ONE MILLION POINTS OF LIGHT: TOP FIVE REASONS WE LOVE SOLAR...

Apr 29, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] GLOBAL PANORAMA Find out what the one-millionth solar installation in the US means for the future of renewable energy. Today, the future of solar energy is looking especially bright. That’s because the US reached a renewable energy milestone recently when the one-millionth solar installation came online.To help celebrate this new record, we’ve joined the #MillionSolarStrong campaign with our friends at the Solar Energy Industries Association. #MillionSolarStrong is not just a celebration of the progress the world has made in advancing solar energy, but also a look into a future built on clean, renewable energy where every day, we’re one step closer to putting an end to climate change. In this post, we’re celebrating this remarkable moment in solar and counting down the top five reasons we love solar energy. 5. Solar is booming. Consider...

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HOW A SHIPPING CONTAINER COULD BE YOUR NEXT APARTMENT...

Apr 16, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] With hundreds of millions struggling to pay rent, a surprising solution could be as close as the nearest port. The Danish affordable-housing initiative CPH Shelter uses shipping containers for cost-effective, energy-efficient housing. (Photo: Igor Bezludov via CPH Shelter/Facebook   Even in the happiest nation on earth, students struggle to find housing that accommodates their budget. Now, one architect and his team believe they’ve hit upon a simple solution for young residents of Copenhagen, Denmark: a village made from upcycled shipping containers. “In Denmark, there’s a lack of 20,000 student homes,” Michael Plesner, cofounder and partner at CPH Containers, told TakePart. “If scaled up, container villages can actually help push down the price on the general housing markets of cities, which would benefit everyone.” Advertisement Around the world, some 330 million urban households face...

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Why Going Paperless is a Good Idea: How to Make it Happen...

Oct 31, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] If you think that going paperless in the workplace is a great idea whose time has not quite come, think again: many major companies around the world are taking tangible steps to reduce their carbon footprint and paper usage. Some companies are taking this goal to an extreme: Idea Rebel, a Canadian digital agency, has banned paper completely — employees are not even allowed to drink coffee from paper cups. Other companies that have drastically reduced their use of paper include the Virginia Cancer Institute, which now uses an electronic document management system to handle their scads of medical and financial records, as well as the Cleveland Department of Public Health. Embracing the Paperless Work Style In addition to saving big bucks on reams of copy paper and keeping several dozen trees standing...

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LONDON CALLING, SEE WE AIN’T GOT NOT STUFF...

Oct 8, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] David Friedlander Behavior  LIFE EDITED Simon wrote that he had always taken an edited approach to his life, but that Graham’s talk inspired him to go a bit further. Following the talk and talking to Graham in person, he went home and watched the LifeEdited TED talk with his wife, who was historically a bit less edited than her hubby. But after watching the talk, she started to come around. She confessed that there were 15 suitcases stored between her sister’s house and her parents’ house–the contents of which she had not used in years, nor could she even necessarily identify. She also admitted that she only wore a small portion of favorite garments from her existing wardrobe. She saw how she might benefit from living a life without all this unnecessary, unused stuff. But...

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RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES: WHICH ARE THE MOST ECO-FRIENDLY?...

Sep 9, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Shutterstock By Ask Umbra GRIST Q. I recently moved to a remote area where electricity delivery is sometimes unreliable, so I have battery-powered backup devices. I want to get in a big supply of rechargeable batteries. There are many kinds. Are some brands better (greener and more efficient) than others? And do the solar-powered chargers really work? Geraldine C. A. Dearest Geraldine, Let’s call this Disaster Preparedness week at Ask Umbra. Earlier, we tackled green survival in a zombie apocalypse-level emergency; today, we’ll look at your less dire (but certainly more likely) scenario of a power outage. Getting ready for a blackout with a supply of batteries is a smart move, and making them rechargeables is even smarter. I’m confident you’ll still be enjoying soft mood lighting and Netflix the next time the juice runs dry at...

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HERE’S HOW 180,00 TONS OF FOOD WASTE WILL SKIP THE LANDFILL...

Sep 5, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] An anaerobic digester facility will help reduce the amount of refuse that’s piling up in garbage dumps in the New York metropolitan area. (Photos: Kirk McKoy/Getty Images; Dan Dickinson/Flickr; Flickr) Sep 3, 2015 Staff Writer Liz Dwyer has written about race, parenting, and social justice for several national publications. She was previously education editor at Good.   Newspapers, cans, bottles, batteries, and your old clothing—those are just some of the items that recycling helps keep out of the world’s landfills. Now, thanks to a gigantic anaerobic digester plant that’s set to be constructed on Long Island, New York, enormous amounts of food waste will be recycled, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and generating energy. On Tuesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that a 62-acre plant will be built in Yaphank, about 60 miles...

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MAD presents cloud corridor residences at the A+D museum’s inaugural exhibition...

Sep 2, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   aug 28, 2015     in an exhibition currently on view at the A+D museum in LA, MAD architects has proposed ‘cloud corridor’ as a future concept for residential design. the project, which is part of a display titled ‘shelter: rethinking how we live in los angeles’, embodies ma yansong’s philosophy that architecture should ‘manifest the spiritual essence between people and nature’. the exhibition remains open to the public until november 6, 2015. ‘cloud corridor’ addresses the concern of urban sprawl and presents a typological alternative       the multistorey project addresses the concern of urban sprawl and presents a typological alternative: the high-density village. by reorienting the streets vertically, nine interconnected towers redistribute the urban fabric to cohere disparate neighborhoods into a community with public spaces and gardens. connective corridors...

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GREENING AMERICA’S ENERGY WORKFORCE...

Sep 2, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Emily Schwartz Greco  AMERICANS FOR A SAFE FUTURE Oil permeates the whole economy. Even if you telework in a solar-powered home and tote your groceries home by bicycle, the price of petroleum affects what you spend on goods and services. This impact, of course, is uneven. The collapse from $105 per barrel last summer to as little as $37.75 in late August in U.S. oil prices brought relief to wallets across America — while kneecapping the industry’s profits and costing tens of thousands of workers their jobs. But one tiny segment of the oil workforce isn’t hurting. The buck stopped elsewhere for ExxonMobil CEO Rex W. Tillerson, who pocketed $33.1 million in 2014. ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan M. Lance raked in $27.6 million, netting an 18 percent raise. And Chevron CEO John S. Watson, whose...

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THE BASICS OF SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL – INFOGRAPHIC...

Aug 27, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]  FIX.COM Make Sure Your Next Trip is a Green One! BY ANDREA MOORE, MARINE BIOLOGIST I was born with the travel bug. As often as I could, I was off visiting and re-visiting places near and far, soaking in sea air, language, and culture. But as my eco-conscience grew, I realized that my growing collection of seashells and jet-fuelled flights might be satisfying my wanderlust at the expense of the environment. Because my wanderlust was simply impossible to ignore, I turned my attention to sustainable tourism. Eco/Geo/Green/Sustainable Tourism No matter the name, the intent is the same: travel with the lightest environmental and socio-cultural footprint possible to maintain or improve conditions in all communities around the world and ensure their health for years to come. A lofty goal, but with a change in...

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Cleveland: A Sustainable City for Your Startup...

Aug 22, 2015 Posted by

Cleveland is home to more than 1.6 million people…

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TO FIX OR REPLACE???

Aug 12, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] David Friedlander  LIFE EDITED If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies….It would be a sad situation if the wrapper were better than the meat wrapped inside it. –Albert Einstein For the last several months, I have had a small crack on my two year old iPhone 5’s glass. Following an unexpected trip to the floor (glass side down) a few weeks ago, the small crack became a full on shatter. A couple days ago, the shattered pieces started falling out, leaving me with small glass shards swimming around my pocket. I went to the local mobile store to get it fixed. The clerk told me that a screen replacement would cost $75. I asked how much a...

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Frogs Kept Jumping Into Her Backyard Pool, So She Turned It Into A Habitat...

Aug 11, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] The Tyee  |  By Chantal Strand THE HUFFINGTON POST   Twelve years ago, Alexis Friesen discovered that her backyard pool in Penticton, B.C. was starting to house some surprising guests. Some time before, Friesen had drained the pool’s chlorinated water to curb its toxic impacts on small backyard species. After that, Pacific chorus frogs made the freshwater within her tarp-covered pool their pad. Rather than call animal control, Friesen, a wildlife biologist, decided to convert the pool into a wetland habitat for local, at-risk critters. Over many years Friesen nixed the drainage system, levelled the pool with river rock, sculpted the sides with sand bags, filled in the gaps with natural soils and added pond water. Now, everything from long-toed salamanders and garter snakes to bats and great blue herons are flocking to...

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TINY FLAT CELEBRATES LESS

Jul 16, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] David Friedlander  LIFE EDITED Architecture Magical things can happen when people see small as a choice rather than an unfortunate situation. The latter person will be unlikely commit to her life. Her home, stuff and attitude will reflect a resentment that she can’t afford a bigger place. But one who chooses ‘less’ will commit. She will make things work to their utmost extent. She will use her limited resources as a crowbar for opening creative potential. I can say with some confidence that Polish designer Szymon Hanczar is someone who chooses small. His 140 sq ft flat is a celebration to commiting to living small and light. There’s not much to be said of the apartment that can’t be seen in the photos. There’s one closet that could fit a very pared down...

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AMERICA’S ZERO EMISSIONS IMPERATIVE...

Jul 14, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr. and Tom Weis Last fall, we wrote an article explaining why zero has become the most important number for humanity. Since that time, zero emissions has been embraced as an idea that’s time has come by nearly 120 countries, leading European companies, high-profile CEOs, two Pontifical Academies, climate visionaries like Al Gore, mainstream media outlets and, if you can believe it, even the leaders of the G7. We now address the critical issue of timelines. Currently, the two target dates most commonly cited for achieving zero greenhouse gas emissions are 2050 and 2100. Given the extreme weather weirding we are witnessing at current levels of pollution, we shudder to think what 35 years—let alone 85 years—of continued emissions will bring. Everyone can see that the climate is already on steroids and wreaking havoc. The urgency of our planetary emergency requires that we transition from fossil fuels to renewables not in decades, but in years. We...

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HERE’S A NEW IDEA FOR GIVING EPA MORE POWER TO REGULATE CO2...

Jul 12, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Shutterstock Look to the seas By Ben Adler GRIST Reading about ocean acidification is usually a bummer: A hefty portion of the carbon dioxide we’re spewing into the atmosphere is getting absorbed into the oceans, where it is killing off sea creatures (including some of the most delicious ones) and ruining coastal economies. Each report on the topic seems more dire than the last. Just last week, a team of experts found, in BBC’s phrasing, that “CO2 from burning fossil fuels is changing the chemistry of the seas faster than at any time since a cataclysmic natural event known as the Great Dying 250 million years ago.” Awesome. But what if ocean acidification could also offer a new way to compel the U.S. government to get serious about regulating carbon emissions? That’s the...

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TRANSPARENT SLEEPING CAPSULES SUSPENDED ABOVE PERU’S SACRED VALLEY...

Jul 11, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   DESIGNBOOM   hanging from a sheer cliff face in peru’s sacred valley of cuzco, three transparent capsules have been installed, providing accommodation for particularly intrepid guests. to reach the sleeping pods, lodgers must first climb 400 feet (122 meters), or hike an challenging trail using ziplines before enjoying the impressive views of the mystical valley.‬ ‪ three transparent capsules have been installed on the cliff face       clinging to the rock face, the natura vive skylodge is composed of three capsules measuring 24 feet in length and 8 feet in height and width. each unit is handcrafted from aerospace aluminum and weather resistant polycarbonate, and comes complete with four beds, a dinning area and a private bathroom — separated from the bedroom by an insulated wall. the capsules measure 24...

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THREE MORE FOR THE ROAD

Jul 10, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] LIFE EDITED DAVID FRIEDLANDER Many people think about stopping their workaday lives, downsizing and lightening their loads to support more adventure and freedom. But few people go through with it. We always have (valid) excuses. The time is not quite right. We’re on the verge of a promotion and can’t quit or change our jobs now. We have kids and they will not adjust well to change. Etc. Fortunate for us, the MacMannis family are not thinkers (meant in the best possible way). Like many of us, they found themselves living a great but harried and stressful life, working too much and spending too little time together. Rather than doing more of the same, hoping things would get better, they stomped on their existential brakes. For them, putting on the brakes meant quitting their...

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COOKING AND DINING KIT WITH THE MINIMALIST IN MIND...

Jul 10, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] David Friedlander  LIFE EDITED Products The LifeEdited apartment could do seated dinners for 12, made possible by the Resource Furniture Goliath Table. While having the capability to entertain so many guests is remarkable, it is hardly normal for most people who live in small homes. On a day-to-day level, these people dine alone or with a couple other people at most. For them, having cooking and dining sets for more than a few people is more burden than luxury. What they need is a few staple items that can do double and triple duty and store compactly–exactly the idea behind K T C H N, “a concise kitchenware set designed for the challenge of small space living,” according to designer James Salisbury. K T C H N was actually Salisbury’s master’s thesis project. He has this to say about...

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NEWS: IT’S OKAY TO WATER TREES...

Jul 7, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Shutterstock Climate change leaves trees out to dry By Amelia Urry  GRIST The drought may be killing lawns, but whatever — they’re useless. When drought starts going after trees, however, that’s another matter. As year four of California’s drought rolls around, the magical, shade-providing carbon sinks are starting to perish, thanks to a lack of rain and a more recent lack of lawn irrigation. It turns out all that profligate sprinkling was feeding California’s trees — and when cities cracked down on turf, they inadvertently starved out the more useful urban greenery. And while this one’s partly on us — maybe we should have realized that all those trees need to drink, too — we can give climate change (which is ultimately on us as well) a lot of the credit for this fun development. Climate change, you’ve...

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JUST SAY NO – YOU PROBABLY DON’T NEED THAT...

Jun 25, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] David Friedlander   LIFE EDITED The world is brimming with awesome stuff. Amazing products. Gorgeous clothes. Exquisite artifacts. Fast cars. And electronics. So many awesome electronics! Smartphones, laptops and apps galore. There’s no question that we live in an age of unfathomable material bounty. And you know what? In nine cases out of ten, the chances are that you don’t need any of this stuff. Your current stuff probably works great. Your clothes clothe you with style and function (okay, you might need a couple pair of new socks). Your current car works great (it might need an oil change). And electronics, oh electronics–your iPhone 4 is awesome (like Star Trek, holy-crap awesome); your four year old laptop that starts up reliably, is a marvel–maybe not a marvel like the one that just came out...

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SHOULD I REPLACE MY BROWN LAWN WITH ARTIFICIAL TURF?...

Jun 20, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Shutterstock By Ask Umbra GRIST Q. I haven’t watered my lawn since 2009. Though we have drought here in California, I still get straggles of green after brief rain. I will xeriscape one day with mostly rocks in the front. My question: What about artificial turf for a smallish section of backyard? Is it bad for the soil underneath? And what is it made of? Would paving stones or cement be better? I have a dog and grandkids who play there.  Cynthia T. A. Dearest Cynthia, Could we be at the beginning of the end for the Great American Lawn? Not so long ago, having a lush, verdant thatch of grass was a source of pride and joy for homeowners nationwide. But lately – especially as California and other parts of the Southwest...

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216 MIND-BLOWING WAYS TO USE VINEGAR...

Jun 16, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] a passion for cleaning Vinegar – it’s that stuff that you can buy from the store. Maybe you occasionally use it on your cabbage and roast beef dinner. You’ve probably used it to dye eggs with the kids for Easter, but did you know that vinegar is an incredibly useful product that can be used HUNDREDS of different ways. In fact, some of the ways that you can use vinegar will downright shock you; others might make you storm out of the house to the grocery store, so you can buy your own gallon to get started. Due to its chemical makeup, many of the uses for vinegar involve cleaning, and who wouldn’t want 201 cool ways to clean with a product that cost a few dollars per gallon? We scoured the web,...

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What can rule-bending alternative builders teach us about smarter shelters? (Video)...

Jun 14, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Derek Markham (@derekmarkham) Design / Tiny Houses  VIA TREEHUGGER CC BY 2.0 littlemoresunshine Modern building codes and zoning regulations, while helping to set safety standards that can save lives, can also serve as big barriers to building small, sensible, and affordable dwellings with alternative materials and techniques. The quest to build, or even just live in, a low-impact house of your own can be a challenging one, especially if you’re on a budget and want to build a home with materials and techniques that are outside the norm. And if you live in an area with strict codes and zoning regulations, that challenge can be incredibly frustrating, and one which might lead you to consider moving to a less populated, and less regulated, part of the country. Some rural areas of the U.S....

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YES YOU CAN GROW AN EDIBLE GARDEN ON A HOT, DRY SITE...

Jun 14, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Difficult garden spots don’t need to deter you from planting trees, herbs and other delicious food plants Brian Barth Houzz Contributor Conventional wisdom about food gardens is to locate them in a sheltered position with deep, moist topsoil. But what if your only available gardening space is a windy, sun-baked hillside? There are still edible options for developing that sort of landscape, but it takes careful planning to do it successfully. There are two main approaches to this common challenge, which are best used in combination: using the toughest food plants available and designing the landscape in a way that moderates the extreme conditions. Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture Look to Hot, Dry Climates for Inspiration People have been growing food in arid landscapes for millennia. Take the Mediterranean region, for example, where...

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WHY SWITCHING TO AN ALTERNATIVE ENERGY PROVIDER COULD COST YOU BIG IF YOU’RE NOT CAREFUL...

Jun 13, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   You might save money in states with energy competition, but it’s not easy. By Anthony Giorgianni / AlterNet If you live in one of the nearly two dozen states or the District Columbia that allow residential utility customers to pick the company that supplies their electricity and/or natural gas, you may have received a letter, phone call or visit from an alternative energy supplier promising big savings or benefits if you sign up for its service. If you’re like a lot of people, you have no idea how to decide whether you should switch from your traditional electric or gas company’s standard service. Or if you did make the change, you may be wondering if you saved anything or even ended up paying more. Energy choice is complicated.Energy choice, which is nearly...

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WOMAN PLUNGES INTO DEEP END OF DOWNSIZING...

Jun 12, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] LIFE EDITED I stood staring at three framed documents: My veterinary school diploma, the certificate that acknowledges the completion of my residency and my board certification in small animal internal medicine. What was I going to do with them? I am nearing the end of a two year process of radical downsizing, starting as a big old house person, and now living in the smallest space of my life. In the Beginning The process really started in 2007 when I moved from upstate New York to Seattle. The two homes I had owned were a 1890’s Queen Anne, and a 1920’s colonial. As a lover of old homes I had collected a large amount of antiques, many of which I had restored myself and those countless hours made them feel like a part...

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ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT AT RISK

Jun 2, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Stop The ESA Triple Threat Senator/Candidate Paul’s bill is filled with more science fiction than an Issac Asimov novel. He claims that the ESA has not achieved its goal of recovering threatened or endangered species, when in fact 98 percent of all listed species have been brought from the brink of extinction.5 He also claims that litigation stemming from the ESA has actually hurt species, even though the ability to sue polluters is a major component of enforcement. Paul’s true colors were revealed when he mocked the ESA for, “making no meaningnful effort to account for costs imposed on the private sector.”6 — As if the ESA isn’t supposed to stand in the way of extreme industries when they deface the habitats of irreplaceable wild critters. Rand is so determined to take aim at the...

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U.S.Women Mobilizing for Climate Justice WECAN Trainings and Advocacy...

May 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]               Dear Women Best greetings! As many of you know, we are now launching WECAN’s On-line Education and Advocacy Trainings on June 2nd, which are part of our 6-point plan as U.S. women come together and mobilize for climate action and justice in the lead up to the December 2015 United Nations Paris climate negotiations (COP21), the 2016 U.S. elections and beyond. We welcome you all to participate in any or all of the trainings and also to share the invitation with your network. We have attached here both a PDF and word document of the flyer for the trainings, and we would love to have you personalize the flyer if you like , add your logo at the bottom and send out to your list and social media. Or, simply send out the PDF as is. Thank you as we need your...

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WHICH HARDWARE STORE IS THE GREENEST?...

May 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Tim Green By Ask Umbra   GRIST Q. As a new homeowner, there are many home improvement items I have needed to purchase (tools, garden items, etc.). I had been shopping at Menards, as I thought I would be spending my money locally instead of at a corporate giant. After recently reading about John Menard Jr., I would prefer not to give his company any more of my hard-earned dollars. Where should I shop for my home improvement needs? Is there really anyone who cares about the environment? Nicole P. Madison, Wis. A. Dearest Nicole, Yes, Virginia, there are people who care about the environment. As steward of the overflowing Ask Umbra inbox, I personally see evidence for the existence of plenty of concerned, committed environmentalists. Any of our staffers here can attest to all the people reading...

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4 Ways Gardens Can Go Beyond Aesthetic Beauty...

May 24, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Our landscapes can play an even more meaningful role if we rethink their purpose Benjamin Vogt Houzz Contributor. I own Monarch Gardens, a native plant garden consulting… More   “In the past, we have asked one thing of our gardens: that they be pretty. Now they [also] have to support life, sequester carbon, feed pollinators and manage water,” said author and biologist Doug Tallamy in his keynote speech at this year’s Plant-O-Rama in Brooklyn, New York. This is a wonderful thing. When our gardens can move us emotionally through blooms and structure and scent, and then also provide a service to the environment, we are gardening in ways that may be even more rewarding. Following are four ways our gardens can go beyond the surface level of beauty. Adam Woodruff + Associates, Garden Artisans...

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