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Lawns Are Not Carbon Neutral, Contrary to Industry Claims

Posted by Matt Power

Feb 17, 2015 12:22:33 PM

When you look at the entire yard maintenance impact, lawns don't counterract the CO2 pollution they absorb.

ACCORDING TO LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT SUE REED, author of Energy Wise Landscape Design, the results of one study from 2008, titled  “Technical Assessment of the Carbon Sequestration Potential of Managed Turfgrass in the United States,” has been taken as gospel by major chemical and equipment producers. It suggested that “well-managed lawns capture four times more carbon from the air than is produced by today’s typical lawnmower.”

This would be good news for all involved, if it were the complete story, but as Reed points out (link below), the study ignores the big picture of lawn chemical additives and maintenance. The uncounted environmental costs include:

  • Manufacture and Transport of Fertilizers and Weed Killers
  • Irrigation and Watering
  • Manufacture of Mowers, Edgers and other Equipment
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Beware Your Garden May Be Organic and Poisonous

Posted by Christina B. Farnsworth

Nov 13, 2014 12:58:14 PM

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"Natural" Swimming Pools Work Best in Warm Climates

Posted by Matt Power

Nov 8, 2014 11:11:00 AM

It's time to address the overuse of chemicals in our nation's backyard pools.

JAMES ROBYN LIKES TO SHOW PEOPLE A PHOTO of a natural swimming pool next to a conventional chlorine model. It was built in Germany for customers who couldn’t decide which they wanted. The difference is striking. The natural pool is a green-hued swimming hole bordered by a water garden, a stark contrast to the conventional model’s blue sterility. “We call the chlorine pool the Windex pool,” he says.

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ICC and ASABE Announce New Landscape Irrigation Sprinkler Standard

Posted by ICC

Nov 4, 2014 11:42:47 AM

The International Code Council (ICC) and the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) announce the release of a new ANSI consensus standard to classify sprinkler and drip irrigation systems, set uniform testing procedures, and establish minimum design and performance requirements for commercial and residential landscape irrigation components.

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Water Conservation by Stormwater Management

Posted by Juliet Grable

Sep 8, 2014 3:18:51 PM

We've let our stormwater get away from us. These water conservation practices can help clean it up and encourage it to stick around.

STORMWATER RUNOFF is rain or snowmelt that flows over the land without percolating into the soil. Stormwater occurs naturally, especially during large rain events, but nature’s sponge—the water-absorbing cover of trees, shrubs and other vegetation hugging our planet—usually takes care of the rest. Unfortunately, we’ve turned our world into a hard place. Paved sidewalks, asphalt parking lots, concrete curbs, streets, driveways, roofs and building facades—all of these impervious surfaces change the natural movement of water over the landscape, and increase the volume, speed and temperature of the runoff.

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