|We will be at AltBuild Santa Monica again this year, come see us and other great companies that support sustainable building and healthy living!|
May 1, 2012
April 20, 2012
A green sustainable garden can be achieved by incorporating several ideas into your design or simply becoming more aware of what can negatively affect our environment. When we talk about a sustainable garden we are referring to a garden that is able to maintain long-term well being, for both humans and the environment, and at the same time its resources are well managed to minimize consumption and obtaining the most out of them. As we all know, we need to eat, including wildlife. By hanging feeders or introducing native shrubs or fruit/nut trees, your garden will become a five star restaurant for wildlife, that’s if you enjoy the presence of wildlife. One of the best ways, probably the least expensive yet most ignored way to make your garden more sustainable, is by conserving water. Other ways your garden can become more sustainable is by reducing resources and or using renewable ones, taking responsibility of your gardening practices, reducing the amount of chemicals used in a garden especially when nature can solve the problem, and by growing your own organic foods.
Water can be conserved in many ways. Having clean access to water is a privilege and not many people in the world enjoy such privilege. Although some ways of conserving water may require more effort than others, the intention to conserve it is worth it because water is not an infinite resource and it may not last forever like many of us think. For example, instead of using a hoe to clear out your driveway use a broom to conserve water. Reducing resources and using renewable resources also helps reduce the impact in our environment and makes our gardens greener. Not all plants are created equal and not all plants are able to survive in the same medium, since soil composition tends to vary. By informing yourself on plants needs and requirements, you can pick plants that prefer the type of soil that’s already available in your garden, at the same time you are reducing resources. When using plastic in a garden, try and use high recyclable plastics with low VOC. Some plastics leech chemicals into the environment and using plastics with little or no VOC’s helps reduce environmental pollution. Creating a sustainable garden may also involve responsibility. Taking responsibility of your garden practices is also important if your goal is to create a sustainable garden. Some positive gardening practices may include collecting rain water in rain barrels in order to use that water to water your garden. Rain water tends to be better for plants and you are also helping to reduce run off which tends to wash pollutants into your local water shed, not to mention you are also conserving water. As a responsible owner you can take on more responsibility by finding ways to avoid the use of harmful chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides, alternate ways such as implementing biological pest management practices. Growing your own vegetables and fruits will also make your garden more sustainable and at the same time save you money.
March 26, 2012
Go Green California became a participating contractor in the State of California’s new program, Energy Upgrade. As part of the program, Go Green was required to attend and receive training in the latest home performing standards in order to be considered a qualified contractor for the basic upgrade package. The required measures for a basic upgrade include: air sealing, attic insulation, duct sealing, hot water pipe insulation, thermostatic shower control, combustion safety testing, and smoke/co detectors. As part of the training process, some of Go Green’s employees attended a two-hour orientation about the program and a three-day building science basic training about building envelope elements. All participating contractors are trained to provide the highest level of service from nationally recognized home performance and green building organizations.
The Energy Upgrade Program is a program that provides assistance to qualified individual who are looking to upgrade their homes in order to increase their energy efficiency. As part of the program qualified individual might be able to receive up to $4000 in utility incentives, $500 in federal tax credits, eligibility for weatherproofing services, energy efficient appliances, and various local city and county rebates depending on the area in which you live. At the same time individuals will be receiving energy education which might range from how to conserve energy to reduce your utility bills, improve air quality, conserve resources, reduce green house gases, and most important how to make your home comfortable in all seasons. For more information you can visit www.energyupgradeca.com, www.cpuc.ca.gov or contact your local utility provider. For information regarding the weatherization process, qualification criteria and a list of local service providers visit www.csd.ca.gov. The price of energy has been steadily increasing and educating yourself about energy efficiency is important in order to maintain your bills low and to educated people about the importance of keeping our planet clean and conserving resources.