March 5, 2008

Why Not Traditional Lanscaping

Some problems with traditional lanscaping are water pollution, air pollution, noisew pollution, consumption of our natural resources, produces solid waste, harmful to health and safety, declining biodeiversity, flooding, and to top it off it’s labor and cost intensive.

Homeowners over-apply pesticides and fertilizers often more than that of farmers. Additionaly people dump excess pesticides on the ground, in their drains, and/or in their trash rather than taking them to hazardous waste collection sites. Plus since turf has such a shallow roots and is a bad stabilizer for stream banks, so that heavy rains can result in bank erosion and stream silation. Added to that is the tens of millions of gallons of gasoline that are spilled each year while refueling garden equipment. Water pollution is increased with traditional gardening by:

  • extra applications, improper disposal and use of pesticides and fertilizers
  • contributing to erosion
  • spills during refueling of power equipment

Air pollution is contributed to by the operating and refueling of landscape equipment, vehiclesEmissions from landscape equipment (mowers, blowers, trimmers, etc.). These are often greater than that of a car per hour of operation. The most polluting are small gasoline-powered engines.
Noise Pollution is added to by the operation of the power equipment and vehicles need to maintain traditional lanscaping. How often have you been outside on a blissfully warm day only to have it ruined by a neighbor mowing their lawn? Some actual lanscaping equipment can actually lead to hearing impaiement.

Using up our limited supply of natural resources to have curb appeal is not the wisest action we could be doing. 30% of our water consumption in the urban areas of the eastern United States is to water lawns. Additional resources that are being consumed to improve our yards and gardens in traditional methods are:

  • the coal and gas needed to generate electricity and fuel our landscape equipment
  • the water used to irrigate plants
  • the soil that is lost through erosion
  • Use of peat moss, which often comes from wetlands, to amend soil

Adding grass clippings and leaves to our everday trash collections. Almost 1/5 of all solid waste collected by municipals are yard waste and organic waste that could be composted by homeowners. Though some is then composted by the municipalities, most ends up in landfills that are quickly reaching capacity.

On top of those concerns is that of health and safety to ourselves. The repeated exposure to chemical pesticides nad accidents that can occur from the use of power tools and equipment. By gardeners over using or not following directions of pesticides they are putting themselves, their families, neighbors, and even animals in increased health risk. Adding to that is that nearly half of all households have stored pesticides within reach of children. 230,000 people every year are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries related to lawn and garden tools.

Non-native plants can “escape” from gardens …

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Farewell my Subaru

“Farewell my Subaru” is the story of bumbling radio presenter who tries to take his life off-grid

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Snow, more pix, helping out…


We had an interesting few days, it’s been warm, nice, perfect weather, then yesterday, it snowed, all day, but it was so light that it didn’t really stick, it was pretty though, nothing like seeing snow in the high desert mountains. :) Sorry, no pix of the snow, I took the day off from everything, I got up long enough to eat and use the toilet, it was a very lazy day for me, I slept most of the day. By the time I got up for good, the sun had come out and the snow that did stick, had mostly melted off. We ate dinner at our neighbor’s house and had a pretty good time, good food, good company, TV and the internet, what more could one ask for? ;)

Last weekend, we went to our friend’s new place, I have a few pix of us, Bob and I and our neighbor (who is our very best friend out here!), we are sitting on top of another mountain, I took the opportunity to take a pic of myself, I hate having my picture taken, I tend to hide behind the camera (grin), but I am fairly happy with the pictures (mark it on the calendar, that doesn’t happen very often).

Here’s Bob

Here’s Bob and our neighbor (and very good friend)

Anyhoo, we have been helping our friends get their house ready to be lived in, it’s an 80s model single wide mobile home, it’s not too bad, a little water damage, mostly on the edges of the floor, we helped pull carpet (shag carpet), paint walls and clean. This place had been empty for many years and it had been home to mice and various other animals, they caught a ring tailed cat inside too, they are messy, nasty creatures, at least if they are inside your house they can be… It will be a cute place when they are finished with it. They are getting 11 acres on top of a mountain, very pretty view but the ride up is pretty rough, you almost have to have 4 wheel drive, our bug does it pretty well, I can’t imagine driving up and down every day though. Oh, I almost forgot, they fed us a great BBQ meal for helping, we would have done it anyway, but it was nice to eat a good meal with good friends and a great view.

Here is the view from their property


Today, we went to town, we were going to the post office, and missed it by 13 minutes! Darn, small towns, I forget that they roll up the sidewalks earlier in the day. We will have to go again tomorrow, bummer, it’s quite a drive into town, heck it’s a 12 mile round trip just to go to the mail boxes out by the main road. Oh well… …

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