10 Ways To Make Your Landscape Greener This Spring

The trend is clear-more and more homeowners are transitioning to a greener, more eco-friendly way of creating and maintaining beautiful landscapes. The benefits of making your landscape greener than ever this spring reach far beyond the positive environmental impact alone. In fact, going organic in your landscaping and lawn can even save money while providing a better looking outdoor space than ever before. Here are 10 remarkably easy and effective ways to make your landscape greener than ever this spring.

One: Make sure your soil is perfectly balanced.

Having your yard’s soil tested for its organic composition-both positives and negatives-is a fantastic way to start with a healthy and supportive palette. Simply take a representative sample of your soil, send it for analysis, and follow the recommended steps to bringing the soil back to it’s maximum organic potential. Here’s a helpful article explaining exactly how to have your soil analyzed. The ultimate benefit? Landscapes with the right blend of rich soil to support growth and water absorption means that the use of additional chemicals and water to keep the vegetation healthy will be reduced by a remarkable amount.

Two: Scale back too much lawn.

By its very nature, grass lawns are very durable and easy to maintain. But with the perfecting standards we’ve come to expect today, lawn care perfection has practically become an intramural neighborhood competition. Having a green and luscious lawn is certainly desirable, but why not scale the proportions back a bit to reduce the need for all of that extra fertilizer, pesticide, and water use?

Three: Eliminate strong chemical products.

Believe it or not, one of the best possible ways to achieve a healthy, thick lawn is to wean it off of all of the complex and harsh non-organic fertilizers and pesticides. Traditional organic substances like manure and lime can help your yard find a perfect balance-effectively creating a stronger root system and a significantly higher resistance to weeds and other common turf problems than a chemically-supported “surface only” lawn will ever develop. Plus, with an all organic lawn, there’s no need to worry about letting the little tikes play in the grass to their hearts’ content!

Four: Manage your landscape’s watershed.

Landscaping designs with lots of concrete and other unnatural “hardscapes” all to often have the unfortunate effect of directing a great deal of rainwater into the storm sewer system-along with all of the chemicals and non-organic materials it mixes with along the way. Eventually, all of these non-organic substances end up polluting the clean water sources we rely on. By allowing much of the runoff water to be naturally absorbed by the organic landscape, you’re home’s landscaping will actively be taking a load off of an already over-stressed water system.

Five: Landscape greener by planning more sustainable plantings.

Are you familiar with the concept of xeriscaping? If not, this spring is the perfect time to learn more about how to plan a xeriscape. Basically, the concept involves designing and maintaining a landscape plan that requires minimal irrigation-reducing the usage and pollution of our precious resources. Learn more with this quick and easy guide to xeriscaping.

Six: Add a solar powered water feature.

Water, the refreshing and renewing resource that we all so vitally depend on, is naturally the perfect way to create a soothing and reflective landscape centerpiece. What’s the perfect green solution? It’s simple-creating a lovely fountain or waterfall powered by the abundant energy of the sun itself. Creating a solar powered water feature will be a true highlight in any backyard paradise!

Seven: Remember that compost is your landscape’s best organic friend.

The rich and natural nutrients provided by compost should be a part of every organic gardener’s portfolio of gardening and landscaping essentials. Creating a composting system is easy enough to do for just about any home. And, the wonderful “black gold” fertilizer that composting provides would only end up in the trash bin if it wasn’t used to create the most effective organic fertilizer that money just cannot buy!

Eight: Eliminate weeds by growing healthier lawns.

Again, achieving the right balance in your outdoor landscaping design is always essential, but one thing is certain for those looking to reduce the growth of weeds in a grass lawn organically. By making sure the soil is full of the right nutrients and ensuring that the lawn is properly watered (but not over-watered), the resulting deep-rooted lawn means that less weeds will be able to penetrate the grass. Another reliable organic method of encouraging a strong root system is having periodic aeration done as necessary.

Nine: Set up a rainwater collection system.

What better way to provide plenty of water to your landscape’s ever-thirsty vegetation than to collect, store, and distribute plenty of clean water right from the clouds for free? Harvesting rainwater to provide or supplement your landscape’s watering needs is easier than you might imagine. Plus, using this water has a double benefit effect-not only does it reduce your consumption of processed water, but it also helps reduce some of the pollutant laden runoff water that clean rain water so often turns into as it works its way through the chemical rich landscapes and dirty streets back to its source.

Ten: Use internal combustion fueled power tools less.

Agreed, the gasoline powered lawn and garden tools we’ve become accustomed to over the years sure do make caring for landscaping a breeze. But the thing is, they also pump great quantities of harmful pollutants into the air we breathe. Many folks are finding that going back to manual or electric lawn and garden tools is a refreshing change of pace from all of the noise, racket, and smelly exhaust that emanates from gasoline powered tools. Plus, in addition to the green factor, using simple manual tools is also a great way to work in a little bit extra exercise-something we can all use indeed.

Hopefully, these ten tips will help you make your landscaping greener than ever. Just one more thing-once your organic landscape beings to really shine, don’t forget to take plenty of time to be outside and enjoy it!

Author: Home Improvement Advisors

Tuscany Lighting – Enlighten the Beauty of Your Home

Tuscany lighting has soft qualities and it grants a gorgeous appearance to your home at dawn or dusk. You can use it in the morning muted. You can have Tuscany candle holders at night to enhance the joyous moments in the outdoor dinner parties. Tuscany decoration with light can help to set the romantic mood and you can plan for an enthusiastic garden party. It offers an inviting ambience and warm feeling to the guests.

You can add some other themes to enhance the Tuscany home decor. You can use the details of grapes, olives, scrolled ironwork, earthy tones like olive green and terracotta and Italian garden scenes. You can add textures like maple, tapestry or ceramic tile, which can increase the Tuscany feel.

You can put a Tuscany Motif to your rooms by including wrought iron lighting. The wrought iron chandelier hanging in the dining room or bedroom can provide a beautiful backdrop for all your parties and get together.

You can add Tuscany Outdoor lighting to your garden. Tuscany inspired candelabra is the most fascinating way to enhance the feel. You can include candles and can plan a fabulous outdoor meal. Black wrought iron can offer that elegant appearance.

While planning Tuscan home decor, you need to pay attention to every single detail. You can get inspirations from ornate tapestries or designs in the Tuscan lighting. You can even pick up designs from natural details like clusters of grapes or branches of olive tree. The iron scroll work chandeliers can be accented with fascinating details like tear drop crystals. The most interesting feature of Tuscan-inspired lighting is its versatility. You can decorate it any way that you wish. You can select formal or informal appearance. Everything suits your Tuscan home decor.

You can add more colors to enhance the Tuscan decoration. You can go for wall sconces. Wall sconces having floral details painted on them offer a royal look to your living room. A rustic style table lamp or hurricane lamp can increase the charm of the room. If you want to give more details, you can select large pendant lamps. You can hang them off a wrought iron chandelier base. Beige or off-white color can augment the entire appearance of the room.

It is advisable to select Tuscan table lamps with plain paper shades. Choosing some inspiring earthy colors like olive green, apricot or gold can add an artistic look to the room. Planning Tuscan home decor is not appealing but also very simple. A little effort can help you to bring life to your home.

Read more articles about wrought iron lighting and Italy Tuscan decorations kitchen available here.

About the Author:

Honeywell TCASII/ACAS II Collision Avoidance System User’s Manual

This manual applies to systems which are compliant to RTCA DO185A MOPS Change 7.0 and RTCA “DO185” MOPS Change 6.04a. These systems are referred to as TCAS II (Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System) in the United States and ACAS II (Airborne Collision Avoidance System) internationally.

The terminology is used interchangeably and, for the purpose of discussion, TCAS II will be the terminology used in this manual. TCAS II is a system used for detecting and tracking aircraft in the vicinity of your own aircraft.By interrogating their transponders it analyzes the replies to determine range,bearing,and if reporting altitude,the relative altitude of the intruder.

Should the TCAS II processor determine that a possible collision hazard exists,it issues visual and audio advisories to the crew for appropriate vertical avoidance maneuvers. TCAS is unable to detect any intruding aircraft without an operating transponder. There are two types of cockpit displays for TCAS II, the Resolution Advisory (RA) display and the Traffic Advisory (TA) display.The RA display is incorporated into the vertical speed indicator (VSI).By illuminating red and green areas around the dial it displays the required rate,or limitation of climb or descent,to avoid a possible collision.

The TA display shows the intruding aircraft’s relative position and altitude with a trend arrow to indicate if it is climbing or descending at greater than 500 feet per minute.This TA display may be provided on the weather radar indicator, on a dedicated TCAS display or a TA/VSI display. The TA display identifies the relative threat of each intruder by using various symbols and colors.

LEED Green Building Certification

Cooler Connection

Green Building Certification – LEED

Green design in buildings has increased rapidly in the last few years due to the increase in energy costs. To help centralize the green building criteria, the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) developed core principles for residential and commercial buildings that are designed to lower operating costs, reduce waste, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and conserve energy.  The USGBC developed LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), a rating system that serves as a third-party certification program. The numeric -point driven program evaluates a building’s total environmental performance. The number of points earned for a project determines the LEED certification level of the building. Buildings, not individual products, attain LEED certification based on the number of credits earned

U.S. Cooler offers several products to assist our customers in meeting the requirements for LEED certification.

LEED FAQs

What is LEED?

LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED is a 3rd party verification system that certifies that a building or community was designed and built to improve energy savings, water efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. This program provides the marketplace with a framework for identifying and implementing green building design and construction.

How does LEED work?

LEED is a point based system where building projects earn points for satisfying specific green building criteria. There are seven LEED credit categories that projects must satisfy to earn points towards the LEED certification. The number of points the project earns determines the level of LEED certification the project receives. LEED certification is available in four levels according to the following point structure:

There are 100 base points; 6 possible Innovation in Design and 4 Regional Priority points

Certified              40-49 points

Silver                     50-59 points

Gold                      60-79 points

Platinum              80 points and above

The allocation of points is based upon positive impacts on energy efficiency and CO2 reductions.

Regional credits acknowledge the importance of local conditions. LEED projects can earn bonus points for implementing green strategies that address the important environmental issues in the respected region.

What types of buildings could use LEED?

LEED certification is available for all building types including new construction and major renovation, existing buildings and commercial interiors.

Are there specific products that can help me achieve LEED certification?

No. Individual products are not certified for LEED usage; LEED applies to the entire project.  However, in order to meet LEED requirements products will need to have certain characteristics to achieve points for certification. There are certain elements of the LEED process that require specific product performance data to attain certification.

How much does LEED certification cost?

USGBC charges a registration fee per project of $450 for USGBC members and $600 for nonmembers. Fees for certification vary by project size but the average certification cost is about $2,000.

How do I get a project LEED certified?

The U.S. Green Building Certification Institute administers the certification process through a network of third-party certification professionals. To begin the registration process, visit www.gbci.org.

Sources: U.S. Green Building Council http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CategoryID=19

Heatcraft Refrigeration http://www.heatcraftrpd.com/res/pdf/61435_HRP_Take-the-LEED.pdf

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