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1 12th June 16:59
earl
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Default "Thinking green" adds beauty, saves money (green winter)


The Plant Man column
for publication week of 03/05/06 - 03/11/06
(641 words)
###

The Plant Man
by Steve Jones


"Thinking green" adds beauty, saves money


When you think of St. Patrick's Day, what color immediately springs
to mind? The answer of course is green! For many of us, that date is
also when we're beginning to see "green" reclaiming our landscape
that has languished in shades of gray and brown throughout the winter.

For those of us who love the outdoors - whether we're gardeners,
landscapers, hikers or cross-country bikers - the sight of that new
green is a welcome one and a harbinger of sunnier days ahead.

St. Paddy's Day is the ideal time to "think green."

There are so many ways that "green" can enhance our lives and
improve our environment at the same time. I was reminded of this when
I visited the Web site hosted by Project Evergreen. "St. Patrick's day
ushers in a perfect time to focus on the rewards of maintaining and
enhancing the green space in our communities," says Den Gardner,
Project Evergreen's executive director.

Invest some time now on lawn and landscape improvements and, as a
homeowner, you'll reap a host of benefits both short and long term.
Here are some of Den's observations:

Green for a cleaner environment:
Growing a thick, healthy lawn returns oxygen to the atmosphere while
helping to filter out pollutants that might threaten groundwater.
Plants, especially trees, improve air quality by removing carbon
dioxide and other pollutants.

Green to reduce energy costs:
Proper placement and maintenance of trees for shade and shelter can
reduce attic temperatures as much as 40 degrees in the summer and help
reduce heat loss in the winter.

Green to add property value:
Studies continually show that investment in landscaping improvements
can be more than recovered when a property is sold and even add profit
when attention is paid to plant size, placement and design
sophistication.

If you're looking for more detailed information about lowering
temperatures, reducing your utility bills, and increasing property
values simply by planting trees and shrubs, you can read many relevant
and helpful articles by going to my Web site http://www.landsteward.org and
clicking on The Plant Man link. If you'd like me to suggest some
suitable trees and plants for your specific situation, send me a few
particulars and I'll do my best to help. You can reach me at
steve@landsteward.org

To find out more about Project Evergreen, visit
http://www.projectevergreen.com/ Or you can click on a direct link
when you find this column archived at my Web site.

and individuals who create or preserve green spaces. At their site,
you can find some before-and-after pictures showing how the city of
Chicago, IL, has succeeded in creating some beautiful and
environmentally beneficial landscaping projects.

There are some surprising facts that you might not be aware of,
according to a downloadable brochure at Project Evergreen's site.
For example:

More oxygen
A patch of lawn, just 50 ft square, can produce enough oxygen for a
family of four.

Cleaner water
When your turf is thick and healthy, it acts like a filter, cleaning
water as it's absorbed into the soil and the plant root zone, and
reducing the likelihood of groundwater pollution

Cooler, cleaner air
The grass in your lawn can trap dust and smoke particles, absorbing
heat as a sort of outdoor air conditioner.

Allergy reduction
A lush, dense turf crowds out weeds, reducing pollen in the air. A
pleasant relief for allergy sufferers!

So raise a glass and salute St. Patrick. It's not just the wearing
o' the green; it's the THINKING of the green that can make the real
difference!

The Plant Man is here to help. Send questions about trees, shrubs and
landscaping to steve@landsteward.org. For resources and additional
information, or to subscribe to Steve's free weekly e-mailed
newsletter, go to http://www.landsteward.org
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