach called R&D-I-Y, or Research & Develop It Yourself. Since 2009, this collective has been working towards perfecting a micro-hydroponic kit that can grow just about any vegetable if you’ve got direct sunlight.
Their latest version has a new design, environmentally-friendly cups and wires, and an awesome reduced price (down from an original $249) of $99. To manufacture the kits, they’ve taken the Kickstarter route and, with 13 days left, have already surpassed their goal of $50,000. If you’re not keen to start your own plants, you can pick up a pack of baby plants for $49, which include 8 varieties like “Genovese Basil, a peppery watercress, perfect-caesar romaine, red leaf lettuce, tangy red-veined sorrel.”
For those that are thinking, “I could make this!” – they’ve got you covered there as well with instructions online for a “Standard 3-bottle Airlift Windowfarm” or a “Hanging 2-Column” variety. Sounds like a pretty decent holiday gift for anyone you know that’s tight on space but keen to grown their own food.
If your company is looking for ways to be environmentally friendly, that is all to the good, because many people prefer to deal with a business that takes care of the environment. If you have to make or use scaffolding, there are ways in which you can be eco-friendly right on your doorstep.
For a start, using strong steel to make it will not only ensure safety for all those who must use it, but means it will last longer. You can then deconstruct the structure after use and re-use it elsewhere. It can be used many times over and if you store it out of the weather it will last for an even longer time. This will reduce your costs as well as reducing the cost of purchasing more steel to make more.
Steel is highly recyclable even though it doesn’t break down in landfill quickly. In fact, it can take years for it to rust away. But it can be melted down and reused to make many other things. Better still, this can be done over and over with the last item made from it being just as strong as the first one.
It is strong, durable and needs little maintenance over its lifetime. However, it can corrode if used in a marine environment, so some kind of finish is needed to help it last longer. Powder coating or painting on a regular basis will help to keep it in top shape. Steel is rather heavy, but it can span quite a long distance without support, so it is well liked in the industry for this alone.
Faced with invasion by alien plants, the Izaak Walton League calls upon the goat justice league (well, not the real goat justice league…) to help save them from being overrun at their 33 acre property in Gaithersburg, MD. This selective grazing technique will be employed to control the populations of Japanese honeysuckle, Garlic Mustard, Autumn Olive, and Oriental Bittersweet.
From their website:
Eliminating invasive plants – permanently – improves wildlife habitat as well as human habitat. But traditional methods of doing this over large areas involve repeated application of chemicals that could leach into our waterways. A new program is fighting nature with nature.
Eco-Goats brings a herd of goats to large properties infested with invasive species. The goats are contained within an electric fence to tackle invasive plants one acre at a time. Goats eat the invasive plants down to the ground, and goat handlers either dig up stumps or kill them with very targeted use of an herbicide.
We wish them luck, and are curious to see how this selective grazing turns out!
The goat army prepares for battle with aliens