2006 - [Sustainable Concepts] Green Roofs and Saving Water
2006, vol. 42
Welcome to the September 2006 newsletter from Design Forward.
Please take some time to enjoy this month's features.
Quote of the Month: "To the optimist, the glass is half
full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the
engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be."
Lisa A. Swan
of Chicago Starts at the Top Floor
Atop the scalding eighth-floor roof of the Chicago
Cultural Center, workers dripped sweat as they planted
row upon tidy row of hardy plants, the latest signal
of one big-city government's determination to be green.
On other downtown rooftops, tall corkscrew-shaped turbines
will bridle the winds that race across the plains. A
new roof on Chicago's vast convention center will channel
55 million gallons of rainwater a year into Lake Michigan
instead of overburdened storm drains.
Skeptics snickered 17 years ago when Mayor Richard M.
Daley added flowers and trees to the city's honey- do
list. They scoffed at the apparent folly of beautifying
a sprawling, gritty urban landscape, figuring Daley
for a modern-day Potemkin.
A few tulips, they figured, would be the end of it.
But the city-kid mayor raised on the rough-and- tumble
South Side stuck with it. The greening project grew
strong roots, giving Chicago a reputation as one of
the nation's most committed environmental cities of
any size. The company it keeps is not Newark and Detroit,
but Portland and Seattle.
The urban environmental movement has spread from the
margins to the mainstream, from a countercultural statement
epitomized by the 1960s riff, "Save water; shower with
a friend," to a policy option welcomed in boardrooms
and council chambers. As other cities have climbed on
board, Pacific Northwest progressives no longer have
a corner on the market.
Article & Picture © washingtonpost.com
Top 8 ways to save water outdoors.
- The average homeowner uses twice the amount of water
needed to keep plant healthy. Use a watering
calculator to know exactly how much to water your
- Check your sprinkler system for leaks, overspray,
and broken sprinkler heads.
- Update your sprinklers to drip systems or water-
efficient sprinklers where appropriate
- Reduce the amount of water-thirsty grass. Keep only
the what you need and replace the rest with less-thirsty
plants or permeable paving
- For the grass you keep, set your lawnmower blade
- Adjust your sprinkler timer downward in September.
Plants need less water when the days are shorter.
- Use a broom instead of a hose for cleaning sidewalks
- Mulch! A layer of mulch, gravel, compost, sawdust,
or low-growing groundcover evens out the soil temperature
and allows better water retention.
Info provided my Southern California Water Agencies.
Picture © bewaterwise.com
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