Wherever you are in the continental 48, evidence of spring is starting to pop up! As the weather warms up and the days get longer many of us feel inspired to do some kind of home improvement. In this post we’ll take a look at several kinds of projects that are perfect for this time of year – from large to small!

BIG PROJECT: DECKING 

Trex Decking: Start spring off with a Trex Deck! Beautiful, durable, and sustainable, a Trex deck will give you years of enjoyment with minimal maintenance! Easy to install, with lots of options for railings, colors, patterns and even lighting! Using a unique combination of recycled plastic and reclaimed wood, Trex products provide the best qualities of both materials. 

 

 

 

MEDIUM PROJECT: GARDENING
Start on your yard now so it is in great shape for summer! There are lots of green choices you can make for your yard and garden beds. Here are some of our picks:

Heirloom Seeds: Three wonderful Heirloom Seed Collections: Herbs, Flowers, and Vegetables from the oldest seed house in America.  Rain Barrel: Collect and store rain-water in this collapsible barrel for use around your garden when rain is scarce. Easily folds away for storage Compost Tumbler: The Tumbleweed
Compost Maker rotates on a solid steel axis to turn kitchen and garden scraps into compost.

 

SMALL PROJECT: SPRING CLEANING (On Sale through April 20)
It feels so good on a bright spring day to open the windows, let in some fresh air, and start clearing out the cobwebs that may have collected un-noticed over the winter. If you are planning to do just that in the next few weeks, be sure that your cleaning products are themselves as clean as they can be! We’ve got a full range of spring cleaning supplies from non-toxic cleansers to scrubbers and cleaning cloths from sustainable materials.

   
Green Depot Tub and Tile Cleaner: Formulated with low pH organic salt, this highly-concentrated, non-corrosive tub & tile cleaner emits no irritating fumes. Full Circle Cleaning Mitt:
Tough, natural loofah on one side, soft absorbent bamboo fiber on the other. Shaped to reach into tight corners.
Sebo X4 Automatic Upright Vacuum: Protect your carpets and your health with the high-tech, beautifully engineered SEBO X4 vacuum.
Cellulose Insulation filling the space between the apartment's floor joists. Great for sound insulation.

Cellulose Insulation filling the space between the apartment's floor joists. Great for sound insulation.

Graham Hill’s “LifeEdited” apartment is not only going to be very space-efficient – it will be very energy efficient as well! This past week, construction got started as they put down the essential basic subfloor, and under that, insulation!

First, they removed the existing floor. Then, using Cel-Pak Cellulose Insulation supplied by Green Depot, they filled in all the air space between the joists in the floor. The picture to the right shows how they blew it in right to the top of the boards and then leveled it off before installing the plywood subfloor.

A great choice for the quality of a home’s air, cellulose insulation is made from 100% recycled newspaper. After the newspapers get shredded down, they get coated with borate (a naturally occurring salt) which is an effective pest and fire retardant. This product is free of fiberglass and PVC – two materials which can hurt the indoor air quality of a home. Many people don’t realize that insulation can affect the quality of a home’s air even from behind the drywall – but as air circulates through the space it also passes through walls and crawl spaces. This increases as a home (or in this case, an apartment) settles, and small openings happen between floors and walls (usually behind the baseboards.)

Plywood Subfloor installation complete over insulated floor.

Plywood Subfloor installation complete over insulated floor.

Here’s a quick list of the benefits of cellulose insulation:

Energy Saving
Cellulose insulation is applicable in a wide range of settings, whatever the desired R-value. Cellulose fills gaps around pipes, wires and outlets blocking those hard to insulate areas where drafts can occur.  It even blocks heat transfer at freezing temperatures.

Sound Insulating
The density of cellulose makes it an excellent sound barrier – far surpassing the sound insulating qualities of fiberglass. Putting it between apartments this way will sustantially decrease the sound-transfer both directions! (STC rating of 45 in a 2×4 wall)

Fire Retardant
Cel-pak is impregnated with borates which makes it very fire resistant. Burn tests have shown it resist fire far longer than other types of insulation. Because the insulation contains so few chemicals, if it does succomb to flame,  the smoke it generates doesn’t generally emit the same kinds of toxins that other insulations can as they burn.

Pest Resistant
The same borates used to add flame resistance also inhibit mold and mildew and repel insects and vermin.

Click here to visit our Cel-Pak page.
We carry a variety of other insulation products as well. Click here to see our full offering.



Click here for an introduction to this exciting project!

DFN began in 2002 in response to the plea of Dalit leaders: "Educate our children!"

Green Depot would like to acknowledge our employee Isaac McPhee for his efforts to contribute to the global community. This month he will be taking two weeks off of work and going to Sholinger, India as a volunteer with the Dalit Freedom Network (DFN.)

The DFN is an organization that works with India’s most disadvantaged people, the Dalit (also knows as “untouchables.”) The organization helps start schools and medical clinics in the community and also has a micro-finance program. They have already succeeded in starting 100 schools for children. They also offer adult education and training in areas like mechanical repair and computers. This will be Isaac’s fourth time to India with the DFN, and this time he is going as a faciliator and point person for a group of volunteer doctors and teachers.

As citizens of the world, we applaud Isaac’s effort. It is truly global thinking like this that will lift all of us into a sustainable future. Thank you Isaac!

To learn more about the Dalit Freedom Network, please click here.

This week, Green Depot Founder, Sarah Beatty hosted a special evening with “The Father of LEED,” Rob Watson, and Jigar Shah, CEO of The Carbon War Room. 75 people gathered for a discussion of the political, environmental, and technical realties of the race to prevent unmanageable climate disruption. Attendees included representatives from across the community including lending firms, retail stores, designers, artists, media and event companies, climate change organizations, public schools and universities, green building experts and more! This kind of cross-disciplinary discussion is vitally important if we hope to begin to tackle the issues of our time. All of the event’s attendees are dedicated, in their lives and organizations, to thinking bravely and differently about how to combat climate change. The challenges that we face are universal – engagement and cooperative action from all segments of our markets and communities is essential.

The leaders of this week’s discussion are both prominent, active leaders in the fight against climate change, Rob Watson and Jigar Shah.

Rob Watson is pioneer of the modern green building movement and  is best known as “the Father of LEED” for his leading role in the development of the LEED green building rating system, the most widespread and fastest-growing international green building standard. In 2007 he founded EcoTech International Group to meet the fast-growing demand for green building technologies and services worldwide. As the Director of International Energy and Green Buildings Programs at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Mr. Watson has worked in China on green building programs and market development since 1997, and is a recipient of a “Green Innovation” award by China’s Ministry of Construction, the only foreign expert so honored.

Jigar Shah is the CEO of the Carbon War Room, Jigar is dedicated to identifying business-as-usual practices and replacing them with low-carbon solutions. Prior to the Carbon War Room, Jigar founded SunEdison in 2003. Under his leadership, SunEdison revolutionized the solar industry by introducing a business model to sell solar as a service. The transformation to solar power service agreements is responsible for turning solar services into a multi-billion dollar industry. Jigar is also an expert on energy project finance, changing energy policy, working with entrenched stakeholders, and convincing individuals to embrace energy technology. He works closely with entrepreneurs, policymakers, and investors around the world to develop, incubate, and implement sustainable solutions.

The event was sponsored by Tipping Point Productions and Serious Energy.

We look forward to continuing the conversation at future such events, and in the community at large.

Click here to visit our Homepage.

Eco-Friendly Fall Yard Care

October 14th, 2011 | Posted by Lesia in Environment | Gardening - (0 Comments)

Fall is here, the leaves are changing color, and for many of us that means that our yards will soon be covered in Autumn foliage. Fall leaves can be undeniably gorgeous, but if left to build up on lawns for too long they can affect the health of your grass. Treat your yard right over the next several weeks and you will be rewarded with lush, springtime grass. Fall Yard Care can be an inexpensive, quiet, and low-toxic activity that gets you outside and gets you moving.

The first step is to make sure that your lawn is the proper length going in to winter. Most websites recommend that your final clipping of the year leave your lawn about 2 inches high. Next, you’ll want to clear the leaves off of your lawn periodically to avoid smothering your grass over the winter. Retire your leaf blower and make sure you have good rake. Raking instead of using a leaf blower gets your body moving better, and is much easier on your neighbors too.  Make sure your rake has a good handle, and remember to switch the position of your hands from time to time to reduce strain. A good technique for avoiding leaf-raking-related injury is  to walk backwards with your rake, pulling the leaves straight back with you.   Some leaves can be left under your shrubs and trees to decompose over the winter and fertilize the plants. This can also cut down any mulching you might need to do in those areas to improve the tree’s health and increase its growth rate.

Once your leaves are raked together, do not send them to a landfill! Those leaves store nutrients from your yard and you should make sure you get them back so you make use of those nutrients again for next year’s flowers, leaves or grass. If you have space in your yard, we recommend that you dedicate a small area to composting.  You can create small piles, or you can use a garden composter for easier aeration and turning. Be sure to follow proper composting techniques for maximum decompostition. When your leaves have decomposed, you will be left with a rich soil to distribute around your yard in the spring. If you don’t have space to compost in your own yard, collect the leaves in biodegradable bags for collection. Most cities collect yard waste, and will compost or mulch it all on a large scale!

GREEN DEPOT SOLUTIONS
We offer a full range of solutions for eco-friendly fall yard care.

Let it Rot The Gardener’s guide to Compost

 Let It Rot! is a classic guide to turning household waste into gardener’s gold. 






  

Brill Razorcut Push Mower

Five flame-hardened, welded steel blades are designed to minimize friction, and allow you to cut your grass quietly, efficiently and easily.





True American Leaf Rake

The True American leaf rake features an innovative head and large basket design to help gather more leaves in less time.



The Reynolds Geobin Composter

The Reynold’s GeoBin, made from a lightweight but rugged plastic, creates an instant compost system.





Click here to see our entire Fall Yard Care collection.

References for this post include: www.homeownernet.com and www.pallensmith.com.

Portland's Planet Repair Institute

Portland is among the greenest cities in America – from the way they eat, to the way they get around, to the way they build their homes. Every year, City residents and contractors push the envelope for sustainable materials and energy efficiency, and every year Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability curates a tour of some of the year’s most exciting projects. They call it the Build it Green! Home Tour and Information Fair and tickets are now on sale!  2011 is the 10th anniversary of the BIG! Tour and Fair, and will take  place on Saturday, September 24th! 

This is a fantastic way to learn about the latest, greatest, and most inspirational things happening in green building in the Rose City! This year’s tour features 20+ homes – each of which incorporate outstanding sustainable elements, from energy-savings to sustainable material use. These homes will be open for ticket holders to tour, and the homeowners will be on hand to answer your questions!

Among the homes open on the tour will be The Bungaloft, a project that features owner-built cabinets, fixtures and other details, made in part with recycled and reclaimed materials. Also featured is the Water House – the first Watersense-certified home in Oregon; and the Planet Repair Institute using cob, earthen plaster, and reclaimed materials. To see a preview of all the homes on the tour click here.

This year, the BIG! Tour will be kicking off with a fun, resource-rich, Information Fair in the Green Depot parking lot! Enjoy live music by the Wicky Pickers, and refreshments while checking out green building product demos and visit our varied exhibitors like: cabinet and furniture makers, solar firms, designers, realtors and more!
You will also be able to ENTER TO WIN a free Caroma Profile dual-flush-toilet (it has a built-in sink!) 

This year’s events are happening on Saturday, September 24th.
FREE BIG! Fair: 10am – 2pm
BIG! Tour: 11am-5pm
Tickets for the tour are available at Green Depot Portland (cash or check only only) or online.
– $15 Adults
– $10 car free/students/honored citizens
– Free for children 13 and under

For information on having an exhibitor booth at the fair please contact sschultz[at]greendepot.com. Availability is limited.