Category Archives: More

12 May

Buying a House? – Evaluate the Yard for Safety and Potential Liabilities

backyard

By Mary Francois Deweese – Registered Landscape Architect and Sustainable Site Consultant, Principal of Acorn Landscapes, St. Louis, MO.

When  buying a new home, make sure your home inspector looks at the entire yard and reports on possible problems.  Some landscape related problems can be very costly to repair.  It is important for new homeowners to research the types of plants they have in their yard, especially those that are close to the house, and be aware of those that may pose a problem years down the road from weak wood or root invasion.  The following are some tips for inspecting a home landscape. Read More

26 Apr

Begin with the End in Mind: Our Home Energy Audit

Energy Audit Montage

With our goal of slashing energy costs by 50% over the next two years, we needed to know what we were dealing with in terms of the condition of our house.

We decided to get a home energy audit, which can be a great way to understand the current condition of your home for energy savings opportunities.  In our case, two technicians from St. Louis based Home Green Home spent about three hours in our house. They checked the levels of insulation in the attic, walls, and basement. They used an infrared camera to look for areas of heat loss and inefficiency, and they performed a blower door test to analyze the air exchange in the house. Read More

16 Apr

We’re Part of the Problem… Now What?

in the middle of the sprawl

Not too long ago I woke up and realized…I’m living as part of the problem: the middle of suburbia…in an outdated, energy hog of a house, a big grassy yard, and a car I drive every time I need anything because I’m smack dab in the middle of residential sprawl.

What can I do about the environmental problems?  Should I move to the city and live in a dense urban core?  Should I move to the country and live off the land and off the grid?  Certainly being in the suburbs is the worst place to be…everybody says so. “Sprawl”: it is a bad word, and I am part of it.  I grew up in a cul-de-sac neighborhood…and now I live in one. Read More

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