Living a green life is about more than just saving money, it’s about minimizing as much as possible our negative impact on the environment around us. At Martell Home Builders this idea is more than just words, it’s action and we want to empower you to action as well. Besides purchasing a net-zero home (which you can definitely do!) there are other ways that you can minimize that negative impact.
In our first installment of the living green series we talked about how to live green in the way you wash laundry (check out that post here). Today, we want to talk water. In a Country covered in fresh water lakes, ponds, and streams, we often don’t fully appreciate how lucky we are to have access to clean water. By being intentional in our efforts to conserve water we are both ensuring a ‘moist’ future for our children and also expressing solidarity with those around the world that are less fortunate than we. So, without further ado, here are our top 10 tips on how to conserve water in your home!
1. Turn off that Tap! – We’ve all heard this one before (or at least should have) but turning of the tap while you’re brushing your pearly white teeth is a great step towards water conservation. You don’t need to hear a waterfall while you brush!
2. Don’t Flush Unnecessarily – Instead of flushing that kleenex away, just put it in the garbage and save water.
3. Basin, Not Tap – Wash your fruits and veggies in a basin or bowl instead of under a running tap.
4. Brick in the Tank – If you have a large toilet tank but a displacer inside of it to save water.
5. Brita in the Fridge– If you keep a jug of cold water in the fridge it will keep you from running it (until it goes cold) the next time you want a glass
6. Don’t Water the Road– Position your sprinkler so non of the water is getting wasted by watering roads, driveways, etc.
7. Big Close Drops – Set your sprinkler or hose to dispense big close drops. A mist will likely be wasteful since a lot of it blows away!
8. Check– Check those valves and pipes for cracks and leaks
9. Long Lawn – Set your lawn mower to a high setting – longer grass = more shade = less evaporation!
10. Fish Food – Use your old fish tank water (when you’re switching it) to water your plants!
Check out more tips (100 to be exact) here!
Neglecting your lawn now can mean paying for it later. Whether you want your lawn to look good because you’re selling your home or you just want to keep your home beautiful, taking the time to protect your lawn in the spring is key. Spring is the beginning of new grass life which means that nurturing your yard starts now. Here are some tips about how you can start to cultivate the type of lawn that you can be proud of and that your neighbors will be jealous of.
Attack Thatch (Aka Rake) – Thatch are those nasty clumps of dead grass that essentially suffocate any new baby grass trying to survive in this world. So, once the snow is gone (which it likely is now… fingers crossed for no more snow!).. dig out your rake and get that dead grass out of there! Make sure to rake deeply especially if you didn’t take the time and do so in the fall.
Lime is Prime – Grass is no fan of acid (which could be indicated if you have compaction or moss) so make sure to create a neutral pH for your little ones by liming your lawn. Make sure to send in a sample of your soil to ensure that it does indeed need liming because liming is only corrective, not preventative.
Whack those Weeds- Getting rid of weeds before the flower and seed is key. It may not be fun, but getting outside in the spring and scouring your lawn for those pesky dandelions will help your lawn to be even more beautiful (and less yellow) when the summer months roll around. While spraying weeds with herbicides may be more effective in the fall, in the spring doing outsides and pulling them will garner you better results.
If your interested in learning about more spring lawn care tips a great place to start is the About.com site (here) or to go into a local home renovations or gardening store and talk to one of their experts.