Under Stairs Garden.

Under stairs garden - bm studioFrom bm studio of Escondido CA, the under stairs garden is a reminder of all of the places we could be, but are not, starting a garden. [Neatorama]

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High Quality Animated GIFs Of Nature In Action.

Frog checking out mealworm.

Frog checking out mealworm.

These amazing high quality animated GIFs of nature in action were taken from documentaries. More animated GIFs of nature are posted on the Head Like An Orange tumblr blog.

Spinning tornado.

Spinning tornado.

Ladybugs wrestling.

Ladybugs wrestling.

Ground squirrel realizing the ladybugs aren't wrestling.

Ground squirrel realizing the ladybugs aren't wrestling.

Nature is awesome! [Laughing Squid]

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Effectiveness Of Pollutant Removing, Runoff Mitigating Rain Gardens.

Rain garden in SeattleRain gardens are a big deal in the Pacific Northwest. In areas with combined storm and sanitary sewers, rain gardens have been installed to slow down runoff during heavy rains in order to prevent sewage overflows. A nice bonus of a rain garden is its ability to filter out pollutants (driveway oil, lawn chemicals, heavy metals etc.) from residential runoff before it reaches a sewage treatment plant and ultimately, a waterway.

So what happens to the pollutants captured by rain gardens? Do they become toxic over time? The results are surprising.

If you get a chance, check out “Are Rain Gardens Mini Toxic Cleanup Sites?” by Lisa Stiffler. I refuse to TMZ’up Ms. Stiffler’s article. [Sightline]

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United Nation’s Think.Eat.Save Campaign To Reduce Food Waste.

Mound of wasted food.The Think.Eat.Save campaign wants to make it easy for people to reduce the amount of food they throw out. With the help of the NRDC and WRAP UK, Think.Eat.Save compiled a list of tips we can follow immediately to reduce food waste. Here are some to help you get started:

  1. Shop Smart — plan meals, use shopping lists and avoid impulse buys. Don’t succumb to marketing tricks that lead you to buy more food than you need, particularly for perishable items.
  2. Understand Expiration Dates — in the US, “sell-by” and “use-by” dates are not federally regulated and do not indicate safety, except on certain baby foods. Rather, they are manufacturer suggestions for peak quality. Most foods can be safely consumed well after their use-by dates.
  3. Zero Down Your Fridge — eat food that is already in your fridge before buying more or making something new, which will save time and money.
  4. Say Freeze and Use Your Freezer — frozen foods remain safe indefinitely. Freeze fresh produce and leftovers if you won’t have the chance to eat them before they go bad.
  5. Request Smaller Portions — restaurants will often provide half-portions upon request at reduced prices.
  6. Love Leftovers – tonight’s leftover chicken roast can be part of tomorrow’s sandwich. Very few of us take leftovers home from restaurants. Don’t be embarrassed to do so!

Worldwide, over 1/3 of all food produced is not consumed. And the waste isn’t limited to tossed food; it’s also a massive waste of land, energy and water necessary to produce and deliver the 1.2+ billion tons of food we throw out. [Guardian]

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Updated $169 Koubachi Wi-Fi Sensor Now Lets Your Outside Plants Tell You When They’re Too Hot And Hungry.

Koubachi Wi-Fi Plant SensorVersion 2.0 of the Koubachi Wi-Fi plant sensor is going to hit the market in October 2012 and sell at a price of $169. The updated version now works indoors & outdoors and lets the grower know their plant’s soil moisture level, light and temperature via a free cloud service. A good tool to keep your plants alive if you’ve got that kind of cabbage to spend.

If you don’t have Koubachi type cash on hand, then maybe a Kobayashi Komposter is for you. The Kobayashi Komposter Inspired by the world-famous eating champ, Kobayashi, our planned kompost bin will devour all the plants you kill by not purchasing the Koubachi and more! Of course we’re still waiting for one manufacturer to take us seriously and hoping Kobayashi will return our calls. MSRP: $130.

While we wait for the deal to finalize, Jubbling’s other alternative to the $169 Koubachi is for me to email you twice a week and remind you to “water your freakin plants!” At $50 per year, it’s a bargain. [GizMag]

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Democratech’s Sprout Pencil Becomes A Plant Instead Of Trash.

When the Sprout pencil becomes an unusable nub, plant it in your garden instead of the garbage. That’s because it has a seed enclosed in its end-cap that when planted, can grow into an herb (the basil variety), flower or vegetable. Simple idea that with the help of their Kickstarter funds, Democratech will hopefully sell at a price close to standard pencils.

I first heard about the Sprout pencil back in August 2012. It seemed like a “gimmicky for good” idea and moved on. Then I watched the Kickstarter video and I have to make one recommendation: only plant the Sprout pencils in a pot. If you plant a dozen of these in a garden, pointed up, you are unintentionally creating a booby-trap similar to what you’d in see in a movie like Platoon or even Home Alone. No more barefoot walks in the garden.

And while I’m on the subject of pencils – has anyone noticed how low-quality they’ve become? Is it the wood or the lead/graphite? Maybe I should avoid the 20 for $1 deals from the office stores because after sharpening, I may end up with 10 usable pencils.

More than likely, the Sprout will sell at a premium over standard pencils so expectantly, they’ll be of higher quality. If they turn out to be inexpensive and low-quality, at least I’ll get 10 future plants immediately from my 20 pack. [Treehugger]

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