Tag

sustainability

Green architecture has many versatile advantages. Green buildings consume less power, last longer and it is healthier to live in them rather than conventional houses. Their construction requires less material and they are usually self-sustainable. Of course, they also have a smaller negative impact on the environment.

The investment in green home is investment in your health. How productive are you when you have a headache or you are under stress? You can get a headache or be stressed because of harmful vapours from low quality materials used for construction of your home, poor lighting, constant noise, etc. Less energy is consumed when we have good natural light and quality insulation. When you live in a green house you have more money to spend on things you like, because you have lower costs for doctors, repairs, heating and cooling, maintenance, etc. You can make your home greener by installing green walls and roof.

How to make a green wall?

Green wall, or an indoor vertical garden, consists of fixed or movable supporting structure, space to accommodate the plants and irrigation system (pump, tank for nutrition and water, a timer and a dropper).

Plants for the green wall are grown in containers with special fibres that concentrate the root in one place and they are usually in regular geometric shape (cube or rectangle). Attach metal construction that will carry your new vertical garden on the wall and along the construction conduct watering system. Make sure that every plant gets access to the water. You will also need a waterproof layer that will insulate your regular wall from moisture. After that, stack the plants next to each other and make a plant mosaic.

Plants that are recommended for green walls are creeping philodendron, dracaena, ivy, scindapsus, ferns, Spathiphyllum, aglaonema and plants with small root system.

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How to make a green roof?

The construction of the green roof and its layers depend on the purpose of the roof. All green roofs have one thing in common and that is that they must contain certain layers so their ecosystem could live.

The layers of the green roof are:

  • Supporting structure – its purpose is to withstand the roof load and it represents the support for the other layers.
    Waterproof layer – which is intended to retain the rain water and its channelling towards the sewer or to a system for storing the rain water.
  • Layer which prevents the penetration of roots in the supporting layer – this layer prevents the roots penetration in depth. The most commonly used material for this layer is geotextile.
    Drainage layer – this layer that is intended to retain the water that plants can use for nutrition during drought periods.
  • Layer for filtration – which prevents the penetration of higher layers and roots in the drainage layer but allows the water come through.
  • Sand or small rocks – are used to help drain the soil, they are porous so they provide an excellent basis for application of the soil.
  • Soil – or any other substrate that enables plants to grow.

There are other layers that you can use for green roof construction but these are the most commonly applied. If you want to grow something other than grass and small plants on your roof you have to apply thicker layer of soil and stronger supporting construction so the plants can grow undisturbed.

http://www.greenroofs.com/

By building green you invest in your health, reduce the impact of construction on the environment, improve the quality of your living space and reduce the costs associated with the using of the building. There are more and more people on our planet and less and less resources. We have to be more responsible when we build so the next generations don’t end up left without necessary resources.

Our planet has reached its boiling point because of our lack of care and concern for it. The situation is so bad that today we even have to think twice about how we are going grow plants, and that is why sustainable gardening has become so popular lately.

By taking such interest in your garden you are not only keeping you and your family healthier, but your planet in general, by conserving its resources.

You will also know exactly how it was cultivated and what you eat, as only then are you completely sure that it is chemical free.

What Does It Really Mean?

As sustainable is most commonly directly associated with eco-friendly, it implies gardening without causing harm to the Earth. As people started using too much pesticides, there was a necessity for a practice like this one.

However, that does not mean that they are not used at all, just in lesser quantities that are easier to keep under control.

What You Can Do

It might sound difficult to go green when this practice is in question, but sustainable gardening is actually quite manageable.

First rule is, do not use bulldogger if you can do it with your bare hands. It might be more difficult, and your hands will get dirty, but remember every time why you are doing it and who you are doing it for.

Secondly, use rainwater whenever you can, especially for watering your plants. You can collect it by setting up barrels in your yard, or even installing some more complex rainwater conservation systems. Also, be sure to use ground covers so that the water would not evaporate so quickly and you would not have to water it too often.

Another preferable technique is to compost, which is actually a way of recycling. By simply collecting leaves that have fallen this autumn in your garden and placing them in compost bins you are using more natural and organic material for your soil.

That way you do not have to spend money on fertilizers in specialized stores, that are not only expensive, but toxic for the soil too, if used in greater amounts.

Finally, think carefully about the plants that you want to grow. Do your homework, find out what fruit and vegetables you can actually grow in your area, because it is not just about planting what you wish to eat.

You need to know if there are appropriate conditions so that you would not have to use any unnecessary additives. Another thing you should definitely look up is which plant grows in which season, for the same reason that was previously mentioned. Also, check this cheatsheet for dummies, you dummy 🙂

Design

When you decide to have a sustainable garden, there are many other things to think about. You will need paths like aisles to approach those plants without stomping and destroying the soil around it.

Garden Path
image credit: wardslandscape.com

 

Those paths can be made out of old pieces of concrete that are leftover from some construction works you did on your house, and never knew where to throw them away.

Another thing is that no matter which part of the world you live in, there will always be natural elements like rain, snow or hail that will get in your way from time to time and that is why you will need to build some kind of protective construction. True sustainable gardener will always use recycled material for walls, windows and decks too.

For some vegetables you will need wooden trellis, but do not cut perfectly healthy three to make it, better collect branches that fall on their own. You know that there are always a lot of them just lying around, so do not let them annoy you, use them for good.

So no more trips to the farmer’s market – simply make some room in your garden, buy necessary seeds and start digging.

Help yourself, your family, country and planet by living green and properly caring about your plants, and at the same time your environment.

 

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