The Big Green Home Myth and The Real Green Revolution; How to Separate Fact from Fiction: A lot of marketing hype (Fiction) and a lot of good stuff (Facts) have come to light due to the general public’s recent interest in Green Homes. Ten years ago when we talked about how energy efficient and maintenance free our homes were people kind of tuned us out.
First of All Don't Believe Everything That You Read or See on TV.
A cooperative I am involved with has helped 100s of restaurants and cafes over the past few years shift toward zero waste -- a philosophy that supports the reconstruction of production life cycles such that all waste is reused or recycled.
Food service businesses shooting for zero waste focus on reducing their waste as much as possible and then rerouting any remaining waste toward recycling & composting facilities. To achieve zero waste, I've found these businesses combine 3 major strategies:
It’s a battle in my garden – the maple tree roots versus me. They are powerful and I am often stymied as I cannot dig in the soil due to the deep and twisted mess that lies right below the surface. When installing my gate arbor, the workers ended up cutting the cable television (on game day no less) for the entire neighborhood because they had to use a power saw to get through the danged roots.
Gardeners often fight a lengthy battle with tree roots like I have, but perhaps there’s an interesting – and green – solution - - float a patio on top of the roots.
On a sunny afternoon last month, scaffolding and construction obscured the front of Cava Tapas and Wine Bar, a small restaurant with an outdoor patio tucked away on Commercial Alley in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. But within a few hours, the plain brick façade was transformed into a vertical garden, the first such garden in the area: The Coastal Home/Charles C Hugo Landscape Design Vertical Garden at Cava.
More than half a dozen species of predominantly native perennials fill the 160 square feet of vertical green space, a design planned and executed by Charles Hugo and Maya Travaglia of Charles C Hugo Landscape Design.
Greg Peterson is a man on a mission, to "Inspire people to embrace their own greenness", and that is just what he has been doing as a resident of Phoenix for the last 41 years. Greg is well-versed in urban sustainability, green living and food production in dry lands having been first introduced to desert gardening at the age of 12. In 1991, he discovered Bill Mollison and David Holgrem's concept of permaculture, bringing together many sustainability concepts into one cohesive system. Permaculture systems have greened deserts and enriched the lives of many across the globe, especially in dry climates.
Green Grows Farm in Philly on CSA local Food Pick up day
Until recently, I didn’t know about Greensgrow Farm, but I did know about its co-founder and chief farmhand, Mary Seton Corboy. We had worked together when she guest-hosted with me on a GardenSmart episode a couple years ago. I was impressed with her then, but now I know why I felt such a deep admiration for this woman.
Just over 10 years ago, Mary was in search of a place to cultivate locally grown lettuce to supply area chefs and restaurants. With such a high demand and limited supply, the idea was a sure winner…if she could just find something close and affordable.
It's always mystified me that people who can afford health insurance and can shop at Whole Foods have access to safe and healthy food, while the ones who can't afford a doctor's visit are left to buy cheap processed food, lacking any nutritional value, and increasing their chances of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and a plethora of other debilitating diseases. What dimwit created this unjust food system? That guy is SO FIRED!
Then one rainy day, Lisa Ludwigsen, resource development coordinator of 'Petaluma Bounty' took me on a private tour of a new organic farm/community garden Petaluma, California.
Many years ago, when I was a goody-two-shoes student sitting in the front row of my Master Gardening class, Annie Hayes, owner of Annie's Annuals Nursery, came to speak to us horticultural wannabe's. There she was, Missy Botanist, proudly standing in front of the classroom holding up her healthy, hearty plants and spewing off the Latin names, while most of us gardening eggheads could barely recall the common name. At the time, we both had just given birth to baby boys. While she appeared angelic, blissful, ecstatic, I looked like a sleep-deprived, tearful junkie desperately searching for an emergency escape hatch, a grand siesta or a hotel mini-bar. But I digress . .
Two years ago, TerraCycle, a company that sells worm poop fertilizer in a recycled soda bottle, deservedly earned the "Sparkly Green Tiara Award" bestowed by The Dirt DIVA Royal Horticultural Society. Worm Poop! Yup, you read that right. Worm poop in a bottle. Now that's American ingenuity. This year, Tom Szaky, CEO of the company has written a book entitled Revolution in a Bottle, (Penguin Group) which outlines the tumultuous path his company has endured to redefine green business.
Opening with a chapter titled Up to My Neck, the author recounts his days in a Princeton University dorm room where he and his friend Jon Beyer witnessed a classmate feeding food scraps to a box of worms.
Wouldn't it be nice to receive a bouquet of flowers knowing that not one iota of nasty, knarly pesticide, fungicide, herbicide or chemical fertilizer was used in growing them? Fresh, fragrant organic bouquets could score some of you guys nice points with the ladies! For the rest of you guys I'm afraid it's too little too late . . .
You may be asking yourself why we need organic flowers if we're not going to be eating them. Choosing organic flowers encourages the use of farm practices that build healthy soil without the use of toxic pesticides or fertilizers and protects the workers in the fields and greenhouses from exposure to these harmful pesticides and fertilizers. The world's first online organic florist, Organic Bouquet, is headquartered in Northern California and is committed to the highest environmental and social standards. "Organic flowers are not about us. They are about the health of workers and the planet itself, "says Gerald Prolman, the company's visionary founder.
See, sometimes it's not all about ME . . . but about "other people". And you thought the Dirt Diva was just a transparent, self-absorbed flower Queen. If you scratch the surface there is some substance. I swear.
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