The Native Americans who lived in California could not have survived without uncultivated plants and trees. During the Great Depression, some people survived by eating weeds along the roadsides. Native plants may no longer be critical for survival, but many of us are returning to our “roots,” partially driven by concern over eating pumped up GMO and pesticide dipped fruits and vegetables.
If your brown thumb threatens to bring the grim reaper, there’s an easy solution. Next time you pull a weed, you may just want to pop it into your mouth. Eat weeds? You may be surprised to find some of these undesirables are tasty and nutritious—a free lunch straight from the lawn. Try it and you just may be jump-starting a solution to the pollution problem while providing beauty, biodiversity and better nutrition.
Good weeds are full of antioxidants, protein and vitamins. If you don’t use pesticides, the nutrition factor may be better than vegetables from the grocery store.
Soy you bean thinking about buying new tires? Have you bean losing sleep worrying about a blow-out? What to buy? Where to go? Thanks to the soybean industry, your choices will be even more diverse. Even on a desert island you may not want to actually eat your tires, but this is indeed the latest ingredient.
The United Soybean Board (USB) researches new products to promote more bean growth. ”We must continue striving for even greater yields….and leverage soybean checkoff resources to maximize profit,” reads the USB Mission Statement.
Growers are encouraged to embrace additional ways to sell this rather tasteless food crop. This isn’t a new concept— we already have: soy insulation, soy carpet backing, soy ink, soy diesel fuel, soy-based foam, soy infused seals and gaskets and “soy-on”.
In order to push the demand for soybean oil, the USB granted Goodyear Tire Company $500,000.00 in 2012 to help them investigate the viability of soybean oil in lieu of petrochemicals in tire manufacturing. Read more
How would you like to supplement your financial resources for the rest of your life without getting off the couch? Is it legal? What’s the catch?
It’s simple—just build or purchase an energy efficient home. At minimum, you can save 5% a year on utility bills and, depending on the improvements, as much as 95%. With the cost of water and energy going up each year, the financial savings can be significant.
Who ya gonna call for energy and water-efficient real estate? EcoBrokers!
Allyson Nakasone, an EcoPlanners consortium member, was an early pioneer as a green Realtor. She spoke to me recently about her green designations.
What are “brownfields” and “duct blasters”? Who cares about IEQ, BRI or VOC’s? Frank Lloyd Wright didn’t know these acronyms, but he designed passive solar buildings made of indigenous materials almost a hundred years ago.
My dad’s bigger than your dad; my building’s platinum, yours is only silver.
One-upsmanship has been around as long as man has been decorating his cave, and it still continues in the building industry. In practice, to “one-up” is to systematically, consciously and creatively intimidate. In building green, the challenge is to attain the desired rating, but when building owners see the proximity to the next higher level of certification, the drive to achieve becomes intoxicating. One of my clients—a local synagogue (right)—boasts that it is the first synagogue in the world to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification. They deserve to swagger—after all, it took commitment and a devoted team of professionals to meet their projected goals.
Think back to the flower children of the 1970′s. Before the pot smoking hippies and finger snapping beatniks, there were the Pismo Beach “Dunnites” in the 1940′s. These artists and free spirits lived on the beach and communed with the clams. All of these Bohemians dreamed of a utopian world living with nature, not assaulting it – “making love not war.”
I love fire! It’s a family trait–my grandfather had a fire going every day of the year in his back yard patio. So, when I heard about using a torch to kill dandelions and other stubborn weeds, I was over the top excited. This method of eco-weed eradication can be dangerous, so wear protective clothing and take care to not start a brush fire.
A small propane tank with a metal tube to direct the flame works well for small jobs. Make your own or purchase equipment. You don’t need to cremate the weeds, just brown the top like a nice crème brûlée and the things will wither and die down to their long roots.
Forty-six percent of people in underdeveloped countries walk an average of 3.7 miles for access to drinkable water. Think about that the next time you turn on the tap and let it run down the drain. We don’t have to walk for miles, but potable water is becoming less plentiful and continually more expensive.
As our water table drops due to diminished rainfall, we try to avoid using drinking water to wash our cars or water the garden. We take 3 minute showers to conserve this precious commodity. Then we allow billions of gallons to run down gutters to storm drains that flow directly into the ocean. Along the way, it collects all kinds of nasty stuff – road dirt, dog poop, disease and pesticides.
Rather than encourage runaway polluted water we need to “Slow it, Spread it, and Sink it”. Allowing rainwater to soak into the ground will recharge both shallow and deep aquifers, reduce pressure on sewage systems, lower water bills and protect our steams and oceans.
Graywater (Greywater, Gray Water) is simply untreated water that comes from the bath, shower, bathroom sink and washing machine or building waste water. It is non-potable water, but safe for surface (or 16″-20″ below the surface) irrigation of non-edible plants or subterranean recharging of the aquifer. “Treated” graywater can be used in SLO County, to flush toilets and urinals.
Not all laundry water may be reused. If you’ve been washing dirty diapers or other unsanitary things, the water becomes “blackwater”. Blackwater is flushed toilet water, water from the kitchen sink, garbage disposal and dishwasher because of the high concentrations of organic waste like chicken skin and body waste. With sophisticated treatment and filtration, blackwater can be purified to be drinkable. However, most people are don’t like the thought of reusing water that was initially so unsanitary.
My former husband and I spoke with a PG&E technician twenty years ago about EMF’s (electromagnetic fields). We were concerned about the power source entering the house outside our young son’s bedroom. They agreed that electricity produced negative health effects, but the testing was inconclusive. We asked about the microwave oven. To be safe they suggested we stay at least 5-6 feet away while it is in operation. We moved the electrical source point to a rarely used room of the house and stood back from the microwave… just in case.