Sustainable Living

aerial view of green rooftops

How to Build a Green, Living Roof

February 27, 2018

Green roofs (also known as "living roofs") have become increasingly more common in recent years. They're essentially when you build a garden on top of a roof. They not only pretty nice to look at, but also great for the environment too. Some cities have even offered tax incentives to encourage homeowners and business owners to implement green roofs at home and on their commercial buildings. 

artificial grass

Conserving Water With Artificial Turf

August 15, 2017

A perfect lawn requires an investment of both time and money. In drought-prone areas, a green, thick lawn may require frequent watering sessions. In all climates, it will need to be mowed and weeded without damaging the grass.

rainwater harvesting

Rainwater Catchment: Is Rainwater Harvesting Worth It?

August 8, 2017

Rainwater harvesting can be a great way to lower your water bill, as the natural precipitation can be used for different purposes. The upfront costs of a rainwater catchment system vary, depending on the amount of water you want to store and its intended uses. The simplest type of catchment system involves purchasing a rain barrel and connecting it to the existing gutter system with tubing or additional downspouts.

clean kitchen counters

Update Your Housecleaning: New Tips for Safety and Effectiveness

April 21, 2017

Household cleaning products can do away with dirt and grime, but people are now becoming more aware of what some of these cleaners might be leaving behind. A report on household hazards by Women’s Voices for the Earth suggests that chemicals commonly used in disinfectants may be linked to an increase in asthma among cleaning professionals and children.

prefabricated home

Pre-Fab Houses and Energy Efficiency: Help or Hype?

April 9, 2017

Modular or “prefab” homes have become more popular in recent years. Visually stunning, these dwellings have become a favorite subject for the publishers of architecture and design magazines. Prefab homes also have attractive qualities. The elements that comprise these state-of-the-art houses are mass produced, allowing builders to save on construction costs. Because of their small size and enclosed design, prefab units are much more energy efficient than brick and mortar homes.

harvesting vegetables

Prepare for the Growing Season with High-Efficiency Irrigation

March 31, 2017

As the gardening and landscaping season approaches, horticulturists, home gardeners and farmers are starting to prepare for a successful growing season.

Watering is one of the biggest challenges for growers of all types and skill levels. Excessive water can drown plants and permanently damage their roots, while too little moisture can stunt their growth. Other factors, such as soil type, plant species, and evaporation speed can further complicate matters.

tree partially shading home

Cool Your Home Naturally With Strategic Landscaping

March 25, 2017

Planting trees can be useful for more than just landscaping aesthetics. The sun’s heat can increase cooling costs during the summertime, and strategically placed trees can block the most powerful rays from shining directly on your roof or through your windows. Unfortunately, reducing solar heat gain inside of a home is not quite as simple as planting new trees or letting current ones reach maturity. The U.S.

gardening without pesticides

Alternatives to Harmful Chemical Pesticides & Fertilizers

March 17, 2017

When an insect or animal is destroying a garden or wreaking havoc on a lawn, potent chemical pesticides might seem like the obvious tool for dealing with the problem. But are they absolutely necessary? Non-chemical alternatives exist for most pesticides.

When applied properly, many of these natural pest killers are reasonably effective, without being as potentially toxic as their synthetic peers.

Is Fair Trade Eco-Friendly?

February 17, 2017

“Fair trade” is a common term that people encounter in places like coffee shops, supermarkets, and boutique clothing stores. Most consumers probably associate this label with good working conditions where the product was grown or produced. Workers’ rights are indeed an integral part of the fair trade movement, but there is much more to it than that.

hot water from tankless heater

Are Tankless Water Heaters Worth It? 10 Pros and Cons

February 13, 2017

Tankless water heaters are one of the newer tools for creating a more energy efficient home. Unlike standard units, which continuously heat and reheat water so that it is always hot, tankless heaters generate water warm instantly with high-powered gas burners or electric coils. Yes, this instant heating requires more power, but because the water does not have to be reheated again and again, like in a standard “tank” model, tankless systems use less energy overall.

6 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint in 2020

February 8, 2017

Everyone has a carbon footprint. Activities as simple as commuting to work, heating and cooling a home, running a refrigerator, and even taking a hot shower can contribute to the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. All of these activities, plus many others that people engage in on a daily basis, require energy. And many forms used today – coal, natural gas, oil – release harmful CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

sweltering desert sun

The Hottest Year in History Has Chilling Consequences

February 7, 2017

The news is stifling: 2016 was the warmest year on record for Planet Earth. In fact, world temperatures soared to a new high for the third year in a row. Independent research by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reveal the earth’s global temperature last year was the highest it’s been since scientists began collecting data in 1880.