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Found 10 results

  1. You can contribute to environmental conservation through the upgrades you install in your home. Eco-friendly installations can also save you a lot of money even though initial costs may be high in some cases. Here are some tips for going green in your home exterior. Install Solar Panels With solar panels you can generate enough energy to use at home, and in some cases even surplus to sell to the grid. Initial installation is high because it takes a few kilowatts before it can generate significant power levels. Solar panels would be economical to install if you are living in your permanent residence. It takes ages for them to show significant returns. Solar option is probably the greenest and safest you can ever go in energy consumption. Adopt Green Roofing Technology The idea here is to have a roof that optimizes sunlight, depending on the climate of your location and climate. In hot places, you can adopt a roofing system that reflects away sunlight and cools faster when there is no sunlight. Installing this technology is costly, but it will help you save so much in terms of energy costs, especially with the air conditioning system. Roof repair will also help you make sure you are reducing your energy use and you may even use different materials in your repair. Some materials for green roofing include: • White tiles • Using metals as roofing materials • A living roof, which uses plants that grow on the roof to help in saving water Consider Using a Natural Fence Do not use lumber in fencing when you can have a line of live trees around your homestead. This live fence can act as a home for fauna and will add to the fresh air supply in your home. It is also less costly than constructing a wall. Besides, you can decide to be more creative and use deciduous trees that shed during winter and flourish in summer. These trees have broad leaves that can act as a shield against sunlight during summer, hence providing a green cooling system. Examples of deciduous trees are: • Oak • Hickory • Maple Adopt Drip Irrigation Drip irrigation is better than sprinklers since water goes into the soil directly. If you use it together with mulching, you achieve a high water-retention rate as opposed to using sprinklers where most of the water goes to waste. There are many other ways of getting a green exterior in your home. The bottom line is that all of them are a futuristic and prudent saving option. Also, contact home improvement experts for more solutions.
  2. Green or sustainable landscaping is an excellent way of reducing your carbon footprint. Indeed, such trends use energy-efficient appliances and turf supplies that need little or no water to maintain. In turn, you save lots of gallons of fresh water that can go to other purposes. Then, how do you design your eco-friendly yard? Check out the useful tips below: Determine Your Water Needs and Sources A regular landscaping design may require more water than what is available to keep it alive. Such excessive pumping of water can leave your groundwater with a high concentration of salts and pollutants. In turn, you may have to deal with soil pollution sooner rather than later. Then, in your design, confirm your soil type and its water retention properties. Next, pick watering techniques that will not deplete the ground of its vital moisture. Such methods include irrigation and rain harvesting. Or, you can use mulches to preserve the existing moisture content. Live Off Your Vegetable Garden Did you know that including a garden in your yard generates steady supplies of fresh vegetables that can cut on your monthly food bills? This fun outdoor exercise improves your health by providing you with organic foods and a stress-relieving hobby. Then, choose a spot near a water source, that has ample sunlight, and is away from foot traffic. Next, pick your seeds or seedlings from plants that are economical to grow. Add adequate compost to the soil. Finally, follow the planting, weeding, pruning, and maintenance schedule as provided by your supplier. Use Chemical-Free Products An eco-friendly landscaping design uses little or no harmful chemicals. That way, it makes your yard safe for wildlife and pets. In particular, when you opt for artificial turf supplies, there is no need for weed killers or pesticides. Children get the feel of natural grass that is free of poisonous contaminants. Consider The Labor Needs for Maintenance A sustainable yard is effortless to maintain. Such yards feature stone patios, potted plants, mulch beds, and perennial plants. The mulch beds need no mowing. Instead, they provide ready compost for your garden. Still, where you are not a fan of mowing, opt for artificial landscapes instead. The eco-friendly yard looks fabulous, accentuating your home décor. It taps into the available resources to pull off a durable lawn that is easy to install. And your pets will love it too. Then, work with a reliable home remodeling expert who can give you more ideas to improve your home value.
  3. Hardscaping refers to the hard landscaping materials around your yard. These can include your patio, walkways, retaining walls, or any other structure made of wood, stone, or concrete. If you live in a desert environment, maximizing your hardscaping can significantly decrease your water usage. This will not only save you money, but it will also be beneficial to the environment. Save Water and Increase Usability Maximizing your hardscaping will not only reduce your water usage, but it will also increase the usable space you have to enjoy your backyard. For example, an attractive and stylish flagstone patio with a matching stone outdoor kitchen will quickly become one of your family’s favorite places. Best of all, hardscape can create a place for outdoor entertaining, and it serves as an extension of your home’s interior living space. Raised Beds for Better Gardening You can also build raised beds from brick, wood, or concrete. Raised beds are great if you have a bad back or mobility issues, and they’re also great if your yard has poor soil. Many gardeners swear by raised beds, estimating you can double your yield of vegetables. You can also reduce your water use by embedding a drip watering system into the raised beds. Imitation Materials There are a lot of different materials you can use to hardscape, and natural stone and brick are among the most attractive and enduring. However, while concrete may seem boring next to them, you can hire a creative concrete company to add some pizzazz to your backyard. The fact is, concrete can be tinted to nearly any color you like, and it can be stamped with a multitude of patterns. Tinted and stamped concrete can imitate brick, slate, flagstone, and even wood. Boulders and Gravel A Japanese zen garden is a stylized landscape carefully composed of rocks, water features, and gravel along with precisely pruned bushes, moss, and small trees. If you like a modern, minimalist, and sophisticated style, a Japanese-style rock garden could be the hardscape for you. If you’ve ever been to the Southwest, you may have noticed a different style of rock garden. Rock and cactus gardens have long been a staple in places like Arizona, and this idea is adaptable to many regions of the country. Simply arrange boulders and rocks in a natural style, and plant with cactus, succulents and native wildflowers. Fill in between the rocks with gravel. Creative and stylish hardscaping will not only save water, but it will also make your yard a more beautiful and comfortable place for both you and your family.
  4. Water is a scarce resource in many places around the country. A few cities in drought-stricken areas have implemented watering rations. They give fines to homeowners who violate these regulations, and this has caused many of these homeowners to search for alternative materials for landscaping, ones that help conserve water. You’ll find four of those materials below. Rocks and Gravel Rocks come in many sizes and types; you can even buy multi-ton boulders. Nothing drinks less water than a rock, so that’s a plus for the environment, and landscaping stores have truckloads of them in all different sizes, colors, and shapes. Gravel may not sound like the most beautiful landscaping material, but it works great. You can buy it in different colors and sizes, and maintaining it won’t cost you any water at all. Drought Resistant Plants When water’s tight, there’s no better choice of a plant than one that has low water needs. Many of these hearty plants can go weeks without water yet still retain their beauty. When introducing drought-resistant plants to your area, make sure they’re not invasive, or they might cause you some headaches. Also, after planting them, contact someone local that offers residential mulch services to mulch and maintain the mulch around the plants. Artificial Turf Artificial turf has come a long way and is no longer the surface of years ago. Today’s various artificial lawns are much softer than those in the past. They are also more heat-resistant today. There has been some controversy surrounding some of the chemicals that make up certain artificial turfs and their risk to human health. The way to avoid this risk is to purchase non-toxic turf. Concrete Pavement and Pavers Putting down concrete pavement will cost you some water upfront, but after that, it’s water-free forever. If you have a piece of lawn that’s drinking too much H2O, you might consider throwing a small slab down and turning it into a patio or sitting area. Concrete pavers don’t need any water at all and come in an array of different sizes, shapes, and colors. They make an excellent replacement for the areas of your yard that are too water-intensive and are easy to install. The materials listed above may not be the first landscaping choices of many. However, they are a great option if you are wanting and needing to conserve water. Remember, water conservation can lead to a beautiful landscape and a healthier environment.
  5. CBS says that you can get more than 100 percent return on your investment when you choose smart lawn ideas like planters, some bushes, a tree, and mulch. Depending on how much money you have to spend on your yard, you can upgrade a little or a lot. By using rocks, gravel, and planters, you will minimize the yard space you have to mow. Hardscaping One of the fastest and easiest ways to minimize the size of your lawn is to add some gravel to create a seating area, fire pit, or other outdoor living space. You gain extra room to entertain or relax on a quiet day at home, and you have fewer square feet to mow. The time you save cutting your grass gives you a little more freedom to enjoy your yard. Recycle Old Equipment A very inexpensive way to improve your yard without busting your budget is to use old items you find on your property or old farms. Using machinery as a focal point is a fantastic way to spruce up an outdoor design. Paint a tractor, wheel barrel, ships wheel, rake, or other old tools. Put a little mulch and some bright flowers around the implement to create a cohesive design. Buy at the End of the Growing Season Better Homes and Gardens says that you can save a bunch of money on garden supplies by hitting the clearance sales at the end of spring and summer. Sometimes, you can catch a sale at the beginning of spring, but you are more likely to find the biggest discounts when the weather starts turning cold. Start looking for sale items to hit the bargain bins anytime after mid-summer. Install Artificial Turf To get out of mowing your lawn altogether, you could invest in AstroTurf. By adding synthetic grass, you can get rid of the hour or two that you spend working in your yard. While this option has an initial investment, the money you save on fuel, oil, maintenance and new equipment adds up fast. Your yard can be a stunning entrance without all the hard work of trimming and mowing for hours each week. With a little creativity, you can remake things around the property to form incredible designs. Extra tires make wonderful swings, but you can also use them as planters. Paving stones break up the yard and lead guests to the new features you create.
  6. Making your business more environmentally friendly has the potential to help lower operating costs over the long term, while also ensuring that you and your employees are doing your part in order to protect the planet for future generations. However, going green can also benefit your business in another major way by allowing you to attract new environmentally-conscious customers. Unfortunately, many of the most common green business practices take place behind the scenes—meaning there is no way that your customers will know about all that you're doing. For this reason, you may want to consider using the four following methods, which will help your business appear as green as it actually is. Restrooms Using biodegradable green cleaning products is a simple way to reduce your company's environmental impact, as soaps and other cleaning products are a major source of water pollution and contaminants. In this sense, you should really attempt to use green products wherever possible. However, one area where this is especially true is in any restrooms your customers may use. Installing low-flow toilets and water-saving faucets is a good start, but you'll also want to make sure that you provide biodegradable hand soap and only use post-consumer recycled toilet paper to show customers proof that you take environmental responsibility seriously. Landscaping Exterior landscaping can be a huge waste of water. Luckily, it isn't all that difficult to make your exterior landscaping more environmentally friendly. One option is to landscape using only native plants. As well, you may want to consider installing a system that allows you to take advantage of rainwater in order to irrigate your landscaping. Not only are your customers sure to notice, but installing this type of system may also allow you to qualify for special rebates and tax credits. Vertical Garden Although it may not do much to improve your business' sustainability, installing a vertical garden in your lobby or office will go a long way towards improving the overall appearance of your location. Not only that, but all those plants will continuously produce oxygen, which will help to improve indoor air quality and make your business a more pleasant place to be. These can be tricky to install, though, so consult with a company like Advance Plant Services if you need help. Solar Solar panels are a sure sign that a business is attempting to be more environmentally conscious. Unfortunately, a full solar-power system is still beyond the financial reach of most companies. Nonetheless, even just installing a few solar panels and a solar-power backup generator can easily make your company appear greener, while also ensuring that you'll be protected in case of a power outage. In this day and age, going green is one of the best things a company can do—both in terms of its bottom line and for attracting new customers. Still, it is important that your customers actually know about your new green practices, which is why it’s a good idea to try to incorporate as many of the above ideas into your business as possible.
  7. The right landscape can greatly improve both the curb appeal and market value of a home. From landscaping arrangements that feature native plants or sophisticated irrigation systems that may reduce upkeep and maintenance costs to outdoor lighting options that may improve the appearance of an outdoor area after dark, there are numerous ways to improve the look and feel of an outdoor space. The following three resources can make a welcome addition to any lawn or landscape. Xeriscaping With Native Plants and Soil The potential water conservation that xeriscaping makes possible may result in lower utility bills and less demanding maintenance and upkeep efforts. Maintaining an attractive landscape may prove to be an uphill battle for those who utilize trees, shrubs and other outdoor plants that may have trouble adapting to a new climate. Soils that provide the right composition and pH balance and plants that are able to thrive with very little moisture may allow property owners to design the perfect outdoor landscape while ensuring water usage is less likely to place some strain on household budgets. If you’re unsure which materials to use to maintain these plants, consult a company like Bourget Bros. Building Materials and see what they recommend. Automated Irrigation Systems Automated systems offer a number of advantages. More precise control over watering and irrigation schedules and the means to ensure that lawn maintenance can be performed with greater ease and convenience can both make a considerable difference. These systems can be especially valuable during hot summer months for homeowners who lack the time or opportunity to water during the early morning or late-evening hours. Features like water-flow sensors can also ensure that lawns and landscaped areas are less likely to be over-watered, an issue which may cause excessive soil erosion or cause harm to plants. Recycled and Repurposed Materials Brick, stone, and even glass are all popular choices for homeowners seeking to utilize recycled materials to create hardscaped areas. Hardscaping offers a simple and effective way to redirect water flow, limit soil erosion or to create a more distinctive landscaping layout or design. Repurposing used and salvaged materials offer a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable option for home and property owners who may be working with a fixed budget or that wish to create a greener home. For many property owners and households, lawn and landscape irrigation often represents a sizable portion of utility usage each month. Materials, plants, and installations that allow for superior water conservation efforts make it easier than ever to create and maintain a green home. A few well-chosen landscaping upgrades or additions may result in greater savings than many property owners might expect.
  8. Carrots are one of the most enjoyed and widely used root crops all around the world. Maybe this is so because the veggie grows easily and you can use it in many ways in your dishes. They are one of the most important cooking ingredient in some cultural cuisines and are the second most popular vegetable after the potato. The colour we usually connect carrots with is the orange, but there are more - red purple, white and blue. Its way has started from Persia and has conquered the whole world. Today the biggest producer is China with almost 46% of the global output, followed by Russia and the United States. There are some very good reasons why this veggie is so liked around the world. Dare to take advantage of all its positives! 1. Healthier Skin There is a big quantity of Vitamin A in the crunchy vegetable and the combination with antioxidants protects your skin from the harmful sun rays. Low levels of Vitamin A in the body can cause dryness of the nails, skin and hair. A half cup of carrots provides 210% of the daily dose of Vitamin A, 6% Vitamin C, 4% of Calcium. 2. Slows Down Aging Carrots are full with beta-carotene, it acts as an antioxidant to the cell dissolution. Well known fact is that it helps with the slowdown of the aging cells. 3. Protects Your Mouth And Teeth The crunchy vegetable can clean your mouth and teeth. It scrapes away the plaque and the little food parts likewise the toothpaste and the toothbrushes. All the minerals in the carrot work against the tooth damage. It stimulates glands and gums to produce more saliva to balance the formation of cavity bacteria. 4. Reduces The Cholesterol It is a good idea to put more carrots in your diet or daily menu because it reduces the levels of cholesterol in the body. Many studies conclude that a dose of carrots can prevent problems related with heart diseases. The high amounts of fiber and pectin in it - are capable to reduce the blood cholesterol levels just in three weeks. All you need to do is just eat a cup of raw carrots every day. 5. Reduces The Risk of Cancer The vegetable is recommended as a natural fighter against lung, breast and colon cancer. The alpha-carotene and the falcarinol can protect you from these insidious diseases. 6. Keeps The Vision Sharp If you have existing problems with the vision, carrots won’t cure them, but they can protect you from sight issues provoked by the deficiency of Vitamin A. There is a study showing that people who consume big amounts of beta - carotene have 40% lower risk of macular degeneration than those who eat little. 7. Prevents Diabetes The plant is good for the regulation of the blood sugar because of the existence of carotenoids in it. Carrots can regulate the amount of glucose and insulin in our bodies, thus providing healthier and more functional life for diabetic patients. Even more - carrot juice can help you with the gastrointestinal and stomach health. 8. Stops Memory Loss And Keeps The Brain Healthy Carrots are very beneficial for the middle-aged people. The beta-carotene in it protects the central nervous system against aging. A study shows that eating just one carrot a day can reduce the risk of having a stroke with 68%. Nowadays the majority of carrots come from China, they are exported all around the world to become part of our delicious dishes. However, there is a great pleasure to dine on a salad you have grown in your own veggie garden. If you are not an experienced gardener, but full of willingness to learn how to grow this plant, then you can always search the expert assistance of vetted gardeners. They will help you with the first steps of planting, growing and caring for this extremely salutary vegetable.
  9. Organic Landscaping: Maintenance Of Mowers

    Lawn mowers are arguably the most common gardening tools found in the shed of every house with a garden. Professional landscapers use also use them, even if they prefer high-performance models and their units are therefore more powerful. Many different types of mowing machines exist, but we all know the major ones: push, rotary, riding mowers. Although you probably use and store them the right way, you should still perform a few additional tasks regularly. Some of them may be annoying - but in turn, your equipment will be in top working condition throughout the year. Sharpen The Blades First of all, how to tell if blades are dull? The easiest way is to look at the grass after trimming and see if you're getting a clean cut. If the area top looks whiter then usual – it's a sure sign that blades need to be sharpened. If you don't do so on time you will end up with a bad-looking lawn and eventually a lack of balance that slowly damages the whole engine because of the strong vibrations. So, these are the steps for the most common (rotary) type: Make sure there is almost no fuel in the tank, so that nothing will be spilled when you tip the machine to the side.Take out/disconnect the spark plug for security reasons.Use a wrench to unscrew the nut and take the blade off the mower.Set the blade firmly in the vise and sharpen it as you go from the outer edge towards the center. Keep the existing angle while working or, if it's really damaged badly, try to go around 30 degrees.Once you're finished, check the blade for balance. Remove some more metal where/if necessary – you need to make sure that no side is heavier than the other.Keep in mind that reel blades are not recommended to be sharpened at home. Engine Care Not much to do here, fortunately. It's best to follow manufacturer's instructions if you have them handy. If not, just be sure to change the oil after every 20-25 hours of mowing. Also, clean up air filter/s together with the oil refill. Cleaning If you have a push-type mower, grab a putty knife and scrape off parched grass clippings and other dirt. Wash down the whole unit with the garden hose. Experts in residential landscaping from Sydney remind that you should always lubricate visible metal parts (including the blades) right after the rinsing, once the surface is completely dry. For electrical models – clean up all areas surrounding the openings and get rid of grass and other particles found on the cooling fans to prevent excessive heating of the engine. You are allowed to apply a mix of hot water and household dish-washing liquid on the external surface if it's very dirty, then let it dry naturally. Tip your landscaping tool to one side in order to remove the grass stuck to the bottom – use a power nozzle if you need to.
  10. The Art of Green Landscaping

    Landscaping brings to mind pictures of broad fields of grass at country clubs, or intricate raised bed flower gardens over manicured lawns. This type of groundskeeping, while making the environment green, can be anything but green in actual practice - it runs the risk of introducing invasive species, requiring extensive irrigation, or fertilizer run-off, and may be intensely power consumptive in the process. Making a garden or yard that works with nature is called "green landscaping" and it relies on a few basic principles that, by and large, are common sense. If any of this is too hard to do yourself, considering hiring a professional. Pick Plants Appropriate To Your Area Your yard and garden are going to be a home for a mini-ecology. Before you pick your perennials, look at plants that are native to your area, or come from similar climates. If you're in a dry climate, consider xerescaping - using desert plants and shrubs - for your plant cover. While you're at it, check to make sure that the plants you're planting don't have pollen that people are commonly allergic to. Work With The Land Not Against It When you start your yard improvement project, the experts say to have the land surveyed properly. It's expensive, but it's worth it - you can learn a lot about the underlying drainage patterns of the stone and soil under your ground cover, and irrigating so that the water flows with the drainage pattern is better than irrigating against that pattern. A similar principle can be used to plant trees and shrubs as wind-breaks against the prevailing breezes in your part of the world. While you're at it, it also lets you avoid surprises like abandoned septic tanks or ant colonies under the ground, and can help you site trees and shrubs. Speaking of siting trees, always try to use the trees to provide shade to part of your house - this lets your landscaping cut down on your cooling bills in the summer. Use Technology Appropriately While your yard project should focus on the plants and the terrain, you're probably going to need to put in some sort of permanent structure, whether it's a raised planter, a retaining wall, or paving stones for a garden path. You can be green in this area too - use recycled concrete and recycled paving stones where you can to cut back on your carbon dioxide load, and get US fired brickworks; in the US, brick-making kilns are fired off of natural gas, rather than using wood or wood waste or oil. If your project includes a lighting component, you should also look at solar powered lighting systems - these have matured tremendously in the last three years, and are more robust, have better solar panels and use LED bulbs that last forever.