Thursday, April 22, 2010


Earth Day. Watched Avatar? How greed overtakes to get the UNOBTAINIUM to destabilize the interwoven biological constitution?? If we take shorter showers, spray less toxic chemicals, consume only what is necessary.....(Avoiding those unnecessary expensive items to impress people) WE DO NOT NEED EARTH DAY ONCE A YEAR.


Below info: By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer

"Back in the '70s, people felt the threat of environmental mistakes and misbehavior," Train said. "There was a real threat to your health and people knew that. Today, people will accept that as a general principal, but don't feel any immediate threat from climate change or indirect source pollution from farmers."

Last month was the hottest March on record worldwide. It was 1.4 degrees warmer than March 1970, according to NOAA.

The average temperatures for the last 40 years are higher than the rest of the 130 years of record-keeping, said Deke Arndt, head of climate monitoring at NOAA's National Climate Data Center.

And, this week, German scientists published an analysis in the scientific journal Nature that says the greenhouse gas agreement reached by some international leaders last December in Copenhagen would lead to a 10 to 20 percent increase in carbon dioxide levels in 2020.
That puts "in dire peril" chances for limiting the effects of warming, the researchers said.
Still, the White House's Sutley is optimistic.

"The Cuyahoga River is not on fire anymore, and air quality in Los Angeles is not as bad as it was 40 years ago. I think people get those connections," Sutley said. "People get that something is changing about our climate."

Monday, March 29, 2010


Source: Study conducted byNASA/ALCA

NASA and ALCA spent two years testing 19 different common houseplants for their ability to remove common and harmful elements such as trichloroethylene, benzene, and formaldehyde from the air. Of the 19 plants they studied, 17 are considered true houseplants, and two, gerbera daisies and chrysanthemums, are more commonly used indoors as seasonal decorations.

For an average home of under 2,000 square feet, the study recommends using at least fifteen samples of a good variety of these common houseplants to help improve air quality. They also recommend that the plants be grown in six inch containers or larger.

1. Philodendron scandens `oxycardium', heartleaf philodendron
2. Philodendron domesticum, elephant ear philodendron
3. Dracaena fragrans `Massangeana', cornstalk dracaena
4. Hedera helix, English ivy
5. Chlorophytum comosum, spider plant
6. Dracaena deremensis `Janet Craig', Janet Craig dracaena
7. Dracaena deremensis `Warneckii', Warneck dracaena
8. Ficus benjamina, weeping fig
9. Epipiremnum aureum, golden pothos
10. Spathiphyllum `Mauna Loa', peace lily
11. Philodendron selloum, selloum philodendron
12. Aglaonema modestum, Chinese evergreen
13. Chamaedorea sefritzii, bamboo or reed palm
14. Sansevieria trifasciata, snake plant
15. Dracaena marginata , red-edged dracaena

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Sources: article by Gwendolyn Bounds of The Wall Street Journal & Go Solar California! website

You don't need a hot climate and tens of thousands of dollars to go solar. Harnessing the sun's free energy for daily hot-water needs can be practical and affordable.

As more homeowners are discovering, you don't need a super-hot climate and tens of thousands of dollars to go solar. In many cases, all it takes to offset two-thirds of your hot-water bill is a couple of panels resembling skylights, an 80-gallon water storage tank and some shade-free southern rooftop exposure. Costs range from about $2,000 to $10,000, sums that can be halved thanks to hefty new federal and state incentives. Just last week, California launched a cash-rebate program that will average $1,500 for residents to install solar water heaters at home.

The program for existing homes is called the California Solar Initiative and is run by the California Public Utilities Commission through California's major investor-owned utilities - Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric.

The program for new homes is run by the California Energy Commission and is called the New Solar Homes Partnership.

For more rebate details visit

Friday, March 5, 2010

Stuck Up City officials wasting precious water

Orange officials sue couple who removed their lawn


City codes require that live landscaping cover 40% of the yard. Quan and Angelina Ha say their water use has dropped 80% since they replaced the grass with wood chips and drought-tolerant plants.
March 02, 2010By Amina Khan
Some Southern California cities fine residents for watering their lawns too much during droughts.
But in Orange, officials are locked in a legal battle with a couple accused of violating city ordinances for removing their lawn in an attempt to save water.
var adSkipCounter = 0;


The dispute began two years ago, when Quan and Angelina Ha tore out the grass in their frontyard. In drought-plagued Southern California, the couple said, the lush grass had been soaking up tens of thousands of gallons of water -- and hundreds of dollars -- each year.
They said they were trying to do something good for the environment.
"We've got a newborn, so we want to start worrying about her future," said Quan Ha, an information technology manager for Kelley Blue Book.
But city officials told the Has they were violating several city laws that require residents to cover significant portions of their frontyards with live ground cover. On Tuesday, the couple is scheduled to appear in Orange County Superior Court to challenge the city's lawsuit against them.
Soon after the city complained about the yard, the Has placed wood chips on top of the dirt, with help from neighbor Dennis Cleek.
"It's their yard, it's not overgrown with weeds, it's not an eyesore," said Cleek, whose own yard boasts fruit trees. "We should be able to have our yards look the way we want them to."
But city officials determined the fix was not acceptable, saying city codes require that 40% of the yard be landscaped predominantly with live plants.
"Compliance, that's all we've ever wanted," said Senior Assistant City Atty. Wayne Winthers.
Last summer, the couple tried to appease the city by building a fence around the yard and planting drought-tolerant greenery -- lavender, rosemary, horsetail and pittosporum, among others.
They sent a photo of the yard to city officials in October. But according to the city, their landscaping still did not comply with city standards.
"They put up a nice fence, but [the photo] didn't show anything about how they had complied with code, as far as the frontyard goes," Winthers said, "nor did it include a site plan."
At the end of January, the Has received a letter saying they had been charged with a misdemeanor violation and must appear in court.
"It's just funny that we pay our taxes to the city and the city is now prosecuting us with our own money," Quan Ha said. "Doesn't it waste funds to go back and forth in court, rather than sending pictures, e-mails and having phone conversations?"
Winthers said he hopes the city can work out a compromise. "We know times are tough, but we're willing to work with them, we'd be more than happy to," he said.
Meanwhile, the couple said they had reduced their water usage from 299,221 gallons in 2007 to 58,348 gallons in 2009.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Landscaping tips for wet weather

  • Avoid any soil impact activities like rototilling or using shovels to avoid damage to the soil structure. Wait until for at least 4 dry days to do any roto tilling or killing weeds with machines.
  • Plant your summer bulbs now taking advantage of wet soil
  • Since snails and slugs become more visible due to wet weather. However, avoid using any chemical application as this could kill useful biological agents as well. Wait until the weather turns sunny.
  • Dead head all spent flowers, bulbs and compost them.
  • Mow the lawns cross-wise to avoid compacting the soil.
  • Prune shrubs in between the rains as they grow vigorously due to rain. Of course, cut some flower bunches to bring inside.
  • Pull the weeds by hand now as they come out easily along with roots (especially the oxalis which is flowering now).
  • Be sure to check your potted plants especially under eaves as they don't get the water they need.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

TOMATO RICE made from the bountiful tomatoes from your Garden

This is spicy Indian One Dish. For additional protein serve with Chicken or Daal.

2 cups cooked Basmati rice or leftover rice
3-4 large ripe tomatoes cut into cubes
2 tbsps vegetable (Olive, canola, sunflower cooking oil)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 large onion chopped fine
2 green chillies slit lengthwise
1" piece of ginger grated
4-6 cloves of Garlic crushed
2 tsps coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp garam masala
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a deep pan and add the mustard seeds and green chillies. When they stop spluttering add the onion and fry till soft.
Add the tomato, ginger and crushed garlic and mix well. Cook till the tomatoes turn pulpy.
Add the coriander, cumin and garam masala powders, salt to taste and mix well. Cook on a low flame for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.

Turn off the fire and add the rice. Mix well.

Serve with pappadums or daal or chicken
Installation Special 5% Off for landscape jobs over $1000

Design Spl $100 Off over $1000; $50 Off over $500