Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Featured Article: School Districts Going Green With GreenRU & Chamness Technology

Today we're featuring a piece by GreenRU, all about the work we're doing with them to help reduce organics going to the landfill in a couple of school districts in Iowa. It's great work, and has been a very eye-opening experience to the schools and ourselves as to how much food and other organic products are wasted.

Read more here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Featured Article: Students Ask Lawmakers For Compost Bill

We love featuring articles about people who are trying to make a greener difference on our blog, however this time we got a chance to sponsor some of them as well. This team of students went to the state legislature to do a waste audit and show them the true effect of organics on the waste stream, and to ask them to consider a bill that would help to make Iowa a little more green through composting.

Check the story out, they're a dedicated group of students and their story is a great show of progress. Read about it here.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Photo Friday

This week we visited Pella Community School District and Ottumwa Community School District, who are implementing GreenRU in their cafeterias, free of charge. Chamness is donating tipping fees at our facility and GreenRU is donating pickup services for the rest of the school year for the districts, and we snapped this photo of one cook slicing pineapple and tossing the scraps directly into the composting GreenRU bucket! Nice!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Featured Article: Roofs with Roots: Stylish Sod Roofs

While we will always love the country in rural Iowa, the simple fact is that people are flocking to cities faster than ever. When living in a city it is difficult to grow anything, especially your own produce or garden. There just isn't the space. However, today's featured article is about a trend that is seeking to end that: Sod Roofs. These roofs allow residents to have their green space, regardless of wether or not they have lawn space.

The Apartment Therapy article shows 5 of their favorite sod roofs. We like them all, but wish we could see just how urban areas could benefit even more from these sod roofs. These are cool examples though, and a great starting place to adapt for your urban home.

Check out the article here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Plants to Try in Your Garden This Year

It's a new year which means it's time to start planning your 2013 garden. While it's good to keep old favorites in the garden, it's also important to spice it up and try something new. We've found our favorite 5 plants to try this year in your garden!

Superbena did particularly well in last year's scorching temperatures, given proper watering. To say these plants are heat tolerant is not an exaggeration in the slightest.

Vinca- "Jams 'N Jellies Blackberry"
This is another heat tolerant plant, that was the 2012 AAS Flower Award winner. These beautiful little bloom is a very dark purple hue, and can turn almost black in some areas. These are recommended to be planted near blue, pink, white, or lavender blossoms, to enhance it's natural color.

Brunnera macrophylla- "Jack Frost"
This plant does best in the shady section of your lawn. It does best with shade and well drained and watered soil. This plant is similar to a hosta, with tiny blue flowers. It's a beautiful addition to any yard or garden.

Muhlenbergia capillaris- "Muhly Grass"
This pink and airy grass is great for spicing ups a driveway or path, and definitely add some original gardening flair to any area. This plant does well in poorly drained soil, and they can do well in either full or partial sunlight. It is heat tolerant, but prefers to be well watered.

Mocca Scarlet Tuberous Begonia
Another positive lovely, heat tolerant blossom, this flower has a simply beautiful bloom. This plant requires partial to full shade. You can also dig up the tubers and save them for replanting next year!

These are just a couple we've picked for this year- what are planning on planting this year? Let us know!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Photo Friday

Hello everyone, and happy Friday! This friday morning is pretty foggy here in Central Iowa, but we'll let you be the judge yourself with our photo friday post!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ways to Green Your Home in 2013

The new year brings new resolutions for everyone. Often time these resolutions revolve around fitness, breaking habits, and personal health. However, if you've decided you're going to make a bigger effort to help the earth's help, we've got a few ideas on where to start. These changes are all pretty small, but their impact can be very large. Check it out, you may just change your resolution!

1) Switch to eco-friendly light bulbs:
While this change seems small, it is a great way to start having an impact, both through less energy usage and through less light bulbs being thrown away!

2) Make new large purchases with the environent in mind:
Need a new dishwasher, car or laptop? Look into environmentally friendly solutions, like high efficiency washers, hybrid or electric cars, and laptops with recycling programs that are easily repairable. Taking these things into account will increase the longevity of your purchase as well as saving you some money on bills!

3) Make a commitment to recycling:
In some of the U.S. recycling is second nature, however if you guiltily toss your glass, cardboard or aluminum products into the trash this year is the year to change. Make a commitment to recycle all recyclable products and the impact you'll have is much larger than you think!

4) Start growing your own vegetables and fruits or buying locally:
As minor as it may seem, taking care to either grow your own produce or purchase locally grown can have a large impact. There's less fuel emission in transportation and it's a better decision for keeping your money in your community as well!

5) Start a compost heap: If you don't have a composting facility near you that will accept your waste, do it yourself! While we don't recommend this for businesses, with a large amount of organics (find a composter, like GreenRU to handle services for you), a home heap is usually not too hard to maintain. It will save the emission of methane gases to the ozone layer and it will keep your organics from filling up space in the landfill.

Are you trying anything new this year to be green? Tell us in the comments!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Featured Article: Tips For Growing & Automating Your Own Vertical Indoor Garden

The new year is always a great time to make a change. This article is a great change idea for your home- a vertical garden! It's a great way to get your green fix year round!

Vertical gardens are growing in popularity, and in the cold Iowa winters, this hint of greenery can brighten up the cold, white days. If you've been thinking about starting an indoor garden you should check out this article. It's got some great tips and multiple ideas about how to go about your garden!

Read the full article here.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Featured Article: Simple Ways to Reuse & Recycle Your Holiday Decor

The new year is here and with it comes the chore of taking down holiday decorations. Since taking down is a lot less fun than putting up, it's easy to think that maybe it's time to toss some older decorations. However, sending that decor to a landfill is just no good! So, today's article goes over just a couple easy way to reuse old ornaments in a fresh, new way.

Check out this article, and find a new way to refresh ornaments, lights, holiday cards and wrapping paper! Which is your favorite? Do you have another craft that you like to reuse holiday ornaments for? Let us know in the comments!

Read the article here.