It’s the most essential resource we have: Water. We all take it for granted. We turn on the tap and expect clean water to flow out. But is it really clean? I recently watched a riveting film about the water infrastructure system here in the United States, and I was flabbergasted!
Because the 2 million miles of intricate water infrastructure is buried beneath our feet, we don’t think about it much. Perhaps if it were visible, we’d realize the dire need to repair and replace our aging systems and be willing to pay a little more for this precious resource.
Many cities and towns have what is called a combined sewer system, where rainwater runoff, domestic sewage and industrial wastewater are collected in ONE pipe. Water treatment facilities become overwhelmed during some rainstorms, which leads to sewage and other pollutants overflowing into our watersheds and water supplies.
Read More >>
Savannah, Georgia is home to the largest urban National Historic Landmark District in the United States, and now you can experience this gem of southern hospitality. The 78th Annual Savannah Tour of Homes and Gardens will allow you to get a sneak peak into private historic homes, heirloom furnishings and gorgeous gardens.
You can also sign up for a plethora of seminars ranging from interior decorating to furniture restoration. Experience high tea and old South recipes at various sampling events.
Want the most delicious and nutritious fresh vegetables and herbs at the lowest price (Heirloom flowers are available as well). Besides shopping at your local farm stand, growing your own is the next best thing. I recommend starting your garden with heirloom seeds (there’s hundreds of varieties available), or you may be able to find some heirloom plants (likely tomato) from your local farmers’ market. Now is the perfect time to start seeds!
If you’re ambitious and want to buy seeds only once in your lifetime, you can even collect seed from your own harvest to sow the following years. Plus, heirloom seeds will typically last for a decade when properly stored! So save those seeds you didn’t have room for! You’ll be rewarded with amazing flavor in the future!
Read More >>
Can’t wait to see the vibrant colors of spring flowers? Indoor conservatories are certainly a great cure for the winter blues. Luckily, there are many that are open all year long around the country, but of course you can see visit one of the best in our nation’s capital — FREE of charge!
You’ll experience exhibits from desert succulents to amazing tropicals. Discover plants used in medicine and household products. Learn gardening tips and the importance of sustainability and conservation in fun and interactive ways.
The United States Botanic Garden offers free admission and the Conservatory, National Garden and Bartholdi Park are open every day of the year.
photo courtesy of GwendolynGarden.com
When you visit the iconic Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, you’ll not only get to explore one of the best museums in the world, but you’ll soon be welcomed by a newly designed four-block plaza. Since the plaza hasn’t been updated since 1968, the new environmentally-friendly plaza is sorely needed.
New features designed to complement the symmetrical facade, will include new fountains, shady seating areas, allées of majestic Littleleaf Linden trees and an impressive stormwater management system. The new system will also help ease the urban heat island effect so common in cities. A suspended paving system will allow new tree pits to collect and utilize up to 80,000 gallons of rainwater! Underground detention areas will collect excess water and slowly release it into the stormwater system, lessening demand on the city’s aging infrastructure.
For more information and images, visit the website of Olin Studio, the lead design consultant for The David H. Koch Plaza. The expected completion date is fall 2014.
Winter is the perfect time to think about planning your garden. It won’t be long before spring is in the air and flowers will be blooming. Whether you’re looking to add beauty, curb appeal or a habitat for song birds and butterflies, using native plants is the way to go.
Read More >>
Just because the sky is gloomy and grey, it doesn’t mean your garden can’t be a vibrant space that brightens your day. There are many wonderful native plants that can be used to create a stunning winter wonderland against a backdrop of fresh snow. The following plants will add great winter interest in color, texture and structure for your garden:
Read More >>
Thanks to the collaborative efforts between one San Francisco community and a generous Design/Build firm, a new public parklet is now being enjoyed by all. The Noreiga Street Parklet encourages pedestrian travel rather than automobile traffic by consuming three parking spaces, a novel idea?
While it might seem counter-intuitive to place a park directly on a street, it’s an ideal spot to stop and savor a treat from the adjacent Devil’s Teeth Bakery, who sponsored the project.
Local company, Matarozzi Pelsinger Design + Build, completed the project pro bono, adding to the goodwill atmosphere even more.
The parklet even includes sustainable elements, such as: native drought-tolerant plants, salvaged wood, recycled-content steel and cement with a 50% reclaimed fly ash content.
For more photos of this cool little park, visit The American Institute of Architects San Francisco or The Contemporist.
Are you finding packing peanuts all over the place after holiday gift-giving? Of course, it’s always a good time jumping into a heaping pile of packing peanuts, but if you’re looking for more practical solutions, we offer those too. You can store and reuse them the next time you need to protect the contents of a special gift, but if there’s just too many to save, you can recycle them at one of 1500 locations across the U.S. too.
Recyclers only accept the plastic peanuts made from polystyrene. (There are also plant-based peanuts which dissolve in water and will biodegrade). Here’s where you can recycle those pesky plastic packing peanuts:
Read More >>
Want an easy way to transform your Christmas tree into mulch for your very own garden or another garden in the city? The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, along with the NYC Department of Sanitation and GreeNYC, are offering earth-friendly ways to recycle your holiday tree with convenient options: Pick-up service, drop-off locations and chipping locations.
Learn more about MulchFest 2013 here.