10 Easy Tips for a Beautiful Water-Efficient Spring Garden

1. I woke up this morning to a deafening racket. Without regard for my attire, I shot out of the house to see what was making such a clatter. The sewer manhole skirt was being jack hammered into pieces. “Halt!” I ordered, “I need those scraps for a garden planter”. So, the nice community services worker […]

By |May 16th, 2014|SLO County Locals|0 Comments

Saving Water: Finding the Most Efficient Water Heating Method

The saying, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water came from a time with the whole family used the same water—icky.   They saved a lot of water, but with a family of 6, losing the baby was a likely casualty.  Save water, shower with a friend, but washing in the buff is a […]

By |March 4th, 2014|SLO County Locals|0 Comments

How to Navigate Lighting Design: Energy Regulation Inspires Creative Interior Design Solutions

The Bright Side of Title 24 Lighting Design
When my sister was about three years old, she stuck a bobby-pin in a plug outlet. It knocked her back about 10 feet.  Fortunately she survived to learn a valuable lesson. By experience or observation, most of us don’t want to get anywhere near those electrifying pulses. However, […]

By |January 30th, 2014|SLO County Locals|0 Comments

Work productivity hurt by too much noise: a guide to softening the blow

During a typical day at the office, the air-conditioning is whirring, fluorescent lights are humming, muzak is playing, conversations are echoing, phones are ringing, the printer is spitting out paper, keyboards are click-clacking, raucous laughter is nearby, drawers are being banged shut, the elevator ding dongs, and a jet roars over head.

Technology has brought us […]

By |November 27th, 2013|SLO County Locals|0 Comments

Gardening in a Box, Pot, Bag, or… Up a Wall

Claudia Harmon Worthen is the principal designer at EcoPlanners LLC, a network of sustainability experts in building and interior design.

Tired of chasing gophers?  Love flowers, but no time to garden?  No space to plant a garden?  Don’t think you have a green thumb?  Has the drought forced you to eliminate outdoor watering?  Container gardens may be […]

By |October 9th, 2013|SLO County Locals|0 Comments

Man, Dry Earth, and the Economy

It’s dry as a biscuit, a bone, a mummy, a stick, as dust.  Whatever you call it, this photo I took last year of shriveled red earth was taken in Kauai. Yes, even the lush tropics are experiencing dehydration. On the Big Island, one Hilo resident told us a few years ago, “if it doesn’t […]

By |August 22nd, 2013|SLO County Locals|0 Comments

EcoPlanners: How to Create Beautiful, Healthy, and Edible Gardens

Claudia Harmon Worthen is the principal designer at EcoPlanners LLC, a network of sustainability experts in building and interior design: ecoplanners.llc@gmail.com.
Lettuce stroll through the garden, plucking and eating along the way.  Fragrant herbs are nestled between lavender and rosemary, and cabbage roses are bursting with perfume over chives.

It may seem odd, but actually roses and chives are […]

By |July 11th, 2013|SLO County Locals|0 Comments

Edible Weeds: Free Food in Your Backyard

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 […]

By |May 8th, 2013|SLO County Locals|0 Comments

Edible Tires? From Soybeans to Orange Oil

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) […]

By |April 2nd, 2013|SLO County Locals|0 Comments

EcoPlanners: What is an EcoBroker?

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 […]

By |March 7th, 2013|SLO County Locals|0 Comments