Archive for Cradle to Cradle

like coffee? you will love coffee grounds!!!

A lot of people already know coffee grounds are great for enriching soil with nitrogen, but if your gardens just can’t keep up with your coffee habit there are a ton of other great ways to put those grounds to use.

Kitty Be Gone
Keep the neighborhood felines out of your garden by sprinkling a mixture of coffee grounds and orange peels around the edges of plant beds. It’s not only beneficial for you and your garden—there are lots of plants that are harmful to cats.

Ant Control
It’s that time of year: Ant season. If you have an ant problem, sprinkle coffee grounds near doorways. How does it work? The nitrogen burns the ants’ legs so they won’t walk cross it. Some people cover ant holes with grounds, but I’m a little too softhearted for that.

Sow Seeds
If you want to grow lots of carrots or radishes, you can make your seeds go further by adding in coffee grounds. Let the grounds dry and then mix them with seeds. Plant the grounds with the seeds and your plants will actually grow in thicker.

Get Shiny Hair
Coffee grounds can add shine to your hair and condition it naturally. Work the grounds into clean, wet hair and massage for a few minutes, then rinse. You may want to do this outdoors in warm weather to keep your drains from becoming clogged. (And brunettes—you’ll get the added benefit of lovely highlights.)

Eliminate Odors
Coffee absorbs scents from its environment, which makes it a fantastic natural deodorizer. Let the grounds dry, then pour them into a cup you can sit in your fridge or freezer. If you’ve been cooking with onion, garlic or other pungent foods, rub your hands in dry coffee grounds to remove smells.


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Building green 101 for “Non-Building” people!

Lately I have been asked by a few home owners that have a strong desire to make their homes “GREENER”, but are lost about where to start.  Much of the information out there about designing and building green homes, but for people, while it’s nice to admire these beautifully designed green buildings, we are bounded by our existing homes and have only so much to work with; and while the idea of creating more natural light is great, it’s rather costly and difficult (not to mention the process it takes to get permits, etc) for most people to do that with where they live.

So I’ve decided to provide a list of simple things we can do as people who care about being green…

  • Buy Energy Star* appliances (dishwasher, refrigerator, washer and dryer, etc)
  • Replace single pane with high performance windows
  • Upgrade to high efficiency water heater
  • Upgrade to energy efficient lighting
  • Install low mercury florescent lighting
  • Use building materials from companies that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council  (http://www.fscus.org/certified_companies/)
  • Use low to non-VOC paint for your interior and exterior walls (volatile organic compound)

For those of you that want to know more about green remodeling, I highly suggest you to go through the 2007 Remodeling Guidelines put together by http://www.builditgreen.org.

http://www.builditgreen.org/greenpoint-rated/guidelines

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Ten Critical Steps in a Green Remodel

  1. Get an energy audit.  You need a base line to understand what is needed for your project.  Most states and utilities offer energy audits.
  2. Fix or upgrade your insulation to keep out heat/cold.
  3. Get better windows that seal out the heat/cold, watch the edges.
  4. Get a highly efficient heating and cooling system to match your needs and ask the utility company to hook you up to the green power.
  5. Plan for a good air exchange system to ensure your home has healthy air.
  6. Make sure your paint, carpets, furniture, and wood is made of sustainable, zero-VOC materials.
  7. Landscape with less grass and use rain gardens that require minimal water.
  8. Use anything that reduces or recycles water, such as low-flow restrictors on faucets.
  9. Come up with a plan/system to recycle within the home.
  10. Work with a professional or organization with experience in green remodeling to keep the costs down and make sure everything works.

And…

  • Recycle or reuse what you deconstruct, if possible.
  • If you replace or install new appliances, make sure they’re the most energy and water efficient appliances you can find.
  • Use locally sourced materials where possible.

Here is a look at the world’s first LEED PLATINUM HOME REMODEL…

http://www.jetsongreen.com/2008/01/worlds-first-le.html

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Sustainable Living… A true green home built by a family, lived by a family

I found this website about a family that built a eco-friendly home. It’s not one of those modern architecture buildings with solar panels. What I am talking about is a truly organic home that will leave very little eco-footprint in the world.Front of House

The short story goes like this. A financially constrained family that are committed to being full-time parents to their 2 children, with deep concerns and convictions about the earth, had an offer from a landlord to move to his woodland in west Wales to build an eco-house. There was no security deposit collected or long term ownership, but £2000 was available for materials. The family went on their way to design and build their organic home, and here are some pictures… Inside

I’m very touched by the voice of this family. What they stand for, and the choices they are making.  Needless to say, this looks like a beautiful, beautiful home.

wide.jpg

Take a look at the website and the interview by a student to this family.

http://simondale.net/house/

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