Groovy Green

Fencing with Bamboo

ByGroovy Green Dec 1, 2017

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 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.

Extremely Durable

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.

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4 Easy Ways to Incorporate Sustainability in Building

ByGroovy Green Sep 13, 2017

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 –

  • When ordering building supplies, if you don’t deal in bulk supplies take care to order only what is needed, in timber especially. If you do happen to run out you can save by profiting from other builders who order too much and end up dumping it in landfill or giving it to the recycling centre where they could make recycled furniture or save them time and the effort of on-selling it.  There is a great deal of new timber that finds its way into landfill, which is a shocking waste of a resource that takes years to be ready for cutting.
  • Suggest your clients salvage such things as windows, doors, tiles and other materials from the recycling plant. They – and you – can save  quite a bit doing this where you couldn’t really do it on their behalf unless they asked you to. They would need to choose the patterns and colours of the tiles, anyway.

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Is Your Office Green?

ByGroovy Green Aug 8, 2017

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.

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Sourcing Materials for a Sustainable Fence

ByGroovy Green Jul 5, 2017

Some people don’t consider timber fencing to be sustainable, but much depends on where the timber comes from. Many fencing contractors 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.

Old railway sleepers – this is hardwood with still plenty of use in it and is ideal for fences. While hardwood is more difficult to hammer a nail into without drilling it first, it will certainly last for ages and using it saves the waste of it being burned as rubbish, just because it has been replaced by concrete sleepers.

Bridge decking – can be cut up into lengths suitable for a fence and will last for many more years when it doesn’t have to be strong enough to hold the weight of vehicles crossing it.

Piers – any kind of timber that has been used for piers or other used in water is the kind that will not break down easily.

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Roll On Turf for a Beautiful Lawn

ByGroovy Green Jun 2, 2017

If you are deciding to replace your lawn there are two questions that need to be asked:

  1. When is the best time to start the project?
  2. Do you opt for roll on turf or grass seed?

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:

  • It might be an idea to spray the old grass with a strong weedkiller before you start. Remove the old lawn. Use a flat spade, but if you have a large area then hiring a turf cutter is the best solution.
  • Turn the soil to a depth of about 12 inches (25 cm)
  • Remove stones, big chunks, and other debris.
  • Apply some fertiliser and rake it into the soil
  • Level as much as possible
  • Water the area and allow it all to settle

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How to Get the Most Eco Friendly Air Con

ByGroovy Green Feb 26, 2017

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.

  • If you are getting a split system, make sure it’s an inverter. These have variable speed so rather than switching the compressor on and off all the time, they simply reduce its speed automatically to match demand. This results in less power use and less wear the tear on the compressor.
  • Before purchasing an air con, make sure it is the right size for your needs. If you get one that’s too big for the area to be cooled it will be constantly turning on and off, which costs more to run. If it is too small, you won’t be as cool and the unit will always be working harder to cool the area. This will make it wear out much more quickly.
  • A licensed electrician and authorised air conditioner installer will know how to estimate your heat load and tell you what size unit would be best.
  • Look at the energy rating labels on the air con before you choose what to get. The blue band is for cool air and the red band is for heat. In some cases, there is another short band above the bottom one that also contains stars. If they are solid in this area it means that air con is super efficient. 7 to 10 stars is good for efficiency and so sustainability.

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How To Be Eco Friendly In The Office

ByGroovy Green Jan 12, 2017

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.

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How to Have an Environmentally Friendly Holiday

ByGroovy Green Dec 27, 2016

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.

  • Don’t scatter your rubbish around. Instead, look for a bin, even if it is out of your way. If there are none in sight, keep your rubbish and dispose of it in a bin at your accommodation.
  • If you are purchasing gifts to take home, make them environmentally friendly choices. They should have been make in a sustainable way and be useful, rather than junk that will end up in the bin.
  • Purchase goods made locally and this includes food. Local products have not had to be shipped to Bali, so they have a smaller carbon footprint. Besides, Bali has some of the best food ever.
  • Don’t use expensive, glossy wrapping paper for your gifts as much ends up in landfill. Instead, place the gift in a nice bag that can be reused and recycled.
  • Purchase only one gift per person. Let’s face it, our kids get many presents; they don’t need to be inundated with more just because you took them on holiday. Consider the holiday itself as their gift.
  • Rather than buying a heap of cards to send back home, send digital ones. If you don’t want to go digital, use cards made with recycled paper.

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How Green Home Improvements Can Save You Money

ByGroovy Green Nov 19, 2016

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.

  • If you need to have lighting outside, solar lights can really help light up the way as well as spotlight your feature plants. Garden lights that have a little solar panel in the top are really inexpensive and add charm to the garden.
  • Upgrade your old appliances. Most older appliances are just not energy efficient. You’ll notice the difference in your power bill once you have new ones. Most will also be water efficient, giving you a double savings. Be sure to look at the star rating labels on the outside of the appliances to ensure they are truly efficient.
  • Call a good electrician and upgrade the lighting to LED or other energy efficient lights. The initial cost will soon be recouped by the savings in the cost of power. Plus, the bulbs will last much longer, so you will save on the cost of replacements.
  • Consider solar power, but do your research carefully to make sure it will really save you money. Only if you intend to stay in the home for over 5 years will getting that loan be worth it. Of course, if you can pay for it without getting a loan that will certainly save on the cost of the interest.

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How Kitchen Design Can be Environmentally Friendly

ByGroovy Green Oct 28, 2016

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.

  • Put in a larger window. This will let in more natural light so you don’t need to switch the light on in the middle of the day to see what you are doing.
  • A larger window can also be opened to cool off and air a hot kitchen, saving on the costs of running the air conditioning or the extractor fan in the range hood.
  • New large appliances are usually much more energy efficient than older ones.
  • Choose only the size appliance that you need for your lifestyle, or may need in the next decade. For instance, if you plan on having children in the next few years, a larger refrigerator and dishwasher will be extremely worthwhile.
  • But if the children are all about to leave home and you need a new fridge, you might not need a large one. Much depends on your lifestyle.

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Environmentally Friendly Landscape Design for Seniors

ByGroovy Green Aug 5, 2016

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.

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How to be Eco Friendly with Home Renovations

ByGroovy Green Jul 9, 2016

When you are planning a home renovation it is very exciting, especially if it is for your own home. It is wonderful to see the change as the home renovation progresses and know that it will really enhance your lifestyle.  You can be eco- friendly with home renovations during the equipment hire phase as well as in choosing building materials and finishes.

Choosing the right equipment for the job is essential and will save time as well as help to reduce the impact the renovation has on the environment around you. Plant hire need not be difficult; the hiring company will help you choose the best machine for the job.

You will also need to choose building materials that are eco-friendly. Bamboo is a good choice for kitchen cupboards and other built-ins. Bamboo grows quickly so it a renewable resource. You could also think about using recycled materials. There are many recycling places especially for builders and carpenters. You can find windows, doors, bath tubs, kitchen sinks and cupboards, flooring and left over cut timber from other home building projects. Why waste all that, especially when it will save money as well as the environment.

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Are Your Carpet Cleaning Products Toxic?

ByGroovy Green Apr 13, 2016

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.

  1. If you get some on your skin while using them
  2. When you inhale the fumes while using them.
  3. When anyone sits or lies on the carpet and gets some on their skin
  4. Breathing in the air after cleaning while toxic fumes are still rising.

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.

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How an Enhanced Lifestyle is Part of Sustainability

ByGroovy Green Dec 6, 2015

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.

  • When you spend time outside, say for alfresco dining, you can enjoy the cool of the evening without having to run the air conditioner. This saves on your costs as well as saving the earth’s resources. You may think that it would only be a small saving, but if many people do it, that small amount grows exponentially.
  • Having a patio against the side of the home will also shade it and keep it cooler, reducing the need for the air conditioner to be on, so again, the environment and your budget are both winners.
  • Here’s another way a patio or pergola can be eco-friendly. Having children’s birthday parties in them will save a great deal of wear and tear on your carpets. Eventually, this will filter back to a few less carpets being needed, so all the power that is used to make them will be reduced.  This too, may seem like a saving too minimal to count, but when taken over the whole of the country it can really mount up.

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Limestone – the Environmentally Friendly Product for Homes and Gardens

ByGroovy Green Sep 28, 2015

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.

  • There are no toxic chemicals or glues used in making it, so it is a safe product with no toxic fumes.
  • It is low maintenance. It does not require painting or waterproofing, although both of these can be done to it if necessary. For instance, if used for flooring outside, and particularly around a swimming pool, it would need to be waterproofed.
  • It is recyclable. If a stone wall needed to be taken down, the stone could be used elsewhere, for instance, for a garden bench, edging or another wall.

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Sustainability When Packaging Your Freight

ByGroovy Green Jul 25, 2015

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.

  • Re-use old packaging from freight you’ve received in the past. It is not difficult to keep and re-use things such as boxes and bubble wrap. Most boxes can be flattened without any harm so it doesn’t take too much room to store them.
  • Find larger crates that have been used by watching the classifieds where people who have recently moved may advertise them.
  • Visit a recycling centre to see what’s on offer for packaging up your goods. You’ll find many handy packaging goods there.
  • If you receive goods on pallets that have been surrounded by plastic wrapping, it might be worth unwrapping them carefully to re-use it. The downside is that it will take more time, but not everyone is in a rush to get things done.
  • Use crumpled paper to safely pack small items. Ask friends and family to save their newspapers for you.

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How to Use Your Environmentally Friendly Kitchen the Right Way

ByGroovy Green May 21, 2015

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.

  • You may have chosen a refrigerator that has all the stars coloured in so you know it won’t gobble up electricity like the old-fashioned monsters of yesteryear. But if you are going to stand in front of it with the door wide open all the time wondering what to snack on, then you might be in for a shock when the power bill arrives.
  • The same goes for the dishwasher. You might have carefully chosen a dishwasher that takes the least amount of power and water, but if you use it before it is full, you will certainly waste both.
  • Cooking can often be done in a way that saves power too. Consider using a steamer that has additional stack-able containers. This will allow you to steam several different kinds of food using the same source of steam and only one element.
  • Even if you boil vegetables, you can place potatoes, pumpkin and carrots in the same saucepan together, while things like broccoli or cauliflower can go on top of peas or beans.

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10 Tips to Moving in an Environmentally Friendly Way

ByGroovy Green Jan 15, 2015

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.

  • Use some of your linen or out of season clothes for wrapping breakables and for padding in and around the boxes. This will save on the cost and usage of bubble wrap and prevent yet more plastic going into landfill.
  • If you move a lot, flatten and store your cardboard cartons to use next time. They don’t take much room when stored flat.
  • Many retail stores receive their products in strong cartons, which are then sent to the recyclers. You can divert some of them for your own use. Try electrical goods stores and pharmacies to get free moving boxes.
  • If you don’t move much, offer those cartons to someone else who will soon be moving.
  • Some of the boxes can be used to store toys, blankets, tools and other items.
  • Sell or give larger tea chest boxes away if you don’t want them. A free ad. on gumtree will often find them a home.
  • Moving is often accompanied by cleaning. Don’t spend money on toxic cleaning products; make your own. Got mould or mildew? A ¼ of a teaspoon each of lavender oil and tea tree oil with 2 cups of water. Spray it onto the mould and don’t wipe it off. It will destroy the mould. Windows can be cleaned with equal parts of white vinegar and water.

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How to be Sustainable with Property Maintenance

ByGroovy Green Oct 17, 2014

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.

Property owners can hire a professional building maintenance company to ensure their property is kept in tip-top condition. Often, the cheapest 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.

  • An automatic irrigation system will save water usage – and wastage – especially if you get the kind that senses when water is needed and if rain is likely. It may cost a bit more to start with, but you’ll be saving quite a bit on the cost of water. And every bit saved helps water reservoirs to remain at a good level in dry times.

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How Landscape Design Can be Environmentally Friendly

ByGroovy Green Aug 22, 2014

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.

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