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5 Summer Energy Efficiency Myths

Posted by RESNET

May 27, 2015 4:35:00 PM

Hot summers can lead to high energy bills, but not if your home is energy efficient!

But some energy efficient practices are simply myths and won’t help you reduce your energy bill at all. Here are 5 of the most common summer energy efficiency myths:

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Landscaping with Trees

Posted by Juliet Grable

Mar 27, 2015 2:55:15 PM

Trees are a site’s biggest asset. These guidelines will help you protect and manage them through a construction project and beyond.

ASIDE FROM ADDING beauty to landscapes, trees perform several vital functions. They help stabilize soils, absorb rainwater and reduce the velocity and volume of rainwater hitting concrete and other impervious surfaces. They provide shade, especially on south and west façades; in the dry climate of the Southwest, for example, a shade tree can lower temperatures by up to 20 degrees. Trees also block wind, especially when planted near north façades. And they capture and store carbon.

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Lawns Are Not Carbon Neutral, Contrary to Industry Claims

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

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, Editor-In-Chief

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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