Posts tagged water

EcoBridge: Chicago Tames the Windy Waters

EcoBridge Design Profile

EcoBridge Chicago

Another fine design example from Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill (see their “energy-positive” design here). This circle in the lake serves two purposes: to create an area of calm water, known as breakwater, that can be enjoyed by tourists and enthusiasts, adding aesthetic value to the city. Additionally, the ring supports wind turbines that generate power for the city using the particular weather there to the city’s advantage. All the while providing a place to stroll out for a great lake-front view. This is a nice application of a city coming together to think on an integrated level about space usage. With proper focus, making a change in even one area of the green spectrum can be amazingly far-reaching.

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zeroHouse – Making Your Home Work for You

Nice. No, really, everything about this concept is nice, from the idea, to the execution and the website. So nice that you’d better go check out the website for yourself, so I’m only going to provide one chart here as a teaser.

zeroHouse by Scott Specht

This house does it all. Collects water, uses high-capacity solar, makes its own compost, and looks amazing while doing it through your laptop. And you can construct one in under a weekend. How’s that for simple? It’s certainly inspiring.

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Link Bonanza: medicinal and edible plants

Balsam Fir Pitch

Medicinal plant list

More edible and medicinal plants

Articles about Australian medicinal plants

Forage with Wildman Steve Brill

Whoa! That’s a lot of information! While we’re on the topic of edible plants… when planting your garden, why not plant things that do double or even triple duty, providing medicine and or nourishment along with shady beauty? While every locale has its own host of plants that fit this bill while still thriving ecologically, you may be surprised to find that plants you’ve known and loved for years have different uses than you’d imagined. Take the above article on the balsam fir. My house growing up had one in the front yard. I knew it as the good climbing tree, and my mother no doubt saw it as “that darn tree that ends up all over the kids’ clothes”, but neither of us ever thought that the sticky pitch might have other uses. Again, knowing more about your local environment can only enhance the pleasures of living there, and bring you more into balance with nature. Happy reading!

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Solar Islands

solarislandcsem.jpg
“Ras al Khaimah, one of the states within the United Arab Emirates, is set to deploy the first, of what is hoped will be many, floating solar islands that can potentially produce entirely green electricity and hydrogen.

The project, designed by Neuchâtel’s Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology, will see a kilometre-wide array of solar panels put out to sea, where it will capture sunlight to convert to electricity that is, in turn, used in the electrolization of water to produce hydrogen. The solar island will then store the “eco friendly” gas for transportation back to the mainland, negating the need for an expensive network of gas pipes.”

Wonder what this looks like from space?

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Xeriscaping your life

Never heard of xeriscaping? Neither have most people. But it’s a relatively easy way to reduce your planetary footprint. Basically, xeriscaping entails ripping out your water-thirsty lawn or bedding plants and replacing them with drought-friendly plants and mulch. It’s a small initial investment for the plants and mulch, but for what you save over time in watering and gas mowing your lawn, you’ll recoup very quickly. If you live in Las Vegas, you can even get a tax rebate for ripping out the lawn and replacing it with gravel and drought-tolerant plantings.

Taken from www.xeriscape.org:

Xeriscaped Garden in CO

“Why Xeriscape? For most of the western United States over fifty percent of residential water used is applied to landscape and lawns. Xeriscape can reduce landscape water use by 60% or more.

Efficient water use doesn’t mean changing our lifestyle. It means reducing water waste, such as improper irrigation, and finding ways to achieve attractive, comfortable landscapes without excess water use.

Your landscape is an investment in your comfort and in the value of your property. A good Xeriscape will increase your property value by as much as 15%. Xeriscape can also reduce water and maintenance costs by up to 60%.”

Not only do xeriscaped lawns help the environment at large, they also look great, increasing the value of YOUR environment. Nosy neighbors with green lawns might object at fist, but after a season or two of growth, your yard may just become a neighborhood “park”, full of birds, butterflies, and wonderful herbal scents. Now that’s aromatherapy!

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