In most parts of North America, some type of seasonal irrigation is necessary to keep common garden plants healthy and happy. Unless you plan on paying your city or municipal water supply, or taking your water from a private well at the cost of running the pump, it makes a great idea of sense to collect whatever water you can. Rainwater harvesting has become a very commonly used way to save the cost of bringing water in from somewhere else.
Like solar power, with the exception of very few places, everywhere gets at least a little bit of rain at some point. Even if its fewer than 15” per year, that’s 15” over the entire surface of your roof or whatever surface you’re using to collect. That’s hundreds of gallons that can be collected in just a few rain events from even the simplest rainwater harvesting systems. Continue reading
Everything we does impacts our local and the global environment. Now that people have become aware of the major problems that pollution, toxic substances, carbon-emitting travel and other types of waste have on a local and global scale, people are acting. As a wonderful consequence, as we transition into a relatively energy-poor future, increasing energy prices mean more savings for those who are good at reducing waste.
Waste is everywhere. There are countless examples of all the commonplace items that we are now considering how to do without – all towards the ultimate goal of reducing waste. Waste products often break down into toxic by-products that are found in areas such as the 3.5 million tons of 80% plastic waste that floats in the South Pacific. It is the size of a continent, judged by the SF Gate to be twice the size of Texas. Continue reading
Localism is everywhere these days. And, for a very good reason – a healthy local economy is essential for cutting the carbon emissions that threaten the health, welfare and prosperity of just about everyone on Earth through climate change. People are also finding out that it’s becoming a lot cheaper to stay at home, when it comes to getting themselves and their goods around.
Consider how far the very food we eat may travel arrive at market. In the mid-1990s, that figure had risen to nearly 1,100 miles for the average item of produce in the grocery store, at any given time of year. Today, that figure stands at over 1,700 miles. This is partly due to fruits and vegetables flown in from South America at a far higher carbon-cost per mile. The same goes for just about any other item for purchase at all but a few sustainable grocery stores and co-op groceries. Continue reading