How does my green waste become mulch?
Green waste is biodegradable waste that consists of garden or lawn clippings, such as grass or flower cuttings and hedge trimmings, as well as food waste (excluding packaging.)
Mulch is a combination of materials spread around or over a plant or soil area to enrich or insulate the soil. There are two types, Organic and Inorganic. Both types consist primarily of Green Waste. Both have important uses in gardening and landscaping.
Prevents weed growth, while enriching the soil as it decomposes. Organic Mulch materials do NOT consist of:
- Tree trunks and stumps
- Lumber (plywood, chipboard, etc.)
- Palm fibers
- Wood pallets
- Soil or
- Any non-biodegradable materials (e.g. rocks, metal, plastic)
Prevents weed growth as well as allowing for added insulation for colder climates to protect growing plants from weather and erosion. Inorganic Much materials often contain several materials not found in the organic variety to increase its endurance.
If you are planning a project at your home or business that will result in large quantities of green waste, think about recycling. Reuse of our natural resource is an important choice in waste disposal.
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The intent of the LEED Standards for Light Pollution is pretty easy to wrap your mind around:
“To increase night sky access, improve nighttime visibility, and reduce the consequences of development for wildlife and people.”
You can read the standards here.
However, like most of the content on the LEED site, it’s not written for the average consumer/homeowner. Too bad because this is a concept that could greatly benefit people who enjoy the night sky, especially those living in rural areas.
To many I imagine this concept falls in to the category of “It’s my property and I’ll do whatever I want in terms of outdoor lighting!” While this is certainly true in the legal sense (barring communities with light pollution ordinances), it reminds me of being on the deck at a coffee shop or cafe and having someone sit down next to you and start streaming their favorite music from an iPad or laptop through the speakers! Even if it’s my kind of tunes, I don’t want to hear it. It’s just plain rude, use headphones for crying out loud!
So even if you don’t spend any time looking at the night sky, please be considerate when installing outdoor lighting. Some general tips include:
- Don’t install lights which are a lot brighter than you need for the job.
- Try to avoid placing lights very near to your property line (and much closer to your neighbors house)
- When installing rapid on types of lights for security reasons, consider using motion sensors instead of just leaving them burning all night long. You’ll like your electric bill for this one.
- Use lights which are shrouded, directing the light where it’s needed. Avoid flood lights point straight off your property.
But mainly, be considerate. Rest assured that if you’re new security light keeps you neighbor awake many hours a week, the two of you won’t be on good terms.
The LEED site – a great resource for remodelers
Although LEED is an extensive set of guidelines designed primarily for new construction of commercial and residential buildings, it can also be used as a great resource for the average homeowner who is remodeling an existing home.
Even if you’re only doing a portion of your home, wouldn’t you feel good knowing you’re following the latest ideas in energy conservation and green principals? I think most of us are interested in reducing our carbon footprint and protecting our environment for our kids and grandkids right?
As an example, lets say you’re going to remodel that bathroom or spiff up the kitchen. Wouldn’t it be nice to know the plumbing fixtures you install make good water usage sense? With the dry conditions we’ve seen in northern Georgia in the recent past, this should d be a concern for all of us.
Good news – LEED has a guideline for this:
|Water closets (toilets)
||1.6 gallons per flush (gpf)
|Private lavatory faucet
|| 2.2 gpm at 60 psi
|Kitchen faucet (excluding faucets used exclusively for filling operations)
|| 2.2 gpm at 60 psi
|| 2.5 gpm at 80 psi per shower stall
Bad news – unless you’re pretty savvy with the internet, this info can be hard to locate.
No worries though, over the coming few weeks I’ll pluck some gems out of this enormous government site that I think could be useful to the average homeowner and post them up here where there easy to find.